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RUSH:  So I wonder if Ted Cruz is just kicking himself today, saying it would have been better if he’d have just plagiarized the Michelle Obama speech. Maybe he’d be in less trouble if he had done that.  So all of you people who complain about how boring these conventions are, how there’s never any drama, now you got a little drama, now you got a little unexpected, and everybody’s having a cow.

Greetings, my friends.  It’s great to have you here, Rush Limbaugh behind the Golden EIB Microphone.  Our telephone number, if you want to be on the program — and I know you do — I know I want to weigh in today.  Here’s the number:  800-282-2882.  And the email address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com.

Okay.  One of the crucial things here that we have now learned about this is that Trump knew what Cruz was gonna say.  Right?  That story has been reported, that Cruz’s speech was submitted.  Cruz has said that the Trump people knew what he was gonna say. The Trump people say that they knew what Cruz was gonna say.  And everybody involved let it happen.

So what is the end result of this?  There are two overwhelming, inarguable results from this.  Number one, we’re gonna have a ratings bonanza tonight. And number two, we may be seeing the actual first threads of unity build behind Donald Trump because of this.  And it could well be that Trump has pulled off a masterful move letting all this happen.

I think that the argument that he may have done that is sort of rubber-stamped by the fact that he walked in to that convention hall at the exact moment that he knew Cruz was gonna be unloaded on by the audience.  He walked into that convention hall last night to his box at the exact moment that it was gonna become, it did become clear to everybody that Cruz was not gonna endorse.

Now, the key to all this is what has been reported, that everybody involved knew what Cruz was gonna say and thus everybody knew that Cruz was not gonna endorse.  Now, I have warned everybody time and time again, you cannot judge, analyze, watch this convention through the regular political prism.  In this case, what I mean by that is in a normal convention, that speech would never been allowed.

Ted Cruz, even if he had been invited to give that speech and had submitted that speech to the campaign, and the campaign had seen that speech and discovered that there wasn’t gonna be an endorsement. And, in fact, not only was there not gonna be an endorsement, there was gonna be something maybe even worse, and that was an intimation from Ted Cruz that he might not vote for Donald Trump.

There is no other candidate that would allow that speech to be made. There’s no other candidate that would allow that type of person, that situation, Cruz, to even appear at the convention.  But Trump did.  The Trump campaign — and look, I’m basing all this, just to be clear again, on the fact that everybody’s reporting that everybody knew what Cruz was gonna say, and they let it happen.  And I’m telling you, no way that happens at a George Bush convention, a Bill Clinton convention, a Hillary Clinton convention.

You think the Clintons are gonna allow Bernie Sanders to go up there and say something without knowing word-for-word what he was gonna say?  It would never, ever happen.  And if Bernie Sanders was gonna go out there and not endorse Hillary and be ambiguous about it, you think Hillary’s gonna let him go out there?  There is no way.  They’ll have Elizabeth Warren hijack him on the way to the convention hall and take him to a Burger King or something and keep him tied up for a couple hours so he can never get there.

It would never happen.  But it did happen last night.  So now you’ve got all these analysts trying to figure this out and proclaim the ultimate meaning, and the conventional wisdom is that Cruz is toast, he has just ended his career.  Dr. Krauthammer said it perhaps in the most creative way.  Dr. Krauthammer said: “It was the longest suicide note I have ever read.”  Is that not good?  (laughing)  The longest suicide note I’ve ever read.

Here’s the point, again.  Because of that last night, look at all the unity now that is starting to occur for Trump.  Look at all the people, including some of the Never Trumpers now coming to Trump’s defense. Maybe not coming to Trump’s defense, they are unifying with Trump against Cruz.  You have some Never Trumpers who are applauding Cruz, but it’s a minimal number.  He does have his supporters out there.  And a lot of his supporters are in the Drive-By Media.

Washington Post:  “Ted Cruz Distinguished Himself Wednesday Night.  Mike Pence Failed.”  They love it.  They’re looking at this the wrong way.  They think that what happened was that Ted Cruz hijacked the convention and that nobody heard what Mike Pence said, and they’re hoping nobody heard what Pence said because Pence was great.  But people did hear what Pence said precisely because Cruz did what he did.

