Sen. Ted Cruz is stepping back into the national spotlight at the Republican National Convention, where his rival, Donald Trump, will be crowned the presidential nominee.
Cruz’s speech will be a pivotal moment for the Republican Party in 2016 — and possibly beyond.
The Hill reported:
The Texas senator is widely expected to make another run for the White House in 2020 if the GOP loses in 2016. Cruz finished second to Trump in the 2016 race, and his allies in Cleveland are already seeking rule changes in the next primary that might help him.“Sen. Cruz’s speech will be viewed by many, if not all, through the lens of him being a potential candidate,” said Charlie Gerow, a GOP communications strategist. “I think he chose wisely to go to Cleveland and to showcase his abilities and his views for the party’s future.”
Republicans will also be watching to see if Cruz has some nice things to say about Trump, who invited the Texan to a speaking role in a gesture of party unity.
Trump has struggled to win over many Republican officeholders, and he got into an altercation with Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.) during a visit to the Senate Republican Conference lunch earlier this month. Trump threatened to go after Flake, a frequent critic, and called Sen. Mark Kirk (Ill.) a “loser.”
Cruz and Trump started the GOP primary as near allies. Even as other candidates went after Trump with direct criticism, Cruz held back, arguing Trump could be good for the party. The strategy appeared designed to win over Trump supporters if the businessman fell out of the race.
As Cruz emerged as Trump’s fiercest challenger, however, things changed. And by the end of the primary, the relationship between the two had become as nasty as any in a political race.
Trump falsely suggested that Cruz’s father might have played a role in the assassination of John F. Kennedy near the end of the campaign, prompting Cruz to lash out at the first-place candidate in a way that, at the time, made a speaking role at the convention seem unlikely.
Cruz laid into Trump’s personal character, calling the billionaire a “pathological liar” and a “narcissist.”
“Whatever lie he’s telling, in that minute he believes it,” he said at the time. “But the man is utterly amoral. Morality does not exist for him.”
While the two have softened their tones in the months since, Trump hasn’t publicly apologized for the personal attacks against Cruz’s family.
Read the full story at The Hill: