Newt Gingrich Challenges Ted Cruz's RNC Speech With This Simple Response
The third day of the Republican National Convention, dubbed "Make America First Again," wasn't exactly off to a smooth start after Texas Sen. and former presidential candidate Ted Cruz turned down the opportunity to endorse Donald Trump on the national stage, instead urging citizens to "vote your conscience." Forced to address an uproarious crowd after Cruz's RNC speech ended, Newt Gingrich offered a response to quell the disorderly chaos on the fly. Possibly breaking away from the words on the prompter, he pointed out how Trump had invited each former presidential candidate to speak at the convention:
With no requirement for endorsement, [Trump] encouraged his competitors to speak once again. Gov. Rick Perry, Gov. Chris Christie, Gov. Scott Walker, Dr. Ben Carson, Sen. Marco Rubio, and Sen. Ted Cruz have all responded to Donald Trump's generosity.
It's unlikely that Cruz thought Trump's move was so generous. Still, Gingrich thought it better to stage a cover-up. By doing so, he very well could have saved the Texas Senator from further embarrassment, given the audience's displeased response to his "vote your conscience" comment. Gingrich cooled down the atmosphere a notch before continuing with the scripted portion of his speech:
Now, I think you misunderstood one paragraph that Ted Cruz, who is a superb orator, said ... Ted Cruz said, 'You can vote your conscience for anyone who will uphold the Constitution.' In this election, there is only one candidate who will uphold the Constitution.
Ultimately, Trump came out on top with this one. With surprisingly perfect timing, he walked into the arena to meet with his family precisely as the Texas Senator made his thought-provoking comment. Cruz's parade had officially been rained on. But if viewers at home only heard Gingrich's response to the scenario, they'd never know anything had run amok.
So was Cruz really throwing shade at the man who invited him to speak? Considering the fact that he danced around a formal endorsement of Trump, it's quite possible. "There is a better vision for our future: A return to freedom," he said instead. Cruz, once known by Trump as "lyin' Ted," has had a rough relationship with the NYC real estate mogul since dropping out of the race a few months ago. On July 8, he officially accepted Trump's offer to speak at the convention following a rare meeting between the two:
We had a positive and productive meeting this morning with Donald Trump. Donald asked me to speak at the Republican convention and I told him I'd be happy to do so.
RNC chairman Reince Priebus characterized the meeting as "polite and cordial." Doesn't sound like their friendship is going to mature much beyond that.