There were more eyeballs focused on and more attention being paid to that convention after what Cruz did, ’cause the media was going bananas, and everybody was talking about it, focusing on what would happen next. (interruption) Well, Newt came out. Newt was great last night.  Newt was absolutely great.  That speech was on the prompter, but you wouldn’t know it.  Newt was fabulous.  And he came out and he tried to tamp down this Cruz controversy by saying (summarized), “Hey, wait a minute. You people don’t understand.

“Cruz endorsed.  He just didn’t do it in a direct way, but when you’re talking about ‘voting your conscience,’ for crying out loud, there’s only one ticket here you can possibly vote for if you vote your conscience, and that’s the Trump-Pence Republican ticket!”  “Yaaay! Right on, right on!”  But I just… I think this is all working out to Trump’s advantage in all kinds of different ways, and I think Trump is right there in the middle this.

I don’t think this is happenstance.  Again, folks… Look, I don’t mean to beat a dead horse, but I’ve learned that some things need to be repeated over and over again before they actually connect, and all of my opining here is based on the reporting that everybody knew what Cruz was gonna say and let it happen.  If that’s not true, then some of my opinionizing here, my opinionating is maybe a little off. But I don’t think so, even in that case.

But I’m just saying, again: This would not happen at any other convention.  Nine o’clock slot?  This is when primetime coverage begins. Cruz is number one, he’s not gonna endorse, the Trump campaign knew it. Trump is positioned to come into the hall at the very moment the crowd realizes Cruz is not gonna endorse.  You saw those electronic glitches on the giant screen behind Cruz when he wasn’t making the endorsement?

Those were not technical glitches.  It was done on purpose.  The Trump campaign knew.  They were already in the process of distracting from Cruz.  I mean, Cruz may not have known it, he was backwards to that giant screen, but it went black. It was flashing. It looked like it had DirecTV and there’s a lightning storm. It gets pixelated for a while and then it went black. Then a portion of it was black.

It was distracting in and of itself, so much so the TV networks had to cover from a different angle, a side angle where the giant screen JumboTron, whatever it was, was not visible.  So Cruz comes out, hijacks the convention from Megyn Kelly — who had been the number one attraction, someone with nothing to do with it. Cruz comes out, takes care of that, and then focuses attention on himself, which creates all kinds of not sympathy for Trump, but anger.

Because what happened, the party ended up asserting itself last night, the party that was previously in many sectors not all that warmed up to Trump. Some of them still remained a little cool to Trump. Some of those people are now joining the call to get behind the nominee.  Cruz did that.  Trump set the table and let it happen, knowing full well what Cruz was going to say.  And I think it’s… To me, it is fascinating to see these kinds of things that are unexpected, because they would never be allowed to happen in any other convention.

Now, Cruz, to prove that he intended to do what he did last night… By the way, Mr. Snerdley before I do that, let me ask you a quick question.  Aside from the non-endorsement and the appeal to “vote your conscience,” what do you think of the rest of Cruz’s speech? (interruption)  You did?  You thought it was an excellent…? (interruption) Right. He started off tugging the strings of emotion with the children of the dead police and then moving on to the concept of freedom and so forth.

Okay, so Snerdley thinks that aside from the non-endorsement of Trump, it started out and heated up as a pretty good speech.  But nobody remembers it now.  Now, Cruz today, did you hear what happened after it was over? He tried to get into the skybox, the suite of the casino magnate, Sheldon Adelson, and they wouldn’t let him in.  They told him to go away.  You’re not welcome.  You can’t get in here after doing what you did.

And there was some people on the floor. I think it was just one person, but the Drive-Bys are reporting it that it was a mob. There was one person that shouted at Heidi Cruz, “Goldman Sachs! Goldman Sachs!” as the security had to hustle her out of the arena.  But Cruz showed up at the breakfast meeting of the Texas delegation today, and what happened there raised the curtain on what this is all about.  Cruz took questions.

The questions from the delegates kept coming.  Some of the answers the delegates were not satisfied by.  Some of the answers the delegates did not accept.  The delegates kept pounding.  The delegates kept probing.  The delegates kept demanding more from Cruz.  The answers he was giving were not satisfactory.  They were upset with what had happened.  It shouldn’t have been the case.  They wanted unity out in front.

