Sen. Ted Cruz delivered one of the most talked-about speeches at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
This time around, he tells the New York Times, he wasn’t invited.
“They didn’t ask me to participate. So, I’m not on the speakers’ roster,” Cruz (R-Texas) said in an interview published Wednesday.
The 2016 GOP presidential primary runner-up told the paper that he “would have been happy to” speak at this week’s convention if he had been asked.
Cruz and President Trump have a sordid history from their primary sparring days. While the Texas senator has not spoken ill of the president since the latter took the oath of office, he has not taken back any of his previous sentiments either.
Asked in an ABC News interview in 2018 whether he viewed Trump as a friend or foe, Cruz would only say, “He’s the president.”
“I work with the president in delivering on our promises,” he added.
Asked by the Times whether the president was effective in delivering his message, Cruz replied, “Sometimes.”
During the 2016 Republican National Convention, Cruz was lambasted for declining to endorse then-candidate Trump.
“To those listening, please, don’t stay home in November. Stand and speak and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution,” he said, as chants of “We want Trump” and boos began to erupt in the stadium.
At the time, he defended the decision by referencing Trump’s attacks on his wife, Heidi, and his father.
Speaking to the Times, he said, “I do think there were some who misunderstood what the  speech was saying, and in particular some in the Trump campaign who chose to misinterpret it.”
Speaking to the Texas Tribune in September 2016, when the senator finally endorsed Trump after he released a list of prospective Supreme Court nominees, Cruz said he had “spent several months thinking about it, praying about the right course of action, and I’ve discussed the right course of action with both Heidi and my dad, both of whom I love with all my heart.”
“All three of us have decided to forgive the past, and my focus in making this decision was on trying my best to do the right thing for the country,” he said.
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