CLEVELAND (CBSNewYork/AP) — Donald Trump said he would not accept Ted Cruz’s endorsement if it was offered.
Trump, speaking to supporters in Cleveland the morning after accepting the Republican nomination for president, said Cruz “may have ruined his political career” with his convention speech.
Cruz declined to endorse Trump Wednesday night and was booed by the arena crowd when he urged Republicans to “vote your conscience.”
Trump did not touch upon the incident in his convention speech. But he changed course Friday morning, gleefully recalled that Cruz “was booed off the stage.”
“I like Ted, he’s fine,” Trump said. “But I don’t want his endorsement. If he gives it, I will not accept it.”
Trump also once again brought up his own comments about Cruz’s father, Rafael, and wife, Heidi, which Cruz has cited in his decision to not endorse Trump.
Trump dove back into the pair of controversies, which includes Trump’s retweet during the primaries of an unflattering photo of Cruz’s wife, Heidi.
On Friday, he praised Heidi as beautiful and suggested the incident started because Cruz supporters sent a risque photo of Trump’s wife Melania on a political ad. The Cruz campaign denied involvement.
Next, Trump praised the reporting of the National Enquirer, which had written a piece suggested that Cruz’s father had been photographed with Lee Harvey Oswald, President Kennedy’s assassin. There is no evidence of a link between the two men.
Trump’s 76-minute address Thursday was filled with reasons why he believes he will be Americans’ best representative in Washington.
“I am your voice,” he said.
The GOP nominee laid out his vision for the country. When it comes to the recent shootings involving law enforcement, he pledged that “When I take the oath of office next year, I will restore law and order to our country.”
On trade, he said a new policy is needed that protects jobs and “stands up to countries that cheat.”
And in an unprecedented move for a GOP convention, he expressed his support for the gay community.
“I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology, believe me,” he said.
But as CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported, Trump’s message was peppered with mentions of terrorism and violence, declaring America was in crisis.
“This was a speech with no uplift, no hope in it,” said CBS “Face the Nation” moderator John Dickerson. “Usually, you use that hope to bridge to reach out to another constituency to draw people in. We just don’t know if that’s possible with such a dark speech.”
Trump’s solutions for the crisis focused on himself.
“Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it,” he said.
Trump also used the platform to go after Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration.
“America is far less safe and the world is far less stable than when Obama made the decision to put Hillary Clinton in charge of America’s foreign policy,” he said.
The audience of supporters was often on its feet, but if the message resonate with voters still needing to be convinced remains to be clear.
On Friday, President Barack Obama responded to Trump’s speech at a news conference alongside Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.
“Some of the fears that were expressed throughout the week just don’t jive with the facts,” Obama said. “America is much less violent than it was 20, 30 years ago. And immigration is much less a problem than it was not just 20, 30 years ago, but when I came in as president.”
As for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, she was meeting Friday with family and friends of the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.
“We have to stand against hate and bigotry,” she said.
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