Donald Trump talked to volunteers in Cleveland on Friday morning to thank them for their help and pronounce the Republican convention and his speech a success. Trump also addressed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's speech Wednesday night, where Cruz, who finished second in the Republican primaries, urged delegates to vote their conscience and got booed. Afterward, Trump surrogates including Chris Chrstie, another failed presidential candidate, called Cruz's speech shameful. "We made a promise to each other," Christie said afterward, "the seventeen of us."
This morning, Trump suggested the media made too big a deal out of the Cruz speech. "What happened?" Trump asked. "Somebody got booed the hell out of the place by thousands and thousands of people." He also challenged assertions that the party didn't have unity. "Unity?" he continued. "There wasn't one person in the room, including the Texas delegation."
Trump offered that Cruz "may have ruined his career," for which he felt bad. He predicted Cruz would endorse him in the future but said he didn't want it. "What difference does it make? I don't want his endorsement," he said. "Ted, stay home, relax, enjoy yourself."
Trump then addressed the two personal attacks—on Cruz's wife and on his father—cited for Cruz's decision not to endorse Trump
Trump denied that he made fun of Cruz's wife's appearance, saying Cruz's wife, "a very beautiful woman," and children were the "best thing he's got going." He blamed Ted Cruz and a Cruz super PAC for starting the feud by sending a risqué photo of Melania Trump to Utah voters, who he said did not particularly take well to such photos.
Trump also defended bringing up the possibility of a connection between Ted Cruz's father (who Trump called a "lovely guy" and Lee Harvey Oswald. "All I did was point out the fact that on the cover of the National Enquirer there was a picture of him and crazy Lee Harvey Oswald having breakfast," Trump said. "I had nothing to do with it." Trump insisted Cruz never denied it was his father in the photo.
"This was a magazine that, frankly, in many respects, should be very respected," Trump insisted. "They got O.J, they got Edwards, I mean, if that was The New York Times they woud've got a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting."
"This had nothing to do with me," Trump said of the Oswald-Cruz story, "except I might have pointed it out, but it had nothing to do with me. I have no control over anything. I might've pointed it out."
Trump insisted the Enquirer had "credibility" because they'd get sued if they ran photos that were mislabeled. While Cruz, as Trump mentioned, did not deny the picture, it's highly unlikely the photo depicts Cruz's father. It is also a photo of a group of men, including Oswald, handing out pamphlets, not a photo of Oswald and another man "having breakfast."
Vice presidential nominee Mike Pence, who endorsed Cruz before the Indiana primary, was at the event standing on stage with Trump.
Watch an excerpt of Trump's remarks below:
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