From 7-21-16 episode of The Rob Zicari Show LIVE 10-1pm M-F
Let’s talk about the Cleveland Screwjob.
I watched someone go into the RNC convention and deliver a primetime speech with one goal, one strategy, with an agenda and an outcome that benefited one individual. I am, or course, talking about Ted Cruz.
Then I watched Donald Trump turn that upside down. It was a double swerve.
For those of you don’t know wrestling, allow me to explain. In 1997, a wrestler named Bret Hart was leaving the WWF (now WWE) to go to rival WCW. It was a big deal. Bret Hart was the world champion. According to wrestling etiquette and tradition, if a champion wrestler is leaving a company or is injured or retiring or whatever, that wrestler puts another wrester over, meaning he loses the title to someone in the company so the title remains with the organization. It’s called “doing the job.”
Bret Hart did not want to lose, so Vince McMahon set it up so Bret would be put in a submission hold, but he would kick out of it because he wasn’t supposed to lose. That was the plan. But when the move happened, the referee called for the bell and the belt was given to challenger Shawn Michaels. Bret lost. He had no idea they were going to do that to him. It was called the Montreal Screwjob.
Ted Cruz went into the convention with a plan. He had no idea that the crowd would start booing. He had no idea that cameras would cut away to Donald Trump showing up. It was like in the WWE when a wrestler is cutting a promo and talking about another wrestler and how he is going to kick his ass, then there is a split screen and you see that wrestler arriving to make a dramatic entrance into the arena to tussle with the sh*t talker in the ring.
At the end of Ted’s speech, when the crowd is booing and hissing, suddenly Trump appears in the rafters. It was very Roman Reigns-like. Very Sandman.
If you don’t follow wrestling, you probably don’t get these references, but trust me, that was what it was like when the crowd at the RNC convention realized that Cruz wasn’t going to endorse Trump. They started booing thunderously and chanting “Endorse Trump! Endorse Trump!” While this was going on, the cameras cut to Donald Trump staring down Cruz from his VIP box. You don’t even see the end of Cruz’s speech. Every camera turned to Trump giving the thumbs up. It was classic. It was a double swerve.
Remember, not all the convention attendees were Trump supporters. They became Trump supporters because he is the nominee. Even Paul Ryan said that there are two choices. That’s all you got. Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. That’s it. Sure, there are Libertarian and other fringe party candidates, but any vote that is not for Trump benefits Hillary.
So when that crowd erupted into boos, it wasn’t just Trump fans. It was also people who wanted Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz or John Kasich. But they didn’t win. Donald Trump did. He wasn’t their first choice, but this is who they got. As much as they don’t like Trump, they know Hillary Clinton is much worse.
Ted Cruz thought he was going to be cute, but he got swerved. He was supposed to do the right thing and endorse the nominee. He could have talked about the Constitution and liberty and all that stuff. He could have talked about a hard fought primary battle with Trump and said they didn’t see eye to eye on certain things. Cruz could have denounced what Trump said about his wife and dad, but in spite of all that, for the good of the party and the nation, I endorse Donald Trump for president. That’s what he should have done and he would have exited the stage as a hero.
The crowd popped when Cruz came out. They gave him a standing ovation. They were excited to hear him speak. It wasn’t all Trump fans, there were plenty of Cruz supporters among them. If Cruz had done what he was supposed to do, he would have made his point and accomplished what he wanted to accomplish. He wouldn’t have gotten a door slammed in his face by a billionaire donor named Sheldon Adelson. He wouldn’t have been locked out of the suite of a donor he will desperately need if he runs for president again or even reelection to the senate in Texas.
It doesn’t matter what the National Review or Ben Shapiro or Mark Levin say. What matters is the donors. Cruz had to get loans from Goldman Sachs to run for senate. He doesn’t have real money. He doesn’t have tens of millions of dollars that he can kick into his campaign coffers if need be. Ted Cruz relies solely on donors. Now he’s just had one of the biggest donors in the game tell him to get screwed. I can’t imagine that this was his goal, to have Sheldon Adelson throw him out of his luxury suite.
Let me ask you this. If Ted Cruz was so appalled by what Donald Trump said about his father and wife, why did he show up to speak at the convention in the first place? Why didn’t he just stay home like Jeb Bush and John Kasich did? This was Ted Cruz trying to be smart, trying to be cute, and it blew up right in his face.
Think about how powerful it would have been if Cruz had said that even though Trump had attacked his wife and dad, he still would rather have him as president then Hillary Clinton. Instead of leaving the area to thunderous boos and being locked out of Sheldon Adelson’s suite, he would have been crowd-surfed. Convention attendees would have hoisted him on their shoulders and shouted “We love Ted! We love Ted!” Instead, he slunk out of the Quicken Loans Arena as a loser. A man who killed his political ambitions.
There are still diehard Cruzbots out there who are defending him and applauding Cruz for standing up for his principles. Listen morons, before the GOP dwindled down to a few candidates, Ted Cruz was all over Donald Trump’s sac. Cruzbots like Amanda Carpenter and Mark Levin say that it wasn’t until Cruz realized that Trump wasn’t a “true conservative” that he decided not to support him. For Cruzbots to try to peddle this crap is embarrassing. Remember, Ted Cruz had the best campaign organization, he was this political genius and masterful debater. Are you going to tell me that it took him all these months to figure out that Trump wasn’t a “constitutional conservative?” Ted Cruz just woke up one morning and said, “Oh my God. Donald Trump is not a true conservative! He cannot be president!” That’s what the Cruzbots like Mark Levin and Amanda Carpenter are trying to sell. “Ted Cruz didn’t betray his principles! He didn’t sell out!”