They were hoping that Cruz would endorse. They wanted the mood to be set. They wanted the continued trend in the uplift direction — which has been taking place all week — to a giant crescendo tonight with Trump’s speech. And they didn’t get it. And it was their guy that made this happen. So they kept asking, and they kept asking, and finally Cruz cannot withhold the truth any longer.  Paraphrasing, he said, “You really expect me to be a servile puppy dog to a man who insulted my wife and accused my dad of being part of the JFK assassination?”

And when Cruz said that — when Cruz told the Texas delegation that he would not be servile, would not be a good puppy dog and support the guy who maligned his wife and father — then in my mind, he kind of unwound everything else he had said the night before.  He just… Under the intense probing of the Texas delegation, he couldn’t keep that in any longer, couldn’t withhold it any longer.

That question from the Texas delegation lit the fuse that caused the explosion where Ted Cruz finally admitted what that speech last night was all about and why he’s not gonna endorse Trump. “Because I don’t care…” These are his words, paraphrased by me. “I don’t care what the hell else is going on. I am not gonna compromise every damn principle I have and every belief I have and I’m not gonna look the other way at a guy who accused my dad of having something to do with the assassination of JFK.

“I’m not gonna look the other way and pretend it didn’t happen to a guy who insulted my wife the way he did.” And in doing so, some people applauded. Some people said, “Come on! You gotta put that stuff behind you.  It’s about beating Hillary now.”  And he said, “Nope. You can’t put that kind of thing behind you, not and maintain your principles and so forth.” I thought Cruz might have chosen the wrong occasion and the wrong time to make a stand on principle, but he did it.  And here’s his gamble.

His gamble is that Trump is gonna lose and that he is going to be viewed in a couple of years as Winston Churchill.  You know, Churchill was thrown out of the British government.  Nobody wanted to listen to what he had to say, about Hitler or any other number of threats prior to World War II.  The Brits were getting complacent. They didn’t want to go anywhere. They didn’t want to be anywhere. World War I had worn them out. If the rest of the world wanted to burn itself down?

Fine. We’re not joining the party.

Churchill said: We can’t, because we’re gonna be targeted.

They told him to go away, didn’t want to hear it.  They came back and made him the de facto leader of the war effort after that. Cruz, I’m sure, is banking on that.  If Trump loses, that eventually somebody is gonna say, “The only guy… The only guy…” This is what he’s hoping. “The only guy that stood up and told us the truth that we didn’t want to hear was Ted Cruz.”  The problem is, Cruz is not Churchill in the sense that he doesn’t start out with a lot of love and adoration in the party.

They already despise him for these government shutdowns and what he did to Mitch McConnell and so forth.  By the way, the concept of Cruz losing? You wouldn’t believe some of what I read. I’m reading some conservative blogs who think that it’s inevitable that if Trump wins, he’s gonna be impeached, because he’s so incompetent. It’s gonna be so bad that, to save the country, we’re gonna have to impeach the guy.  This is also in an opinion piece on what Cruz did last night.

Now, if Trump wins and doesn’t lose, that’s the gamble that Cruz took with what he’s doing, but he intended to do it.  The Trump campaign knew he was going to do it; the Trump campaign let it happen.  And again, two things:  The party is now unifying behind Trump. Maybe not fully, but much more than they were doing so before Cruz spoke last night.  You can’t deny that.  You might want to try, but you can’t.  And we’re gonna have blockbuster eyeballs tuned in to watch this thing tonight. Even more than would have.


RUSH:  Okay, let’s quickly go to the audio sound bites.  Last night in Cleveland, the Republican National Convention, at Quicken Loans Arena, Ted Cruz.

CRUZ:  We deserve leaders who stand for principle, who unite us all behind shared values, who cast aside anger for love.  That is the standard we should expect from everybody.  And to those listening, please, don’t stay home in November.  If you love our country and love your children as much as I know that you do, stand and speak and vote your conscience.  Vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.  I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation.

RUSH:  That’s when it all started.  That whole bite there, “We deserve leaders who stand,” this is what the audience began to shift in their seats.  Because, remember, now, everybody in that hall last night is waiting with bated breath, is Ted Cruz gonna endorse?  And when Cruz began the speech, everybody thought, yep, yep, it’s coming, it’s coming, he’s setting it up, it’s coming, and they were all jazzed.

And then “we deserve leaders who stand for principle, who unite us all behind shared values, who cast aside anger for love,” and that’s when doubt began to seep in among the delegates scattered throughout the Quicken Loans Arena.  That’s when they began to say, “Hm-hm,” because they don’t think that Cruz thinks of Trump as somebody who stands for principle.  “That is the standard we should expect from everybody.”  They know that Cruz doesn’t expect it from Trump because he doesn’t think Trump has that standard.

“And to those listening, please don’t stay home in November.  If you love your country and you love your children as much as I know that you do, stand and speak and vote your conscience.  Vote for candidates up and down the.”  And that’s when everybody understood that it wasn’t gonna be an endorsement, and that’s when they began to turn on Ted Cruz.

The boos and the shouts of, “We want Trump, we want Trump, endorse Trump, endorse Trump,” and it didn’t happen.  He got booed off the stage.  Trump emerges from backstage.  The cameras spot Trump coming out.  The attention shifts dramatically from Ted Cruz, not only in the hall, but on TV because the TV cameras switched from the podium to Trump walking in at just that moment when the crowd figured out that Cruz wasn’t going to endorse.  Cruz continued speaking.

CRUZ:  The case we have to make to the American people, the case each person in this room has to make to the American people is to commit to each of them that we will defend freedom and be faithful to the Constitution.  We will unite the party, we will unite the country by standing together for shared values by standing for liberty.  God bless each and every one of you, and God bless the United States of America.

RUSH:  Now, if you didn’t see this, if you didn’t see that last night, nobody was listening to Cruz at that point.  Everybody was watching Trump come in, everybody was applauding Trump.  Whatever enthusiasm you heard, it was not for Cruz.  Cruz was being booed.  Cruz was just short of being heckled, as he left the stage.

Trump was walking in waving and blowing air kisses all over the place, and the crowd was going nuts. It just appeared to everybody watching that Trump timed his entrance at the exact moment when everybody figured out that Trump was not going to get Cruz’s endorsement.


RUSH:  Now, we will never know this, but you remember, Trump arrived in Cleveland yesterday.  Remember how Trump arrived?  Cruz is out doing a rally, and in the middle of his rally they hear the noise of jet engines unusually low, and in the middle of Cruz’s speech the audience, the crowd looks up, and, my God, there it is, Trump Force One.

Trump Force One, whether by accident or by design, is buzzing the Ted Cruz campaign event, and even Cruz was forced to say, “Man, you talk about good timing.”  And Trump’s jet engines drowned out — now, we will never know if this irritated Cruz or whether he thought it was just funny, but you throw it in the mix.


RUSH: Now, on CBS This Morning, Bob Schieffer, who retired, Bob Schieffer retired, but it’s so exciting.  They went to the Jurassic Park graveyard and they found him, and they brought him back here.  He was on this morning CBS with Gayle King talking about Cruz’s speech. The question she asked him was, “Did he step in it, Bob, or did he step on it?  What happened?  A big miscalculation?  What went on here, Bob?”

SCHIEFFER:  The Trump people knew what Ted Cruz was gonna say.  They knew he was not gonna endorse.  They made a calculated decision to let it happen.  You might say — I’m not saying it, but one of a conspiratorial mind could say they let him walk into an ambush, and this was a final getting-even for what happened.

RUSH:  Okay.  The ambush would be the New York delegation led by, we think, Peter King, shouting, “Endorse Trump, endorse Trump, endorse Trump,” and booing Cruz off the stage.  Look.  They knew.  Schieffer’s right about this.  They saw the speech, the vetted the speech, the Trump people did; they knew Cruz wasn’t gonna endorse.  And they let him go out there.  And I need to repeat this, as I did at the top of the program.  That’s another way this convention is starkly different from others.

There is no way at 99.9% of these things, no way a second place finisher is allowed to go out there and get a prime time speaking slot unless he’s gonna endorse the nominee.  It just doesn’t happen.  It’s too big a risk.  George H. W. Bush in 1992 let Pat Buchanan go out there.  Buchanan endorsed, but he also did that massive speech on the culture war.  But to let this happen without an endorsement, they knew every word Cruz was gonna speak, and they let it happen.

And Trump just happens to enter the arena at the exact time the New York delegation is shouting, “Endorse Trump, endorse Trump,” and the booing starts. Trump just happens to enter the hall, finding his seat at the moment where it becomes obvious to everyone that Cruz is not gonna endorse.  That would be Machiavellian, to set that up and let it happen like that, an ambush, what have you.  That’s Bob Schieffer’s theory, and he is sticking to it.

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