Trump-Cruz rift gets personal -- again

Ted Cruz defended his decision to not endorse Donald Trump on Thursday morning.

CLEVELAND: The intra-party rift between Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Donald Trump grew even wider on Thursday morning as Cruz defended his choice not to endorse the Republican nominee from the convention stage.

Cruz met with the Texas delegation and said the reason he did not publicly back Trump is personal.

"I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father," he said, according to CNN. In March, as the two were locked in a heated primary battle, Trump retweeted an unflattering picture of Cruz’s wife. Two months later, he suggested Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Cruz’s Wednesday night prime-time address to the Republican Convention started with rapturous applause and ended with the first-term senator leaving the stage to a chorus of boos. He urged Republicans to vote their conscience in November, but declined to endorse Trump.

Shortly after Cruz’s meeting with the Texas delegation across town, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort dinged the conservative Texas senator for failing to live up to his promise to endorse the eventual Republican nominee.

"They all signed pledges, and they knew what it meant," he said, "Senator Cruz, the strict constitutionalist, chose not to [honor his]."

Manafort added that all of the convention’s speakers, aside from Cruz, have been well-received, praising vice presidential candidate Mike Pence’s Wednesday night speech.

"The polls will show this campaign was successful," he said.

Melania-Gate, day four
Manafort also explained his previous comments on plagiarism accusations against Melania Trump — all strong denials — by saying he did not know longtime Trump family friend Meredith McIver had helped with her speech. He talked with Melania Trump and her speechwriters, and all said the address was not cribbed from another source, Manafort said.

"None of us knew that Ms. [McIver] was even involved in the process," the Trump campaign chief said.

McIver released a statement on Wednesday taking the blame for language in the Monday night speech that was extremely similar to that used by Michelle Obama at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

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