Trump Steals Clinton’s Veep Thunder

Edmund Kozak,

GOP nominee keeps Cruz feud in spotlight to dull Clinton’s running mate announcement.

Political parties and their candidates usually see a rise in the polls following a party convention. This is why Hillary Clinton decided to announce her VP pick on Friday, the day after the GOP convention came to a close.

In theory, the hype and fanfare surrounding the announcement of Clinton’s running mate would drown out any buzz of a GOP bounce.

Rather than spend all day talking about Clinton in anticipation of her likely anti-climatic veep pick, the media spent the afternoon talking about Trump.

Ever the master media manipulator, however, Donald Trump wasn’t about to let Clinton steal his spotlight, and seems to have pre-empted Clinton’s attempts to upstage him by reviving the Ted Cruz controversy.

trumpplatform_small-2 Trump Steals Clinton's Veep Thunder

Speaking to a group of volunteers in Cleveland, Trump told the crowd he “will not accept” Cruz’s endorsement, even if the bitter ideologue reverses his very public decision not to endorse Trump.

“Honestly, he may have ruined his political career. I feel so badly,” Trump said. Cruz faced a backlash from a variety of observers — not to mention large numbers of the GOP base — for his breaking the pledge to endorse and support the eventual GOP nominee.

Indeed, Cruz was effectively booed off the stage for saying that people should “vote their conscience.” Trump predicted the intense backlash would force Cruz to “come and endorse over the next little while … because he has no choice.”

“But I don’t want his endorsement. What difference does it make?” Trump said. “Ted, just stay home, relax, enjoy yourself,” the candidate added.

“I like Ted, he’s fine. Again, don’t want his endorsement,” Trump said. “If he gives it, I will not accept it, just so you understand.”

Some may think Trump’s resurrecting the Cruz controversy after it had died down is emblematic of the candidate’s egoism. But the truth is that doing so — on the day of Clinton’s veep announcement — is a masterstroke in media manipulation. Rather than spend all day talking about Clinton in anticipation of her likely anti-climatic veep pick, the media spent the afternoon talking about Trump.

As Politico put it succinctly, “Trump steals back the spotlight.”