Republican National Committee

It Doesn’t Matter That Ted Cruz Broke The “Pledge”

If you paid attention to the news in any amount whatsoever during the Republican national convention, you are probably aware that on the third night (July 20), Ted Cruz gave a speech where not only did he decline to formally endorse Donald Trump, but implicitly told voters not to vote for him if it violated their conscience.

Not surprisingly, this speech prompted much outrage from the party.

He was booed offstage.

Former allies such as Sarah Palin said that his career was over.

Rick Perry and Dan Patrick (the lieutenant governor of Texas) have been mentioned as possible primary opponents against Cruz when he runs for re-election in the Senate in 2018.

Donald Trump is reportedly so embittered that not only does he not want Cruz’s endorsement should he change his mind, and has talked about funding SuperPACs against him and John Kasich, who also refused to endorse, in future elections they run in.

Ted Cruz himself has since explained his reasoning behind his decision to not endorse Trump, saying that he is “not in the habit of supporting someone who attacks my wife and attacks my father.”

That, in his opinion, invalidated the pledge that all the candidates signed to support the eventual nominee back in September.

Or did it?

I am a Republican who supported Ted Cruz for the nomination prior to him dropping out on May 3.

As I saw many of my fellow Cruz supporters turn into former supporters over his decision not to endorse, I struggled to figure out whether I should do the same.

I sympathized with the content of his speech (so much, that the Trump-sponsored vicious reaction to his statements, which included emphasis on the importance of preserving the Constitution and the idea that voters must vote according to what they believe is best for our freedoms, prompted me to decide to vote third party even though I’m a registered Republican), but I wondered whether he should be judged for apparently failing to keep his word.

I eventually decided that he should not be judged regarding the so-called “pledge.” Why? Because the pledge was invalidated into non-existence in deed. Not by Cruz, but by Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican Party.

As I thought about how to respond, I remembered an event that took place on March 29, 2015, when Donald Trump also renounced the pledge at the CNN Town Hall event that evening.

According to Time, Trump’s decision to renounce the pledge violated the terms that would have made him eligible to be on the ballots in states that required a loyalty pledge.

This could have caused him to forfeit his delegates in such states that had already voted at the time, such as South Carolina.

That didn’t happen, and the question is, why?

Why didn’t Reince Priebus follow through with his own rules, especially considering that as a leader of the GOP establishment, Trump’s downfall perhaps would have benefited him?

I can’t say for sure, but I would not rule out the idea Priebus’ decision not to penalize Trump was related to his belief that Trump can make deals.

After all, he and Trump had no problem making deals (abeit, indirectly via a coalition of Trump supporters and establishment figures in the Republican National Committee) that threw out proposed amendments to the convention rules that would have limited the power of the party chair, and redistributed it in the hands of lower-ranking members who could have affected the outcome of the development of the party platform, if not the convention itself.

Regardless of Priebus’ motivations, his actions do not reflect kindly on the reputation of the party, which, based on them, has been attacking Cruz based on a false premise.

A pledge that is not enforced is not a pledge. It is a joke.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

All Quiet On The Case Western Front

This piece is part of RISE NEWS’ coverage of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for up to date information and check regularly on throughout the week. 

The third floor of Cleveland Public Library’s main branch is currently home to one of 18 touring copies of William Shakespeare’s 1623 First Folio and an original print of John James Audubon’s Blue Jay.

Swing by the library during the Republican National Convention, and chances are you’ll have both of them, along with every other artifact and tome in the collection, all to yourself.

Just before 6:00 PM closing time on Monday afternoon, librarians said they had seen no more than 30 people over the course of the entire day, less than one-fifth of the usual, non-Convention weekday traffic count.

This atypical tranquility might have registered as a minor curiosity amidst leather-bound labyrinths and underneath vaulted ceilings, where peace and quiet are familiar companions. But even around Cleveland’s downtown and waterfront districts, where Convention-week carnage of various orders and magnitudes has been predicted if not expected, unanticipated placidity was the order of the day, and it did not go unnoticed.

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A government vehicle used to block a road near the main demonstration site for protestors in Cleveland. Photo Credit: Rich Robinson/ RISE NEWS

“So far you haven’t seen anything bad happen, and I hope we don’t. I hope it stays peaceful,” Eric, a Cleveland-native said while walking on a break from his downtown catering job.

Eric had helped direct myself and another RISE NEWS reporter to Willard Park, one of three designated downtown protest zones, along with Public Square and Perk Plaza.

At Willard Park, demonstrators lounged without controversy or confrontation in the shade of trees and E-Z UP tents.

At Public Square, the locus of the day’s activity, speakers alternated through a prearranged schedule of turns at a stage and PA system with relatively little discord.

One man with an AK-47 slung across his shoulder drew a crowd, as did a lineup in hats embroidered with FEAR GOD and signs reading “HOMO SEX IS SIN,” but neither demonstration erupted into violence.

An unidentified black woman representing the Cleveland-based Imperial Women’s Coalition was arrested by a team of several police officers in the middle of her speech.

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An unidentified black woman representing the Cleveland-based Imperial Women’s Coalition being arrested by a team of several police officers during the first day of the RNC. Photo Credit: Jordan Cissell/ RISE NEWS.

Witnesses who had been in queue behind the stage when the woman was handcuffed speculated that she had had an outstanding warrant for her arrest from a prior interaction with officers within the past three to four weeks.

You would have been hard pressed to walk or drive through downtown on Monday without some interaction with the police, as officers led motorcades, directed traffic, and patrolled the streets and sidewalks by foot, by bike, and by horse.

Joining Cleveland Police Department and Ohio State Highway Patrol officers were badges from Indiana, Michigan, Texas, South Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, and California, walking reminders that the city has taken steps to prepare for outsized personalities and events both inside and outside of Quicken Loans Arena.

On Monday, at least, the tone outside was decidedly low-key.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Rich Robinson/ RISE NEWS

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