INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — Florida Gov. Rick Scott called for Republican unity and Newt Gingrich said Ted Cruz was “silly” after Cruz declined to endorse GOP nominee Donald Trump in a prime time speech at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night.
Scott, asked about Cruz at a breakfast for Florida delegates near Cleveland, refrained from directly criticizing the Texas senator.
“This is a time to be unified,” Scott told reporters. “There’s only two people on the ballot: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and there’s a clear choice. Donald Trump is a businessperson, he’s going to focus on building jobs. Hillary Clinton is a career politician, never created a job. We need somebody who’s going to destroy ISIS. She had her chance and she didn’t. So the party needs to unify everybody needs to support Donald Trumpne. We need to have a big win in November.”
Gingrich accused the media of overblowing Cruz’s snub and GOP divisions.
“The 1964 Goldwater convention was dramatically more divisive. The 1968 Democratic Party convention in Chicago was a disaster. The 1972 Democratic convention in Miami beach was an absurdity. These things happen. This is a very mild convention,” Gingrich told reporters.
Gingrich was asked if he would be happy with Cruz’s remarks if Gingrich were the nominee.
“Of course not,” Gingrich replied. “It was silly for him to do it. He got the result that he earned. Whether or not he’ll learn anything from it, I don’t know. But it also proved – would have proved, if you guys were willing to listen — that this is the party that has now decided that Donald Trump is its leader and this is a party that wants to win the presidency. There was no massive division last night. It was overwhelmingly pro-Trump.”
Gingrich was asked if he thought Cruz was paving the way for a 2020 run for president.
“If it was, it was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen,” Gingrich said. “You don’t go into team sport and decide you’re going to break up your own team to prove you ought to be the head coach.”