Cruz aides made late push for Trump endorsement

Cruz aides made late push for Trump endorsement
© Moriah Ratner

CLEVELAND — Just hours before Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrio of Senate Republicans urges Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade Overnight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia next week MORE took the stage for his convention speech Wednesday night, senior members of Cruz's team were still pushing him to endorse Donald TrumpDonald TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Trump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race MORE

Cruz never wanted to endorse Trump and is still furious about the personal attacks the GOP presidential nominee made on his family during the primary campaign, sources familiar with the speech preparations told The Hill. 
 
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But top aides had concluded he needed to formally endorse Trump at the Republican National Convention.  

For Cruz, it was always personal.  

During the primaries, Trump repeated a tabloid conspiracy theory linking Cruz's father to the man who assassinated President Kennedy, and he tweeted a picture that ridiculed the appearance of Cruz's wife, Heidi.
 
Trump has never expressed much contrition for those actions. 
 
Still, some aides to Cruz, a Republican senator from Texas, were pushing him to endorse Trump for the sake of his own political future. 
 
Cruz has indicated intentions to run for president again in 2020, and he has a team forming behind him to execute that plan. 2020 was the unspoken undertone beneath the drafting Wednesday night's speech.
 
Allies of Cruz, a number of whom have spoken privately to The Hill throughout this week, have been worried about what effect not endorsing Trump would have on the senator's future.
 
A team of about eight or nine were involved in the drafting of Cruz's convention speech, sources said.
 
There was coordination with the Trump campaign, though the debate never ceased about whether and how to discuss the billionaire.
 
Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier declined to comment.