After a poor showing in the Indiana primary, Ted Cruz announced he was suspending his campaign, virtually handing over the race to Donald Trump. While the move leaves little mystery as to the eventual resolution of the Republican race, there’s still a lot to clear up about Trump’s relationship with the rest of the Republican Party. Cruz did not mention whether he’d support him in his suspension announcement, and he’s given multiple answers on the issue as a wild race has rolled on.
Early in the race, all Republican candidates offered the typical answer. As late as March, all four standing candidates were committed to supporting the eventual nominee even as it started to look more and more like Trump. A lot happened that month, though, and by the end of March, Trump had backed off his own pledge, citing “unfair treatment” by the Republican establishment. Soon, the other three candidates followed his lead.
The issue is particularly thorny for Ted Cruz, whose exchanges with Trump grew increasingly acrid. Trump blamed Cruz for an opposing PAC’s ad featuring nude photos of his wife; Cruz in turn blamed Trump for spreading baseless infidelity rumors published in the National Enquirer. They’ve publicly and unapologetically shot barbs at one another, Trump branding Cruz a “nasty guy” and Cruz responding as late as Tuesday with claims that Trump was a “pathological liar.”
In the clip below, filmed just two days before his final primary, Cruz avoided directly answering the question, in the most recent time he’s been asked: