The Brief: Facing Angry Texas Delegates, Cruz Defends Trump Snub

How Ted Cruz's non-endorsement played among his fellow Texans and elsewhere dominated much of the coverage leading up to presidential nominee Donald Trump's law and order-themed acceptance speech.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz speaks to the Texas delegation at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on July 21, 2016.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz speaks to the Texas delegation at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on July 21, 2016.  Abby Livingston

The Big Conversation

The morning after he rebuked his party’s nominee for president in a primetime address to the Republican National Convention, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz defended his decision not to endorse Donald Trump before an angry, if somewhat divided, Texas delegation on Thursday morning.

As the Tribune’s Abby Livingston reported from Cleveland, Cruz was “greeted at the breakfast by both raucous cheers and visceral questions,” and although he ruled out voting for Democrat Hillary Clinton in November, “many in the crowd were unsatisfied with his explanations for not endorsing Trump.”

Even outside Texas, reactions to Cruz’s snub dominated much of Thursday’s news cycle. Sarah Palin dubbed it “career-ending.” Mark Leibovich at the New York Times Magazine, meanwhile, suggested that Cruz “might be the only Republican who understands” Trump, writing that the senator “embraced the professional-wrestling ethic that Trump has so fully imposed on this campaign” and “leaned full-on into the spectacle.”

As Patrick Svitek notes in the Tribune, for members of the Texas delegation, Trump’s defeat of Cruz “loomed large over the festivities in Cleveland” through Thursday night, when the billionaire formally accepted the party’s nomination with an “unusually disciplined” speech that touched on national security and lambasted his general election opponent.

The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Trib Must Reads

How Ted Cruz Crashed Donald Trump's Convention, by Patrick Svitek —In the hours before Ted Cruz delivered the biggest speech of his political life, a key element was in flux: Would he or wouldn't he endorse Donald Trump? There are conflicting accounts of who knew what, and when.

Abbott Fundraising Off Rule to Bury or Cremate Fetal Remains, by Alexa Ura —Weeks after Texas health officials quietly proposed rules that would require the cremation or burial of fetal remains, Gov. Greg Abbott is raising political funds off his administration's new effort to regulate abortion providers.

Border Corruption Cases Can Run off the Rails, by Kirby Wilson — In its efforts to weed out corruption among the agents and officials charged with securing the nation's borders, federal officials sometimes set off on enigmatic quests.

Analysis: The Long and Winding Road to the Texas Ethics Commission, by Ross Ramsey — It's harder to appoint people to the Texas Ethics Commission than to other agencies. The politics are difficult. But it's also easy to just let it slide — and let commissioners serve for years after their terms end.

After Appeals Court Ruling Against Texas Voter ID Law, Now What?, by Jim Malewitz — Here is what you need to know about Wednesday's complicated appeals court ruling that Texas' voter identification law discriminates against minority groups.

Texas AG Asked to Investigate Hill County Elections, by Aneri Pattani — The Texas Attorney General’s office has been asked to launch an investigation into allegations of voting misconduct in a county that included the hotly contested GOP primary challenge to state Rep. Byron Cook of Corsicana.

The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Clinton Taps Two Texans in Congress to Speak at Democratic Convention, by Abby Livingston — U.S. Reps. Joaquin Castro and Sheila Jackson Lee will speak at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia next week, according to a Hillary Clinton campaign official.

Top Texas Leaders Tweet Support for UH in the Big 12, by Matthew Watkins — The University of Houston has been clamoring for months, if not years, for a spot in the Big 12 Conference. On Thursday, it received some powerful support.

U.S. Citizen Receives Settlement Over Body Cavity Search at Border, by Julián Aguilar — A woman who was subjected to unwarranted body cavity searches after crossing a Texas-Mexico border in 2012 has been awarded nearly a half million dollars by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, her lawyers said.

Elsewhere

(Links below lead to outside websites; content might be behind paywall)

Roger Stone, Alex Jones plot primary challenge to CruzThe Hill

Federal judge lays blueprint for remedies in Texas voter ID caseSan Antonio Express-News

Castro deemed out of running as VP choice nearsSan Antonio Express-News

Texas Republicans ready to 'move on' after Cruz's speech, focus on unityThe Dallas Morning News

The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Is Dallas-Fort Worth being penalized for building toll roads?, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Texas students of all races improving on ACT/SATHouston Chronicle

Pressure is rising to end system that allows disabled workers to be paid pennies per hourHouston Chronicle

Violent arrest of teacher caught on video; officers face investigation, Austin American-Statesman

Mother of murdered Central Texas foster child calls for changes, Austin American-Statesman

Quote to Note

“That pledge was not a blanket commitment that if you go slander and attack Heidi, then I'm not going to nonetheless come like a servile puppy dog and say thank you very much for maligning my wife and maligning my father.” 

— U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on his earlier pledge to support the Republican nominee for president

Today in TribTalk

It's time for Texas to invest in all public school students, by David Dunn — Over 20 years, public charter schools have earned a proven record of meeting the needs of students and communities by providing a quality public education. Let’s narrow the funding gap by providing facilities funds to these schools and support their efforts.

Trib Events for the Calendar

•   Life on the Border: Rhetoric or Reality? on Aug. 4 at The Centennial Club in McAllen

•   The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 23-25 at the University of Texas at Austin

•   TribFeast: A Dinner To Support Nonprofit Journalism on Sept. 24 at the University of Texas at Austin's Etter-Harbin Alumni Center