Ted Cruz's Morning-After Remarks Are The Most Reasonable Part Of The RNC Yet

At a meeting Thursday morning with the Texas Delegation to the Republican National Convention, Senator Ted Cruz defended his decision not to endorse nominee Donald Trump in his prime-time speech. “I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father,” Cruz said during the meeting.

It might be that I’ve just spent too much time this week deep in Trump territory to remember which way is up, but listening to Cruz hold his position, I reluctantly found myself finding his words… reasonable.

Some delegates were concerned about the fact that Cruz went back on his pledge to support the Party’s eventual nominee, which was originally made almost a year ago at the first Republican primary debate, also held at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

“When I stood on that debate stage and I asked every candidate there ‘if you don’t win, will you support the nominee?’ I raised my hand, and I raised it enthusiastically, with full intention,” Cruz said Thursday morning. “And i’ll tell you the day that pledge was abrogated. The day it was abrogated was the day this became personal.” This was in reference to spats during the primary campaign wherein Donald Trump retweeted comments about the appearance of Cruz’s wife, Heidi, and insinuated that Cruz’s father, Rafael, was involved in the assassination of president John F. Kennedy.

While many Republicans are still fuming over the snub, it might be the most relatable thing the Senator has done since the beginning of the campaign. The outrage over Cruz’s seeming defection seems pretty rich, originating as it does from a candidate who not only didn’t originally promise to support the eventual nominee, but also couldn’t make up his mind whether or not he was going to.

Trump surrogates were quick to try and deflect Cruz’s non-endorsement. Former house speaker and one-time potential Trump VP Newt Gingrich tried to smooth things over by saying, “I think you misunderstood one paragraph that Ted Cruz, who is a superb orator, said… [he] said you can vote your conscience for anyone who will uphold the Constitution…. The only possible candidate this fall is the Trump/Pence Republican Ticket.”

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also laid into Cruz, saying “I think it was an awful performance by someone who showed himself tonight to not be a man of his word.”

The fact that Donald Trump gets off for being mercurial about his own pledge while Ted Cruz gets strung up for not wholeheartedly endorsing a man who disparaged his family (and also never apologized for it) is kind of bewildering — almost as bewildering as having sympathy for Ted Cruz. But then, what in GOP politics these days isn’t bewildering?