Senator Ted Cruz was on Meet the Press this morning with Chuck Todd. The entire segment ran 11:55. At around 8:20 Chuck Todd asked this question:
CHUCK TODD: You’ve spent this entire interview trying to eviscerate Donald Trump. If he’s the nominee, I take it you can’t support him anymore, can you?
Nearly five minutes later it ends with:
CHUCK TODD: All right, so let the record show, you have not taken a position on whether Trump– whether you can support Trump if he’s the nominee. Fair enough?
SEN. TED CRUZ: And let the record show you tried very, very hard to get me to commit to supporting Trump.
Given multiple chances to say he will support the nominee, Senator Cruz declines them all. I realize that given the tight race that Cruz is in with no margin of error that he doesn’t want to cede any ground that could give the impression that he will not prevail. BUT. But, he could have fobbed off the question by saying that “I’ve answered that before” or “Why wouldn’t I support Trump if he’s the nominee but he isn’t going to be.” Instead, Cruz very pointedly used the opportunity to say he would support Trump were he nominated to attack Trump.
This leads me to a couple of pieces of speculation.
First, given Trump’s utterly unmanly behavior on the campaign trail, Cruz has arrived at the same point as a lot of us. That Trump is a bully and a general POS as a human being and no one who lays claim to being an actual adult could endorse him in the general election and retain their reputation.
Second, he fully intends to fight this out on the convention floor. His critique of Trump’s positions are calculated to show that he is at odds with virtually everything the GOP stands for and that the fight is too important to allow it to be decided by delegate allocation rules that give Trump many, many more delegates than he should have.
SEN. TED CRUZ: I am going to beat Donald Trump. We are headed to a contested convention, and we’re gonna win, and I’m not willing to concede this country. Listen, this is my kids’ future, Chuck. It’s not– it’s not simply a game. If we lose–
CHUCK TODD: Nobody’s saying it’s a game, Senator–
SEN. TED CRUZ: –this, if we lose this, we lose our country. We lose the Supreme Court for a generation, religious liberty is taken away, the Second Amendment is taken away, our kids are bankrupted. We are at the edge of a cliff. And I’ll tell you, the people of Indiana, they really are in a position.
The country is depending on them to pull us back from this cliff.
I think we can expect there to be a fight at the GOP convention, no matter what the delegate count is on Day One. And I think the odds of finding Ted Cruz endorsing and supporting Trump approaches zero because it would be a betrayal of everything he has stood for in his political career.