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Ted Cruz calls his decision to back Trump ‘agonizing’

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, center, talks with Cathie Adams, past president of Texas Eagle Forum, at the annual Grassroots America We The People Champions of Freedom award dinner Friday, Sept. 23, 2016 in Tyler, Texas. Ted Cruz announced Friday he will vote for Donald Trump, a dramatic about-face that may help unite a deeply divided Republican Party months after the fiery Texas conservative called Trump a “pathological liar” and “utterly amoral.”

AUSTIN, Texas >> Ted Cruz appears uncomfortable defending the man he says he’ll vote for in November, Donald Trump.

Addressing a policy forum organized by The Texas Tribune, the Texas senator said Saturday it was “agonizing” making the decision to back Trump, whom he once called a “pathological liar” and “serial philanderer.” He denied he caved in to pressure from top Republicans nationally and in his home state, saying he would have faced an outcry no matter what.

“Any path we took, if I supported Donald, if I didn’t support Donald, the criticism was going to be there,” Cruz told a packed auditorium.

Cruz offered little defense of Trump’s past comments on Muslim-Americans. He also said his two young daughters, while campaigning with him in the primaries, had felt the sting of Trump’s comments about women. Asked whether he thought Russian President Vladimir Putin was a better leader than President Barack Obama, as Trump suggested, Cruz said, “I have no intention of defending everything Donald Trump says or does.”

Cruz rocked the Republican National Convention in Cleveland by avoiding an endorsement of the nominee and instead urging delegates to “vote your conscience.” He held out for several months afterward, even as some polls suggested his popularity was slipping nationally and in Texas, where he could face a Republican primary challenge for re-election to the Senate in 2018.

Trump angered Cruz in the primaries by insulting his wife and suggesting, without evidence, that his Cuban-born father could have been linked to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Cruz said Saturday that he spoke with Trump a day earlier, after announcing that he will vote for the nominee, and Trump “was very gracious” but didn’t apologize for what he said about his family.

Cruz said a key reason for changing his mind was Trump’s naming of a top Cruz ally, Utah Sen. Mike Lee, in his updated list of potential Supreme Court picks. Asked if he doubts Trump will keep his word about that or other promises, Cruz responded: “I don’t think it is productive for me to criticize the Republican nominee today.”

Cruz aides say the senator felt boxed in by his past positon on Trump because he had urged voters not to stay home in November but also didn’t think any third-party candidates were viable. And he didn’t want to be seen by conservatives as aiding Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Asked Saturday, “What happened to ‘vote your conscience?’” Cruz responded: “It’s a good question and it’s still what I would urge everyone to do.”

But he added that he is now backing Trump because, “By any measure, Hillary Clinton is manifestly unfit to be president.”

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  • One has to own up to agreement signed prior to the primary campaign debates. They forced Trump to sign, now they all must support him since they signed the pledge.. Personally do not like Trump, but a no vote means a yes vote for Hillary!

    • Guess Cruz had to “uncle” as Republican Chairman Preibus threatened there may be no support from the Rep. Committee in the future for those who renigged on the pledge to support the eventual winner who happens to be TheDonald. lol

    • IRT Cojef, yes, agree with your post that the Republican candidates must own up the their signed pledge. Most important is the nomination of Federal Judges who are Conservative Originalists on the U.S. Constitution and Mr. Trump has increased his potential nominees, which is going to Make America Safe and Great Again. Mr. Cruz, whom I supported during the Primary understands that America comes first, when compared to Ms Hillary.

    • He said, “Criticism whether I supported him or not.” So, what’s the reason to support? If you’re going to receive criticism one way or the other? O yeah, my values are subverted by politics. That’s what makes you a politician and not to be trusted.

  • I used to respect Cruz. Now I feel sorry for him. Would respect him again if he left politics.

    So much reluctance, sadness, and complete lack of expressing how he really feels. Does this lukewarm “support” actually help Trump?

      • I never respected lespark. Now I still feel sorry for him. Would respect him if he learned how to think on his own.

        So much ignorance, denial, and complete lack of comprehending what the normal news really says. Does this blind “support” actually mean Trump has a chance to win? Hopefully not.

        • At this point, he has no chance of redemption or earning respect. None.

          The good news is that Trump has no chance of winning. None.

        • I believe the “Rock” once said that respect is granted to others not based on their character, but on ours.

        • 11/9/2016. Sweet days a coming. I won’t have to listen to your Clingon malarkey anymore. The deplorables and unredeemables will be dancing in the streets. Corruption will finally come to an end. The Elites will be cowering in fear from retribution and prosecution.
          Clinton will be indicted under RICO. Obama will join Clingons at the Obama Presidential
          Kakaako Homeless Library. Maybe if you’ll be nice I might throw you a couple of bucks.
          And cut the poop. Clinton needs money. If she spends tax payers money like she throwing away money trying to beat The Champ the national debt will be 30 trillion in no time.

        • How can you rejoice if a person who brags about his business acumen but hides his tax returns becomes your leader?

          Since you are against corruption, and have supreme confidence in Trump, you SHOULD want to see his tax returns. You should sign up on the online petition to pressure him to release them.

          You should do all that without mentioning his opponent. Think critically about your candidate, learn everything you can about him.

  • “[Cruz] spoke with Trump a day earlier, after announcing that he will vote for the nominee, and Trump ‘was very gracious’ but didn’t apologize for what he said about his family.”

    Ted is already regretting his decision to support Trump. How do you support a man who insults numerous members of your family?

  • “Asked Saturday, ‘What happened to ‘vote your conscience?’ Cruz responded: ‘It’s a good question and it’s still what I would urge everyone to do.'”

    A more accurate response from Cruz would have been, “How would I know what ‘voting one’s conscience’ means? I don’t have one”

  • What a fool. Trump blasted his wife and maligned his father….what else will these foolish Republicans resort to? Sad what has become of this party!! I voted R for years…..will NEVER again.

    • The regular GOP people must be pulling their hair out, trying to figure out what to do about this reality TV character who sneaked in and grabbed the presidential nomination. Maybe it’s time to give up on this campaign, reconfigure and start afresh next time. We’ll see if the debates do anything.

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