There is much huffing and puffing regarding Ted Cruz’s refusal to specifically endorse Donald Trump.
The criticism of Cruz might be valid, and it might not be. It depends upon what were his motivations.
If motivated by electoral / 2020 viability calculations, the criticism is amply warranted. If by personal motivation, it gets more complicated.
Let us not forget that Trump spent the primaries impugning his character (“Lyin’ Ted).
Trump insulted Cruz’s wife.
Trump then went on to impugn Cruz’s father with the implication that he was involved with the Kennedy assassination.
Done throughout the primaries with tweets that in tone and verbiage more befitting an adolescent middle-schooler than a candidate for President of the United States of America.
Trump never apologized for any of that. Draw your own conclusions regarding what the original behavior and subsequent failure to apologize says about Trump.
While such impugning would be appropriate against Hillary (especially since that would be fact-based), it is not when both untrue and directed against a competitor in your own party.
If I were Cruz, I’d be hard-pressed to “endorse” any man who’d behaved that way to me and my family. In fact, I’d question the character, integrity and backbone of any man who did not seethe with outrage over such conduct to his family. Indeed, had Cruz gone on to endorse Trump, I’d start to question Cruz’s character as he’d be showing a willingness to throw his personal and family reputation aside merely for meeting some political expectations that he forget it all and endorse, as if nothing ever happened.
Cruz did tell people not to stay home and to vote their conscience for candidates who would defend the Constitution — while not an endorsement of Trump, it was also (in effect) “freeing” his supporters from “Never Trump.” (Somewhat the point Newt Gingrich made later when he spoke.) Given the circumstances, that could be considered a significant concession to Trump and the GOP.
I’m not sure anyone could have asked or expected more from Cruz. In a sense, Donald Trump has reaped what he sowed.