Yesterday, in a stunning about-face, Texas Senator Ted Cruz declared that he is in fact a “servile puppy” who will endorse a man who lobbed insults at his wife and father.
Reince Priebus had a problem. The Party that he serves as Chairman to has been imploding as of late, having selected for its presidential nominee a man whom the political establishment (that he, Reince) is part of actively deplores.
After sitting out the Republican National Convention, the Bush Family was in the news again this week, first with Jeb Bush’s cameo at the Emmy Awards, and later when news broke of former-President George H.W. Bush’s informal comments that he would be voting to Hillary Clinton in November.
These were just the latest blows in the avalanche of negative commentary and disendorsements of Donald Trump from Washington.
Recently leaked emails showed Collin Powell calling Donald Trump an “international pariah” only top off the snubs aimed at Trump in the last few months alone. From GOP officials saying that Trump puts our national security “at risk“, to a group of retired diplomats voicing their concern, it’s clear that the GOP can’t count on anyone whose name doesn’t appear on voting ballots to express anything positive about his candidate.
And so Reince appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation to gently remind those in his party who might need the support of the RNC again one day that they “need to get on board” because “if they’re thinking they’re going to run again someday, I think that we’re going to evaluate the process – of the nomination process and I don’t think it’s going to be that easy for them”.
In other words, endorse Trump now, or you’ll get no help from us in the future.
Ohio Governor John Kasich’s camp was swift to renounce Priebus, saying that “The idea of a greater purpose beyond oneself may be alien to political party bosses like Reince Priebus, but it is at the center of everything Gov. Kasich does. [He] is traveling the nation supporting down-ballot Republicans and preventing a potential national wipeout from occurring on Reince’s watch.”
Florida Senator Ted Cruz has taken a different approach. Acquiescence. Just months after his controversial decision to refuse offering Trump his endorsement at the Republican National Convention by telling people to “vote their conscience”, explaining afterwards that he wouldn’t offer his support to someone who viciously attacked his family members, Cruz has heeded Reince’s threat and fallen back in line.
In his Facebook post announcing his support, Cruz made it clear that his primary reason for doing so was due to Reince’s threat, saying:
I’ve made this decision for two reasons. First, last year, I promised to support the Republican nominee. And I intend to keep my word.
I would make more effort to point out the things that Cruz and Trump have said about each other for the last two years, but with the first debate coming on Monday, this story is bound to get lost, so I’ll just link to the Time.com synopsis instead.