Sarah Palin, who knows a thing or two about ending political careers, blasted Ted Cruz over his controversial speech at the Republican convention, saying the Texas senator's snub of Republican nominee Donald Trump was "one of those career-ending 'read my lips' moments."
Palin was referring to George H.W. Bush's infamous pledge at the 1988 Republican National Convention, in which Bush told voters: "Read my lips: no new taxes." While the pledge was credited for helping the elder Bush win the White House that year, it was also a factor in his downfall when he was forced to accept tax hikes during negotiations with the Democrat-controlled congress in 1990.
During the 2016 Republican primaries, much was made of the fact that each candidate had signed a "loyalty pledge" with the Republican National Committee, promising to support the eventual 2016 Republican nominee. At the time, many saw the pledge as a way to guarantee that Trump -- the leader at the time -- would back the party's ticket even if he ultimately lost the primaries.
But with Trump's victory and Cruz slated to speak at the convention on July 20, it was Cruz who was asked to hold to his promise. Cruz -- and every other Republican primary candidate -- signed the pledge, Politifact confirmed. Cruz also signed a similar pledge to qualify for the ballot in the South Carolina primary.
After initially congratulating Trump on winning the nomination, Cruz launched into a half-hour speech that was mostly about himself. As the Texas senator went on, members of the crowd began calling on him to endorse Trump.
When Cruz began to wrap up his speech, withholding his endorsement and telling Republicans to "vote [their] conscience," he was drowned out by a chorus of boos from the crowd at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
Palin, a Trump supporter, called Cruz a "status quo" politician in a statement to Breitbart, and said reneging on a promise "makes all the difference in the world" to voters.
“I guarantee American voters took notice," Palin said, "and felt more unsettling confirmation as to why we don’t much like typical politicians because they campaign one way, but act out another way."
Palin wasn't the only one who said Cruz had destroyed his political career with the speech. MSNBC columnist Jake Novak called the speech "a self-serving act [that] will forever separate himself from his own party and leave him with no real support for any national or possibly even statewide election ever again."
Conservative commentator Lou Dobbs echoed Palin's words, the Gateway Pundit reports, describing Cruz as "a man intent on committing career suicide. And I think that's what he pulled off here tonight."