CLEVELAND, Ohio — Newt Gingrich played judge and jury in the convention floor fight between Republican nominee Donald Trump and vanquished former Trump opponent Ted Cruz.
Gingrich threw the decision to Trump. Introducing himself as a “Republican activist,” the former House speaker praised Trump for having “encouraged his competitors to speak.”
The crowd instantly understood what Newt was referring to.
Just moments before, Cruz sparked one of the most divisive moments in modern GOP convention history when he spoke on and on about policy and his parents without explicitly endorsing Trump. Delegates on the floor booed Cruz and chanted “Endorse Trump!”
Before Cruz was even done onstage, Trump appeared in the VIP section at the convention, completely upstaging Cruz and forcing the Texas senator off the stage.
Gingrich weighed in, off the cuff, on the high drama.
“I think you misunderstood one paragraph” of Cruz’s speech, Gingrich explained. “Ted Cruz said you can vote your conscience for anyone who will uphold the Constitution.”
After a pause, Gingrich concluded that there is “only one candidate” in the race in November who will uphold the Constitution: Donald Trump.
The delegates cheered Gingrich for settling the showdown in Cleveland.
Sources were abuzz prior to Cruz’s speech, wondering whether or not he would endorse, or whether a rumored Cruz delegate walk-out would occur, mirroring the 1964 convention battle between Nelson Rockefeller and Barry Goldwater.