CLEVELAND – Expect a kind word or two to slip from Ted Cruz lips about Donald Trump tonight. But that may not mean an endorsement.
Three of the presidential nominee’s former rivals are on the speaker’s list for tonight’s session of the Republican National Convention: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, and the senator from Texas.
As his most formidable rival, “Lyin’” Ted Cruz was on the receiving end of much of Trump’s belligerency. So at a morning press conference, the question to Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was a natural one: What will be in Cruz’ speech tonight? The Trump campaign has the final say. Said Manafort:
“We’ve been talking back and forth about what the senator wants to say. I’ll see a copy of his speech later this morning, because he’s still working on it. I’m comfortable that Senator Cruz is going to talk about his vision for America – themes that he talked about in the campaign.
“I think he’ll talk about Hillary Clinton, and how America cannot afford to have Hillary Clinton as president. But I think he’ll give a sign of where he is on Donald Trump that will be pleasing to the Trump campaign and the audience.”
“Pleasing” isn’t an endorsement.
Paul Manafort also said that Donald Trump is likely to keep up his string of brief appearances at each night’s RNC session. Look for the Republican nominee after Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana accepts the GOP nomination as vice president.
One of the crowd’s chants aimed at Hillary Clinton at last night’s session of the RNC, prompted by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, was “Lock her up!” Trump’s campaign chief was asked if he thought the language was appropriate. In a word, Manafort said, yes:
“It probably reflects the attitude of a lot of people in America, where 70 percent think she’s guilty. They don’t understand why justice wasn’t done, and frankly that plays right into the narrative of why things need to change in Washington. Because there’s special justice for some, and not equal justice. So that’s a frustration.”