Dan Schneider: Ted Cruz ‘Misread the Evening’ by Not Endorsing Trump, ‘Damaged His Brand’

US Senator Ted Cruz of Texas speaks on the third day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 20, 2016. / AFP / Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

On Thursday’s Breitbart News Daily, Dan Schneider, executive director of the American Conservative Union, admitted his prediction Wednesday that Ted Cruz would endorse Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention proved to be inaccurate.

“I had predicted that Ted would have two different things in mind,” said Schneider. “One, that he would set a standard for Trump to meet as president so that he would encourage a conservatism within the administration.”

“And then, I also thought that Ted would probably be thinking that if Trump misses the mark, he would have set a standard to say, ‘Okay, now this guy needs to be primaried,’” he continued.

“I think Cruz misread the entire evening,” Schneider said. “I think he thought he could come in, and be the one voice in opposition, and rally troops around him. He missed the mark.”

He thought Cruz would have been better advised to follow the course chosen by Carly Fiorina, who apparently decided it would be “impolite to crash the party” if she could not offer a full endorsement of Trump.

Schneider observed that Cruz and some of the other speakers offered more “political philosophy” than at previous conventions.

“I’m hearing that it’s the people who control government,” he said, adding:

It’s not just the soundbites of lower taxes, which conservatives stand behind, but it’s the political philosophy underlying that. Ted addressed that. Pence did a great job addressing that. Laura Ingraham did a great job. That’s the underlying theme, and I think that’s what people in the audience are responding to. I don’t think the people in the audience liked Ted Cruz’s tactics last night, but the philosophy he laid out? That’s a rallying cry.

However, after doing a good job of laying out that philosophy, he thought Cruz “whiffed about how we’re gonna beat Hillary Clinton because we know that she has zero conservatism in her.”

“This election’s coming down to the proposition: does government control people, or do people control government?” Schneider said, stressing that Cruz, and those who are tempted to cast protest votes for third-party candidates like Gary Johnson, should understand “that’s not gonna keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House.”

He rejected the notion that Ted Cruz did the best he could, caught between a “rock and a hard place,” saying Cruz made the choice to appear at the convention and give a speech, when the “mature, polite thing to do” would have been to stay away from the convention, as people like Fiorina and Ohio Governor John Kasich have done.

“Ted Cruz is a great conservative. I’m philosophically very aligned with him,” Schneider declared, noting Cruz was one of only four currently serving members of Congress to hold a 100 percent rating from the American Conservative Union. However, he judged that Cruz’s performance at the RNC on Wednesday night “damaged his brand.”

SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon observed that vice presidential candidate Governor Mike Pence gave an excellent speech that has been overshadowed by the Cruz controversy.

“I don’t think people understand how hard it is to jump onto the national stage without any prep time,” Schneider said. He added:

These 17 Republicans who ran for president, they built into it, slowly and surely, they built into it. Mike Pence was told, “Here’s the Super Bowl; jump in.” It’s kind of like having a quarterback come off the bench and perform. It was a rock-star speech last night – not just the content, but his delivery, his heart. He was amazing.

He said Pence “combines both that Indiana corn-grower mentality with a strong political philosophy,” citing Pence’s “stratospheric” 99 percent lifetime congressional rating from the ACU.

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.