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Speeches by Trump and Cruz

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The Texas senator’s snub created a huge opportunity for Trump. But can he capitalize?

There’s been a lot of debate about what Wednesday night’s convention drama means for the future of Ted Cruz. Less discussed, but just as important, is the question of how Cruz’s refusal to endorse on the biggest stage raised the already-high stakes for Donald Trump’s speech Thursday night. Following Cruz creates an enormous opportunity for Trump but also enormous risk, given his ad-libbing, vindictive tendencies.

By a lot of standards, this year’s Republican National Convention has been a surprising success. Fears of massive protests or anti-police violence were, it seems, largely overblown. Donald Trump Jr. and Tiffany Trump gave star-making performances, and addresses by Chris Christie and Mike Pence won strong reviews. Away from the floor, the delegates are well-fed, happy, and often slightly inebriated. The plagiarism in Melania Trump’s speech, for all of the intense cable news coverage, is a scandal that is more likely to outrage journalists than the electorate at large.

But if the primary aim of the convention was to showcase a party united behind one coherent agenda, message, and nominee, Cruz has not been the only skunk to appear at the garden party.

The recurring rallying cry of the convention, inspired by Christie’s speech, is “Lock her up!” No doubt, many Republicans seethe at the FBI’s seeming willingness to let the Democratic nominee off with a rhetorical slap on the wrist. But her husband survived two massive scandals and a bunch of smaller ones unscathed, and the taint of Tony Rezko, Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, etc. did nothing to prevent Barack Obama from winning in 2008 and 2012.

The good news for Republicans is that if the broader electorate isn’t quite ready to toss Clinton in a cell, it at least wanted to see her in court. An ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 56 percent disapprove of FBI director James Comey’s recommendation not to charge Clinton, and 57 percent say the incident makes them worried about how Clinton might act as president if she were elected. The bad news for Republicans is that only 28 percent of respondents said that the server scandal would make them less likely to support Clinton, and 58 percent said the outcome would make no difference in their vote.


Source: Jim Geraghty, nationalreview.com