PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Ted Cruz’s campaign manager, Jeff Roe, reviewed the Texas Senator’s speech from the Republican National Convention in which he failed to endorse the party’s nominee, Donald Trump, saying Cruz does not believe Trump has shown the leadership skills necessary to win his endorsement.
Roe told Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that Cruz hopes Trump takes the time remaining in the race for the White House to show the country he is worthy of being elected.
“There’s 100 days left in this campaign and we want to see Donald Trump earn the constitutional conservative votes of Americans. We want it to be. We pray that that is what happens. We want to see the two Trumps that we often hear about, we want to see that. We want to see his leadership in the world. Those are the things that Ted campaigned on. This isn’t something that he just takes with a grain of salt. This is core. This is a guy that memorized the Constitution at the age of 14. This isn’t some parlor game for him. If there was a political advantage to doing what he did last night, the easiest speech to give was to roll on stage, give that speech and at the very end say I full-throated endorse Donald J. Trump for President. That is an easy speech to give. The lid would’ve blown off the place. That’s not lost on anybody. In fact, there’s wise people that had that counsel. We were hearing from friends on both sides of this issue, but Ted believes in the rule of law and the Constitution and principles he campaigned on and he’s not there yet with Donald. And he’s not going to go up there after two months ago, calling him some not so kind names about the way he viewed his efficacy during the campaign and go up there and say it just to say it.”
He explained that Trump and he team of advisers knew well in advance that his was the speech Cruz would deliver.
“Ted and Donald spoke. First of all, we had a meeting a couple weeks ago. Widely reported that no quid pro quo of speaking was offered. They offered us a speaking slot and we accepted and there was no pro forma request. There was no discussion of an endorsement. No nothing. That was widely reported. In the time since then, it’s been mainly convention theatrics and we worked, we talked with them throughout that. Mr. Trump made a call two days ago to Ted, wished him luck at the convention and on his speech and asked him for his endorsement. Ted directly declined. Mr. Trump heard that and then we submitted the speech at 6:31 [Wednesday night] and there was some back and forth. They clearly would’ve liked us to go further. There was discussions had as recently as walking on the stage. We delivered the speech and 95 percent of the way through the speech the active whip operation got active and started demanding to endorse and booing and, obviously, it went sideways at the end.”
Roe insists the speech had nothing to with advancing Cruz’s political career, and suggested that a hearty endorsement of the nominee would have gone further to that end.
“Ted Cruz is running for re-elect in 2018. If this was a 2020 power move by Ted Cruz. This would be the easiest political speech to give, to endorse. It shouldn’t be lost that this not in defiance. We’re not going to speak ill of the nominee. That’s not what Ted is about. We’re not going to rub anybody’s noses in it. He didn’t do press all week leading up to this. We didn’t participate in our delegates fight to unbind and free the delegates. This is a guy that has a core set of principles and he’s not willing to waver those in the face of intense pressure.
He also rejected the criticism from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie that the speech was ‘awful and selfish.’
“That guy turned over his political testicles long ago. I don’t take what he has to say with any [seriousness]. He embarrassed himself pretty quickly in this.”