When there were 16 candidates, Ted Cruz had no problem deep-throating Donald Trump. He knew then what type of person Donald Trump was and where he stood politically. He watched Trump call Jeb Bush Mr. Low Energy, say Rick Perry was stupid and wore glasses to make himself look smarter. He saw Trump give Lindsey Graham’s cell number out. Ted Cruz knew then what type of person Trump was, but during that whole time, Cruz would go out of his way to talk about how refreshing Donald Trump was and how he added spark to the race.
Cruzbots are rabid sycophants. They are so obsessed with the man from Canada that they pretend that those five or six months didn’t happen and Cruz just stood up for conservative principles and didn’t betray his values by endorsing Trump. But for months and months, Cruz had his lips firmly locked on Trump’s junk.
Ted Cruz tried to be cute. He thinks he’s better and smarter than everybody else. He’s the typical nerdy brainiac in high school who looks down his nose at everybody because they’re not as clever and intelligent as he is. He looked at Trump and his millions of followers as knuckle-draggers, as stupid troglodytes. Cruz figured he would praise Trump throughout the primary season and when Trump inevitably dropped out, because he’s stupid, he would be able to get the millions of Trump knuckle-draggers to back him. Because they’re stupid.
Ted Cruz played Survivor. That’s all he did. There were no “principles” involved. He played a game. When you play a game and lose, it’s over. If he had principles, he would have stood up for his conservative values early in the primary season. But he didn’t. He played a game because he thought he was smarter than everyone and he lost. He tried to be cute.
Everything Cruz did in Congress was a cute maneuver. He shut down the government over Obamacare and orchestrated a filibuster where he read Green Eggs and Ham and it got him publicity. He accomplished absolutely nothing except cost the government millions of dollars. Obamacare wasn’t defeated. All Ted Cruz did was stir up trouble that got him the spotlight because he knew he was eventually going to run for president. It was a stunt to portray himself as an outsider, just like when he called Mitch McConnell a liar.
Every little cute thing that Ted Cruz has tried has backfired on him. Just like when he got into the presidential race and tried to play Survivor. It backfired on him. There were no “principles.” It wasn’t about the Constitution. Cruzbots like Amanda Carpenter and Mark Levin say it was about standing up for true conservative values, but Ted himself said he didn’t endorse Trump because he called his wife and his dad names. He was mean to wifey and daddy. What is he, a third grader? Ted Cruz and the Cruzbots couldn’t even get on the same page about the non-endorsement.
Was the primary season brutal? You bet. But it’s not like it’s the first time a campaign has gone after a rival’s family. During the 2000 primary, the Bush people put out that John McCain was shell-shocked from Vietnam, had a love child in Hanoi and suggested his wife was a pill-popper. So that’s the reason Ted Cruz refused to endorse the nominee of the party? Because Donald Trump retweeted an unflattering photo of his wife and and commented on a National Enquirer story about Ted’s dad possibly being involved in the Kennedy assassination? “Donald Trump made it personal.” OK. Ask John McCain about that. The Bush people destroyed John McCain, yet McCain was still there at the 2004 convention and heartily endorsed George W. Bush for reelection.
Ted Cruz is a baby. He’s a man baby, just like Senator Mike Lee, Cruz’s butt buddy. Lee said he wouldn’t endorse Trump because he said mean things about his best friend’s dad. What are these guys, ten years old? They’re like kids at recess playing Mama So Fat and Teddy and Mikey start crying because Donny hits too close to home. “WAAAAAH! You can’t say that about my mommy!”
And again, if all of these things were an issue, why go to the convention? Do they think that once Trumps gets hammered by Hillary, that Cruz will be able to fly in and save the GOP in 2020? It’s flawed logic, because if Trump loses in 2016, Mike Pence is next in line. Pence steps out of Trump’s shadow and becomes a nominee with conservative credentials, who ran a state and accomplished things. What has Ted Cruz done? Nothing. So the notion that Ted Cruz will emerge as the GOP standard bearer if Trump loses is a fantasy. It’s not going to happen. He will go into 2020 with a lot of people having a bad taste in their mouths about his cute little stunt in 2016.
Why would anyone think that Ted Cruz would have a cakewalk to the nomination in 2020? Paul Ryan is 100% going to run, so is Pence and Marco Rubio. Throw in a couple of new guys like Tom Cotton and Ben Sasse. Then you have Ted Cruz, who didn’t do what he was supposed to do. He didn’t “do the job.” He didn’t put Trump over, and people won’t forget it. There are millions of Trump supporters who will do everything in their power to ensure Cruz doesn’t get the nomination if he runs in 2020.
Also, if Trump loses, he will still be involved in the 2020 campaign because he was the party’s nominee in 2016. Trump will still go to the convention and be allowed to speak. He’s not going to back Cruz, he’s going to back Pence. If Pence isn’t there, he’ll back Paul Ryan. Trump will back anyone but Ted Cruz, and he will tell all of his supporters, “Remember what Ted Cruz did.”
If there are 7 or 8 candidates running in 2020, why would Sheldon Adelson pick Ted Cruz to give money to? If Trump doesn’t win, don’t be surprised if Ted Cruz gets a primary challenger or two when he runs for reelection to the Senate in 2018. It’s all about campaign cash. In state races, a couple million bucks goes a long way. A primary challenger could point to Ted and say, “This man is the reason we lost the White House. He and his fringe sycophants cost us the presidency.” You don’t think that’s plausible?
All Ted Cuz did by doing what he did is appease people who were already in his corner. In the process, he alienated millions of voters and potential donors. He committed political suicide for a tiny base of supporters. A base that got him a second place finish. Every conservative blogger and constitutional scholar beat the drum for Ted Cruz and he still lost.
What did Ted Cruz accomplish Wednesday night? Not a damn thing, except kill his career in politics forever.
RIP Lyin’ Ted.