U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) at the 2015 Iowa Ag Summit in Des Moines. Photo credit: Dave Davidson (Prezography.com)
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) at the 2015 Iowa Ag Summit in Des Moines.
hoto credit: Dave Davidson (Prezography.com)

Regardless of what happens in this year’s election, Ted Cruz will not be elected President in 2020 after his endorsement of Donald Trump. Further, unless Cruz completely re-invents himself, he will never be President of the United States.

Cruz’s endorsement itself isn’t a fatal problem. Many politicians are making the expedient move to back Trump. Not all of them are doomed, particularly if Trump loses. Most voters will move on from the 2016 election. Those who don’t go off the deep end in backing Trump will be able to wiggle out from under the embarrassment, particularly if the country is suffering through a Clinton administration. In that case, the evils of a Trump victory will be more distant and theoretical while those of Clinton will be actual real life facts.

It’s the way Cruz has endorsed Trump that will do immeasurable damage to any future White House plans the junior U.S. Senator from Texas has. Had Cruz endorsed Trump in Cleveland halfheartedly it wouldn’t have harmed him much at all.

However, he didn’t. He refused to endorse Trump, was booed on national television for it, and then delivered this defense of his lack of support:

“The day that [pledge to support the nominee] became abrogated was the day that became personal,” Cruz said, referencing Trump’s comments about his family during the primary. “I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father. And that pledge was not a blanket commitment that if you slander and attack Heidi I’m going to nonetheless go like a servile puppy dog” and stick to the pledge anyway.

His response angered some key donors as well as supporters such as Richard Viguerie who criticized him in the harshest way possible for putting something like family ahead of the Party winning. Since then, much of Cruz’s apparatus and staff have backed Trump while Trump continued to give credence to the idea that Cruz’s father may have had something to do with the assassination of JFK, threatened to spend $10 million to have Cruz defeated and publicly encouraged Rick Perry to run against Cruz in 2018. The endorsement comes shortly after RNC Chairman Reince Priebus threatened to bar candidates who didn’t endorse Trump from running again.

Endorsing Trump at the convention may have caused Cruz some short-term damage with #NeverTrumpers, but this is far worse. Those who supported Cruz and were angered by his refusal to back the party nominee at Trump’s Convention in Cleveland are unlikely to be appeased by this move. At the same time, Cruz’s decision is disconcerting to many #NeverTrump conservatives.

More importantly, Cruz looks like he caved under pressure either for fear of a primary challenge because Trump threatened to form a Super PAC to defeat him or Preibus’ threatened to bar him from running or because he couldn’t stand up to the displeasure of his donors. For whatever reason it appears that Cruz was willing to abandon the honor of his wife and father when sufficient pressure was applied.

This is fatal to Ted Cruz’s White House hopes because he’s established a brand in four years in the Senate. His image is as the man who doesn’t compromise or back down ever. He doesn’t care what the establishment threatens. He’s Ted Cruz and he will stand firm no matter what.

That’s all gone when Cruz compromises in a way that makes it look like he buckled to Reince Priebus’ and Donald Trump’s threats. It goes against everything he’s presented himself to the American people as being since entering the Senate. This week, Cruz looks less courageous and principled than John Kasich. If Ted Cruz can’t stand firm, what good is he?

There are already two groups of Ted Cruz supporters who can’t be counted on for a future run. At the same time, Cruz’s post-defeat actions haven’t impressed those who didn’t back him in the first place. The math of subtracting some supporters while gaining no others is ominous for a once and future national political candidate.

Cruz may run again in 2020 if Trump loses because he’s “next in line,” after finishing second (ask Rick Santorum how that works out,) but he will not be elected because his image has been tarnished and voters are left unsure who Ted Cruz really is.

4 comments
  1. Not really. He laid out his considered opinions for why he is holding his nose and voting for Trump over Hillary. That he would put aside personal hurt for the good of the nation shows him to be EXACTLY the kind of man we need in the White House in 2020. He will continue to get my vote and support. He is still about the ONLY Reagan conservative in the GOP….And simply voting for someone is not an endorsement. It is merely a choice between two evils and choosing the one you think will do the least harm.

    1. The idea that Cruz is publicly supporting Trump and offering help to the Trump campaign but isn’t “endorsing” him is the sort of too cute by stuff that seems insincere to those who aren’t Cruz fans.

  2. Just what ARE the principles conservative Christians are standing for? Ted Cruz says he and his family forgive Donald without an apology and you condemn him as an outcast for that? Ted Cruz forgave Trump for slandering his family and that is a bad thing for a Christian to do?
    Ted Cruz said he agonized over this in prayer, and your first response is to bash him for doing what he felt led of God to do? Isn’t that why we supported him in the first place, because we knew he took those kind of things before God in prayer before making a decision? But now that he has, suddenly because it is not the same as what we concluded God was telling us, we throw him under the bus and slander him before the world on FB? Where is the humility of 2 Chronicles 7:14 saying until we humble ourselves…
    Ted Cruz describes seeing people weep, asking him to get behind the nominee to stop Hillary, how that touched his heart, imagine that, a politician with a heart that can be touched, that truly listens to his constituents, and that doesn’t matter to you? It appears to me that the ‘my way or the highway’ thinking of some is what is wrong with this country, that is the progressive liberal way of seeing things. Don’t conservatives believe in the individual right to make up your own mind anymore? Are we so programmed to think collectively we cannot tolerate anyone who does not see it exactly as we do? Don’t conservative Christian people see that in the end we all stand before God to give an account as an individual, and there will be no one standing next to us but Jesus? God will not ask who you voted for. And what we stood for on this earth will not even be considered unless we have done so according to what Jesus said to do, and that is to love one another, and forgive as you would ask to be forgiven? Those are the PRINCIPLEs Christians have to be concerned with above all others. But instead they are demanding that their decision is the only correct one and love and mercy goes out the window if you don’t see it their way?
    Ted Cruz sees Hillary’s promises to destroy our Constitution as the prime danger to this country and our rights, and we have fits cause he does? I took into consideration upon hearing of Cruz’s endorsement of Trump, that I was neverhillary long before I was nevertrump. I dislike Hillary for president just as much as I dislike Trump for president. Neither one is fit to lead. And beleive me, I dislike Trump very much, and have written endlessly on here about the reasons why I feel that way. Ted Cruz sees that too, and has voiced his opinion as well vry publically. i watched him in an interview with the Texas Tribune and am satisfied he isn’t going to making excuses for Trump. He isn’t out there making excuses for Donald Trump, he merely said Hillary is worse, and since he’s been right there fighting people like her his whole life, can we not give him the benefit of the doubt that he may know more than we do about the dangers facing this country under Hillary? He’s stood before SCOTUS and argured for our rights, and stood before Congress against his own party, and we’re going to abandon him to the wolves? Is that Christian? Is that conservative? Is that principled behavior?
    Ted Cruz talks with Mike Pence and Donald Trump and rather than demand an apology for his and his family’s sake he instead demands a committment to appointing conservative judges to the supreme court for our children’s sake, and you say he is only thinking of his political career? Pardon me, but he is damned if he does, and damned if he doesn’t endorse. So what does he do? He puts his reputation on the line and chooses to stop Hillary from appointing progressive judges and you find that so wrong you will slander him all over the internet, the internet by the way, that he’s trying to preseve so you have the freedom to bash him?
    Don’t get me wrong here… I remain #nevertrump and #voteyourconscience
    Funny thing is, Ted Cruz remains #voteyourconscience as well, and was never #nevertrump in the first place. I didn’t take that stand because Cruz told me to, I did it cause that is where my principles led me. And I don’t expect anyone to be in lock step with my conscience on it. I don’t feel Cruz is demanding anything from me, he’s still telling me in the end, it is up to me to do what i think is best. Then I turn to my ‘conservative Christian friends on FB and see that many demand I vote just like them or I am not ‘really cosnervative, or really a Christian’. Pardon me, but I’ll stand by the man who still believes it is up to me.That is what freedom is after all, the right to follow your own path and make your own decisions. If you truly believe in vote your conscience surely you realize that everyone is not going to make the same decision. And that our Constitution protects the voter’s right to make their own decision. I remain #alwaysCruz

    1. First of all, at the Convention, Cruz stated that Trump’s slander of his family had voided the pledge and then stated he was bound by the pledge. It’s very inconsistent.

      Second point, that Cruz has been under serious pressure. This came less than a week after Priebus publicly threatened him and the timing makes it look like he backed down. Nothing that Cruz said of Trump or a Clinton presidency was not equally true at the convention. Of course, Cruz’s most loyal supporters may conclude he can do no wrong and that he would never compromise and therefore he didn’t. However, many look at the pressure that comes on and the timing and conclude he caved. And Cruz can’t afford to lose any of his base, and this week, he has.

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