Republican White House hopeful Donald Trump took a victory lap yesterday after accepting his party’s nomination at a raucous convention in Cleveland, proclaiming it “the summer of Trump.”
But while insisting that the four-day confab brought “amazing” unity to divided Republicans, Trump harshly criticised his erstwhile rival Ted Cruz for pointedly declining in a convention speech to endorse his candidacy.
He called the Texas senator “dishonourable,” adding that Cruz “may have ruined his political career.”
The New York mogul said that even if Cruz now offered an endorsement, he would not accept it.
In often-rambling remarks yesterday, the candidate seemed ebullient after delivering a focused acceptance speech Thursday night that drew warm and loud applause within the Cleveland arena.
The convention had been marred not only by Cruz’s speech — which drew loud boos — and a brief anti-Trump revolt but by apparent plagiarism in a speech by Trump’s wife, Melania.
Still, the nominee called it “one of the most love-filled conventions in the history of conventions.”
“It’s been the summer of Trump,” he said, adding, “There’s never been anything like it.”
But at a time when more traditional candidates might have been looking ahead to the race against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, the unconventional Trump seemed unable to let go his differences with Cruz.
Cruz, he said, had been “booed the hell out of the place.”
Trump added, “What difference does it make? I don’t want his endorsement.”
An unrepentant Cruz said after his speech on Wednesday night that he could not support a man who had criticised both his wife and father during the primary campaign.
Trump had tweeted a picture of an angry-looking Heidi Cruz appearing next to a model-perfect photo of his own wife. Trump yesterday blamed the Cruz camp for drawing first blood.
As for Cruz’s father, he said he had merely tweeted a photo that seemed to show the elder Cruz with “crazy Lee Harvey Oswald” — President John F
“I think he’s a lovely guy,” Trump said of the father.
But he said the photo had appeared in the National Enquirer, a magazine know for sensationalism but which Trump said “does have credibility.”
Democrats will have their moment in the spotlight when their convention convenes on Monday in Philadelphia to confirm Clinton’s nomination.
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