Texas Sen. Ted Cruz surprised many last night when he decided to officially end his presidential campaign. The sound of ‘boos’ and ‘no’ echoed among his supporters listening to his concession speech in Indiana. But the writing was on the wall, and Cruz saw it. With Donald Trump now the presumptive GOP nominee, what’s next for Cruz and the Republican Party?


The pundits, politicians and party leaders are all weighing in. In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said they will support Trump and that other Republicans should too, in order for the party to unite around a candidate to beat Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“Congratulations to my good friend Ted Cruz on a hard fought campaign,” Abbott said in a Facebook post Tuesday night. “Conservatives must unite to support the presumptive GOP nominee and prevent the Constitution from being destroyed by Hillary.”

In an interview on Capital Tonight on Monday, Patrick said he didn’t think Cruz should exit the race if he lost Indiana. But he did, and Patrick said he stands by his word to back the GOP nominee.

Whether other Texans who backed Cruz, or other candidates in the state’s March 1 Primary will follow suit, is yet to be determined. But one did not hold back.

Republican State Rep. Jason Villalba said in a TribTalk published today that “Donald Trump is a disgusting blight upon the American Experience. He is hateful and ugly and a disease to be eliminated. I will not vote for him, and I will work tirelessly to ensure that he is never the representative of the Republican Party that I stand for.”

The inevitable November match-up between Trump and Clinton will continue what’s been referred to as the craziest and most unpredictable presidential election cycle in history.


As for Cruz, here are a couple of takeaways from our political analysts Democrat Harold Cook and Republican Ted Delisi from last night’s show recapping the Indiana Primary:

On return to Senate:

Cook – “I personally think it’s dangerous for him to do that. I’m not sure it’s the best platform for somebody’s who’s strength is going around telling voters you’re an outsider.”

“I’m not sure, if he wants to have a future as a future presidential candidate, that’s the choice for him.”

Delisi – “In my mind, he’s got a really bright future but it all depends on what happens this fall. If Trump doesn’t win, I think the Senate does really nothing for Ted Cruz. Then at that point you do exactly what Mitt Romney did. You form a Super PAC, you run around to Iowa and New Hampshire, you help candidates up and down the ballot…you push out all of the national organizations that you built and you crowd out all of the type of people that could do the same type of thing.”

“There are a lot of people that it takes them more than one time to become the nominee of their party.”

On attacking Trump sooner:

Cook – “I think one of the few mistakes that Cruz’s campaign ever made was back last November when Cruz made the assumption that Trump would eventually fall apart, Cruz was going to shower Trump with kindness and therefore Trump’s supporters would gravitate toward Cruz.”

Delisi – “I bet he wish he hadn’t cozied up to him…But look betting on Trump to stumble, I think was a pretty good bet last fall. We’ve never seen anyone like Trump before in the Republican Primary.”

“In Cruz’s world, he played the best hand he played at the time.”

On why he didn’t win:

Delisi: “Something didn’t happen in South Carolina…Cruz didn’t make a case to evangelicals that the guy who’d been married three times, who’s from New York City, who’s a real estate developer, who kind of brags about his social playboy life, you can’t beat that guy in South Carolina, you’re not going to be the nominee.”


You can watch the full episode with Cook and Delisi’s analysis here: