Donald Trump Says He Doesn't Want Ted Cruz's Endorsement
"Ted, stay home. Relax. Enjoy yourself," the GOP presidential candidate said at a Friday morning event with his running mate, Mike Pence
Donald Trump, in his first comments after he closed out the Republican National Convention with a fiery and foreboding turn at the podium, made clear he isn't yet ready to give up the spotlight even as presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is expected to soon announce her vice-presidential pick.
Speaking to supporters at his convention hotel, Trump spent considerable time stoking the fire of his bitter quarrel with Republican former rival Ted Cruz.
The Texas senator refused to endorse Trump in a Wednesday night speech, drawing boos from the convention crowd. No matter, Trump said Friday he didn't want that support anyway.
"He'll come and endorse, it's because he has no choice," said Trump, who wondered aloud if he could create a super PAC as president to target Cruz. "But I don't want his endorsement. What difference does it make?"
He added: "Ted, stay home. Relax. Enjoy yourself."
Trump also boasted of his TV ratings, his primary victories and other achievements, including winning over his wife, Melania, in a stream-of-consciousness delivery with his vice presidential nominee, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, standing quietly nearby.
"I don't do anything unless I win," Trump insisted. He promised to work "so hard" and vowed his campaign was "not going to disappear," even though he has no plans to campaign this weekend and no events on his schedule for next week.
In an 75-minute speech Thursday night, Trump made forceful promises to be the champion of disaffected Americans, capping his convention on a high note for the party, not a moment too soon after shows of disharmony and assorted flubs before the four-day closer.
Speaking to "the forgotten men and women of our country," the people who "work hard but no longer have a voice," he declared: "I am your voice."
With that, he summed up both the paradox and the power of his campaign — a billionaire who made common cause with struggling Americans alienated from the system, or at least a portion of them.
The speech was strikingly dark for a celebratory event and almost entirely lacking in policy details. Trump pledged as president to restore a sense of public safety, strictly curb immigration and save the nation from Clinton's record of "death, destruction, terrorism and weakness."
"I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves," Trump said. He shouted throughout as he read off a teleprompter, showing few flashes of humor or even smiles.
Democrats offered a different assessment, with Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta arguing that Trump "offered no real solutions to help working families get ahead or to keep our country safe, just more prejudice and paranoia. America is better than this. America is better than Donald Trump."
President Barack Obama said Friday the picture Trump painted of the nation "doesn't really jive with the experience with most people."
At a White House news conference with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Obama said crime rates, especially those for violent crime, are lower than at any time in the past 30 years. He noted violent crime has recently risen in some cities, "but we're not going to make good decisions based on fears that don't have a basis in fact."