The Trump-Cruz Kerfuffle: The Art of the Deal...Not.

Contra Clarice Feldman and the other Trump apologists, the Trump-Cruz contretemps at the convention last week says a lot more about Trump’s skills as a negotiator than it does about Cruz’s pride and pettiness. 

There are only two purposes to a national convention:  1) to unite the opposition within the party, particularly after an acrimonious primary campaign, and 2), on the final night, rouse the faithful, rally the former opposition, and simultaneously reach out to independents and undecideds in the TV audience.

Trump did a great job with number 2 on Thursday.  He blew number 1.

Trump and Cruz met on July 7.  There could only have been one subject, despite the claim of a spokeswoman for the Senator: Cruz’s endorsement. 

It’s now clear what Cruz would have asked in return:  apart from a promise about “future judicial appointments,” acknowledged by the spokeswoman, Ted would have asked for an apology for Trump’s remarks about his father and his wife. 

Any competent team of negotiators should have been able to craft in a couple of hours a statement acceptable to both men.

The candidates could have together expressed regret about attacks on family members, and Trump could have added that he does not belief Rafael Cruz was in any way connected with the assassination of JFK.

Cruz may also have insisted on a statement that both candidates endorse the Constitution and believe in limited government and individual rights.  These sentiments might not be to Donald’s taste, but he should have had no trouble signing off on them.

So why did the greatest negotiator on the planet fail to do a deal with Cruz?

Did he not bother to ask what the Senator wanted in return for an endorsement?  Not likely.

The only conclusion is that it was Trump, not Cruz, who was too proud and prejudiced.

As for the prejudice, the mind-boggling claim that there was a Lee Harvey Oswald-Rafael Cruz connection, based on a blurry black-and-white photo from 1962, should disturb any Trump supporter with common sense.

What the Warren Commission discovered was that the two men pictured with Oswald (one on TV footage) were distributing “Fair Play for Cuba” flyers.  Oswald had recruited both from an unemployment line, offering them each $2.  One, Cruz’s purported father, was never located; the other man claimed he never read the flyer.

So we are asked by Trump to believe it was possible that the anti-Castro Cruz, Sr. left his home in Austin in 1962, drove seven hours to New Orleans and stood in an unemployment line, hoping that he would be spotted by somebody with an interest in assassinating the President.

The real question is why is the nominee getting his information from the National Enquirer.  And then garbling it:  even the NE didn’t claim Cruz and Oswald had breakfast together, as Trump stated after the convention.  Why was he unable to let go of this patently absurd story during the discussion with Cruz?  Why does he cling to it even now, saying falsely that Cruz never disavowed it.  This should also give pause to any sober grown-up.

And why didn’t Trump have not only the decency, but the good sense to agree to issue an apology for attacks on Heidi Cruz, in tandem with a Cruz apology for his Utah PAC’s releasing a photo of Melania Trump?

Cruz’s endorsement would probably have been less than ringing:  something like, the only way to defeat Hillary is to vote for Donald Trump.  But it would have been useful.  Now you can expect to see the final 30 seconds of Cruz’s speech in Democratic attack ads all fall. 

More important, Cruz got about 7.8 million votes during the primaries, and not all of these conservatives are reconciled to the Donald.  Check out comments on anti-Trump sites like Redstate, Rightscoop, National Review, The Blaze, etc.  The population of Never-Neverland is larger and more intransigent than Trump fans want to believe, and a Cruz endorsement would have helped build a bridge for them to cross over.

One can speculate all one wants about the impact of Cruz’s non-endorsement, but the bottom line is it was unnecessary.  The guy who billed himself as the toughest negotiator in the universe, who will get great deals from Mexico, China, and Iran, struck out with someone -- call him pigheaded or principled -- who shares most of his convictions (at least those from the past year) and hates Hillary even more than he does.

Contra Clarice Feldman and the other Trump apologists, the Trump-Cruz contretemps at the convention last week says a lot more about Trump’s skills as a negotiator than it does about Cruz’s pride and pettiness. 

There are only two purposes to a national convention:  1) to unite the opposition within the party, particularly after an acrimonious primary campaign, and 2), on the final night, rouse the faithful, rally the former opposition, and simultaneously reach out to independents and undecideds in the TV audience.

Trump did a great job with number 2 on Thursday.  He blew number 1.

Trump and Cruz met on July 7.  There could only have been one subject, despite the claim of a spokeswoman for the Senator: Cruz’s endorsement. 

It’s now clear what Cruz would have asked in return:  apart from a promise about “future judicial appointments,” acknowledged by the spokeswoman, Ted would have asked for an apology for Trump’s remarks about his father and his wife. 

Any competent team of negotiators should have been able to craft in a couple of hours a statement acceptable to both men.

The candidates could have together expressed regret about attacks on family members, and Trump could have added that he does not belief Rafael Cruz was in any way connected with the assassination of JFK.

Cruz may also have insisted on a statement that both candidates endorse the Constitution and believe in limited government and individual rights.  These sentiments might not be to Donald’s taste, but he should have had no trouble signing off on them.

So why did the greatest negotiator on the planet fail to do a deal with Cruz?

Did he not bother to ask what the Senator wanted in return for an endorsement?  Not likely.

The only conclusion is that it was Trump, not Cruz, who was too proud and prejudiced.

As for the prejudice, the mind-boggling claim that there was a Lee Harvey Oswald-Rafael Cruz connection, based on a blurry black-and-white photo from 1962, should disturb any Trump supporter with common sense.

What the Warren Commission discovered was that the two men pictured with Oswald (one on TV footage) were distributing “Fair Play for Cuba” flyers.  Oswald had recruited both from an unemployment line, offering them each $2.  One, Cruz’s purported father, was never located; the other man claimed he never read the flyer.

So we are asked by Trump to believe it was possible that the anti-Castro Cruz, Sr. left his home in Austin in 1962, drove seven hours to New Orleans and stood in an unemployment line, hoping that he would be spotted by somebody with an interest in assassinating the President.

The real question is why is the nominee getting his information from the National Enquirer.  And then garbling it:  even the NE didn’t claim Cruz and Oswald had breakfast together, as Trump stated after the convention.  Why was he unable to let go of this patently absurd story during the discussion with Cruz?  Why does he cling to it even now, saying falsely that Cruz never disavowed it.  This should also give pause to any sober grown-up.

And why didn’t Trump have not only the decency, but the good sense to agree to issue an apology for attacks on Heidi Cruz, in tandem with a Cruz apology for his Utah PAC’s releasing a photo of Melania Trump?

Cruz’s endorsement would probably have been less than ringing:  something like, the only way to defeat Hillary is to vote for Donald Trump.  But it would have been useful.  Now you can expect to see the final 30 seconds of Cruz’s speech in Democratic attack ads all fall. 

More important, Cruz got about 7.8 million votes during the primaries, and not all of these conservatives are reconciled to the Donald.  Check out comments on anti-Trump sites like Redstate, Rightscoop, National Review, The Blaze, etc.  The population of Never-Neverland is larger and more intransigent than Trump fans want to believe, and a Cruz endorsement would have helped build a bridge for them to cross over.

One can speculate all one wants about the impact of Cruz’s non-endorsement, but the bottom line is it was unnecessary.  The guy who billed himself as the toughest negotiator in the universe, who will get great deals from Mexico, China, and Iran, struck out with someone -- call him pigheaded or principled -- who shares most of his convictions (at least those from the past year) and hates Hillary even more than he does.