Donald Trump took what was supposed to be a celebratory speech Friday thanking volunteers after the Republican National Convention and used it to skewer his rival Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), digging up virtually every high-profile feud the two had in the primary.
Standing alongside his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Trump lit into Cruz, saying that he was the only one in the convention hall who didn’t want to unify the Republican Party and that his defiance would ruin him professionally.
In Cruz’s Wednesday night RNC speech, he told GOPers to “vote with their conscience,” which many took to be a Trump dig and drew loud boos from the gathered delegates.
“Somebody got booed the hell out of a place by thousands and thousands of people,” Trump said. “There wasn’t one person in the room — not one. And then they said there may not be unity. Unity? There wasn’t one person in the room, including the Texas delegation, right? Honestly, he may have ruined his political career. I feel so badly. I feel so badly.”
As bad as he claimed to feel, Trump made it clear he does not need Cruz on his side to win the presidency.
“You know, he’ll come and endorse over the next little while,” he said. “He’ll — because he has no choice. But I don’t want his endorsement. What difference does it make? And I don’t want his endorsement. I have such great — I don’t want his endorsement. Just — Ted, stay home, relax, enjoy yourself.”
“Again, I don’t want his endorsement,” he said. “If he gives it, I will not accept it. Just so you understand. If he gives it — I will not accept it.”
The real estate mogul then circled back to old Cruz insults that have gotten him in trouble, from the conspiracy theory that Cruz’s father was somehow involved with JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald to a meme he retweeted mocking Heidi Cruz’s appearance. Trump also said that the National Enquirer, which published the bizarre and totally unsubstantiated story about Rafael Cruz and Oswald, should win a Pulitzer Prize.
Trump did have praise for one member of the Cruz clan, however: his wife Heidi Cruz. He brought up that controversial meme he retweeted, comparing his wife Melania Trump’s looks to Heidi Cruz’s. In lieu of an apology Trump offered a compliment, calling Heidi Cruz “the best thing” the Texas senator has going for him.
“I think Heidi Cruz is a great person. I think it’s the best thing he’s got going and his kids if you want to know the truth,” Trump said. “In a certain way, although he’s got good intellect but he doesn’t know how to use it. And he was a good debater but he didn’t go well in the debate against me. According to every poll. I mean, every poll, this great debater except he lost in every single debate. So that takes care of the Heidi thing. Because Heidi is a terrific woman.”
Keeping the attacks against Cruz coming, Trump claimed that the Texas senator went off of his prepared “boring” remarks to make his anti-Trump stand on the RNC stage. The businessman said that was a betrayal.
“(He) made a statement that wasn’t on the speech and then went back to his speech,” he said. “See, to me, that’s dishonorable. To me, not signing a pledge is dishonorable, okay? It’s dishonorable. Not a nice thing to do. And I talk this way, because we’re all together.”
Watch the clip below: