As has been the case a number of times with Senator Cruz, going back to last year, his timing couldn’t be any worse. Pulling his endorsement would come just over two weeks after he endorsed Trump. That followed two months of chest beating by the most fervent Cruz supporters replaying his convention speech over and over again when Cruz did not endorse and implored others to “vote their conscience.”
That Cruz has to consider whether or not he’s taking back his endorsement merely reveals what many of us have suspected about him for some time: He’s as much of a politician as anybody else. Why does anybody need to contemplate whether or not to rescind an endorsement unless there is some kind of determination as to the political fallout or benefits?
This is not the start. Cruz had no end-game when he started the fight over Obamacare that led to a short-term government shutdown. Many people exaggerated the effects both positive and negative but the bottom line is, Cruz didn’t need an end-game. He was fighting, remember?
Cruz’s embrace of Trump in 2015 was another political calculation and one that backfired, badly. Cruz, like everybody else, assumed Trump wouldn’t even make it to Iowa, let alone become the nominee. Cruz was so confident of this, at the end of December he was predicting the primary race would be over by March. Of course that didn’t happen and Cruz was embarrassed by Trump in the south where Cruz was sure he had built what his campaign called the “southern firewall.”
When Cruz had to drop out of the race, he didn’t endorse Trump. Then came the convention speech. Convention delegates and GOP party people in Texas were livid Cruz didn’t endorse. Cruz’s base of support however, was ecstatic.
Politics eventually won out over principle. Cruz, knowing he needed support in Texas for his 2018 re-election bid and no primary challenger, issued the endorsement for Donald Trump. Trump people were happy and most Cruz supporters were ok with the decision as well.
But they didn’t know this was going to happen and neither did Cruz.
Now he has a serious problem. The longer he waits to rescind his endorsement, the worse it looks. If he rescinds, people will ask, “So you endorsed after he attacked your wife and father but this was a bridge too far?”
That is Cruz’s quandary. One he wouldn’t find himself in if he hadn’t beaten the drum of purity since his election in 2012. Cruz is a politician. And he’s going to make political decisions.