What you’re seeing from Cruz here and last night is a reflection of the two core #NeverTrump arguments, one ideological and the other more moral and visceral. Cruz made the ideological argument last night: I can’t support any candidate who doesn’t take the Constitution seriously. He made the moral argument this morning: I can’t support a bad guy. Whether he would have made this second argument if things hadn’t gone sideways last night is an open question. To me, it seems like he’s lurching towards the moral argument now because he senses that the ideological one wasn’t well received, even with his own delegation from Texas.
As we’ve learned through bitter experience this year, a lot of Republicans don’t care much about conservative ideals. Everyone, however, can understand the straightforward righteous fury of a husband in defense of his wife. You may see more of this from Cruz if his beating on the right for snubbing Trump is harsher than expected. What was I supposed to do after what Trump said about Heidi, he’ll say? What was he supposed to do?
I’m surprised, by the way, that that’s the only reason Cruz gave here for breaking his pledge. Did he forget that time in March when Trump took a very public dump on the pledge live on CNN? Trump killed the pledge months ago. Cruz was simply following the new rules.
The Free Beacon said;
" I knew Cruz wouldn’t endorse Trump explicitly last night but I expected he’d do it implicitly (“only one party can restore America” or something like that) so that he could argue as needed in 2020 that he both did and didn’t support the nominee. And in a way, he did do that: “Vote your conscience” is a long way from “Never Trump,” especially when you’re saying it to a roomful of screaming Trump supporters.
But under the circumstances, at this febrile political moment, “vote your conscience” may be more provocative than an outright denunciation of Trump would be. Michael Brendan Dougherty superbly states a point Cruz himself makes at the end of the clip below: If your response to an appeal to conscience is to raucously boo, maybe your conscience is trying to tell you something."
Michael Dougherty said;
"Now they will hate him all the more. The Republican apparatchiks will despise Cruz out of their own envy, because he demonstrated the courage to do what they would not: resist Trump to his face. They resist him only through their mealy-mouthed endorsements. They will hate Cruz for making them trash a vote of “conscience” while they defend a Trump candidacy they loathe. Cruz has provoked defense hawks like Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) to denounce him strenuously as “not a true conservative,” on the same night Trump put into question the whole NATO alliance in a tossed-off interview in The New York Times. Cruz has caused Trump’s useful idiots to out and embarrass themselves further.
When you become outraged at a man who encourages you to abide by your conscience, it means your conscience has already condemned you."