When Texas Sen. Ted Cruz steps on stage at the Republican national convention this week, he could be delivering the most important speech made by anyone not named Donald Trump.
With the “never Trump” movement slowly fading, what Cruz says could bring the Republican party closer to unity.
He gave some insight as to what he might say after he met with Trump earlier this month in Washington and was given a speaking spot at the convention.
“I’m going to urge Americans to get back to the Constitution to change the path we’re on: eight failed years of the Obama-Clinton economy; eight failed years of a presidency disregarding the Constitution and Bill of Rights,” he said. “Eight failed years of a commander in chief not protecting Americans and keeping us safe from radical Islamic terrorism. It’s time for that to end.”
Cruz’s speech could also be seen as a precursor to a 2020 run if Hillary Clinton were to win in November.
“Sen. Cruz’s speech will be viewed by many, if not all, through the lens of him being a potential candidate,” GOP communications strategist Charlie Gerow told The Hill. “I think he chose wisely to go to Cleveland and to showcase his abilities and his views for the party’s future.”
The Texas senator gave no indication to the Hill that he would be endorsing Trump at the convention, instead focusing on thanking those who have helped his campaign reach a second place finish.
“We’ve got nearly 600 delegates, and I want to go and say thank you for the hard work all of them put in,” he said earlier this month.
GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak said Cruz could look to former President Ronald Reagan for a guide on what type of speech to deliver if he wants to win the 2020 nomination.
“Cruz has for a long time seen himself as a Reagan-like figure,” he told The Hill. “There’s no question that Reagan’s speech at the ’76 convention set him on a path to winning … in 1980. So I think there’s a real opportunity that exists for Cruz as well.”
It will be interesting to see if Cruz can put their bitter rivalry behind him and actually endorse Trump or if he will be more muted in his tone and focus on the party.
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