Donald Trump’s candidacy
That’s crucial, because much of the argument for keeping Mr. Trump out of the Oval Office at all costs requires glossing over the damage a second Clinton presidency would do.
Whatever the shortcomings of Mr. Trump’s people, non-progressives simply do not share the itch to use the government to boss everyone else around. On top of this, an overreaching President Trump would not be excused by the press and would face both Republican and Democratic opposition.
— William McGurn
The Wall Street Journal
The key to Trump’s insurgent campaign against a massive field of Republicans was to appeal to voters who have become frustrated with both parties.
Now that Trump has grabbed hold of the GOP, the nation will tune in to see what he has to say about what he will do for them. Voters should listen carefully. Above all else, Trump is a salesman, and his record shows that many of the goods he has peddled have not turned out to be so satisfactory for his customers.
— Julian Zelizer
This is a unique moment in American political history in which the mental stability of one of the major party nominees is the dominating subject of conversation.
Donald Trump is in his moment of greatest triumph, but he seems more resentful and embattled than ever.
Some forms of disorder — like a financial crisis — send voters for the calm supple thinker. But other forms of disorder — blood in the streets — send them scurrying for the brutal strongman.
If the string of horrific events continues, Trump could win the presidency.
— David Brooks
The New York Times
Listen to Donald Trump’s supporters explain why they like him and you inevitably hear one phrase over and over: “He tells it like it is.” Actually, he doesn’t.
The respected website PolitiFact has rated only 11 percent of Trump’s statements “true” or “mostly true,” compared with 22 percent for Ted Cruz. The woman some Republicans refer to as “Hil-liar-y,” by contrast, is accurate 51 percent of the time.
He does “tell it like it is” in the sense that he doesn’t let conventions of good manners or discretion inhibit him in the least.
— Steve Chapman
Ted Cruz at RNC
There was quite a bit of political theatre … at the Republican National Convention (when) Senator (Ted) Cruz did not endorse Donald Trump in his convention speech — instead he urged Republicans to vote their conscience.
And a pretty good argument could be made that Cruz launched his 2020 presidential bid.
But Senator Cruz also signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee. He even reaffirmed that pledge during the GOP debate in Detroit last March.
He spoke of unifying the Republican Party – but his speech may have in fact damaged that effort.
— Todd Starnes
Cruz’s move appears tactically smart, but I actually think it hurts his chances of winning the Republican nomination in 2020. The great irony is that Cruz’s mistake is that he is thinking and acting like a member of the Republican establishment.
Cruz will head into 2020 already despised by the party establishment and now he can add to that being despised by a large segment of the party. And that wing of the party will want nothing more than to stop him from getting the Republican nomination.
— Michael A. Cohen
The Boston Globe
The first thing that was obvious to me … was that (Ted) Cruz had carefully crafted his talk with future plans in mind.
Whatever its merits, Cruz’s address went longer than its allotted time. It also failed to do the one thing losing candidates are expected to do if they are allowed a starring role at a political convention: endorse the winner.
In a tweet shortly after the night’s program ended, Trump said he had read the speech two hours earlier but decided to give Cruz his moment in the spotlight anyway.
— David Horsey
Los Angeles Times
Was there calculation behind (Ted) Cruz’s non-endorsement? If there was, it was probably as follows: Cruz believes Trump will not just lose, but lose big, taking down many Republicans with him. If that’s the case, Cruz could be the one to pick up the pieces; to say to everyone that he knew from the start what a disaster Trump would be at the head of the ticket for the party. It would allow him to argue, starting on November 8, that the party needed to return to its hardcore conservative and Christian roots.
— Elaine C. Kamarck