US Election 2016

US election: To endorse or not endorse Donald Trump

Donald Trump gives his running mate, Mike Pence, a kiss on stage in Cleveland, 20 July Image copyright AP
Image caption Clearly not every Republican's dream team: Trump (left) and Pence

Some of Donald Trump's defeated rivals for the Republican ticket have been back in the spotlight at the US Republican convention in Cleveland, Ohio, with the party waiting to hear how, or even if, they would endorse him.

So what did they say? Did they even show up? And was it something Donald Trump said?


John Kasich

Image copyright AFP
Image caption In town to talk to delegates - but not in the hall

He is in Cleveland, but has been avoiding the convention hall and has refused to endorse Mr Trump.

  • Trump on Kasich, April: "Every time you see him, he's eating. He's stuffing his face. I've never seen. The pizza. He ate a piece of pizza - I'm telling you, it was 4 or 5 inches long by 4 or 5 inches - and he couldn't get it in his mouth. And he's pushing it in with the fork and he's got 20 cameras around."

Ted Cruz

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Media captionThe moment the crowd turned on Ted Cruz

Booed for failing to endorse Mr Trump, though he did congratulate the businessman on winning the nomination. Mr Cruz's words which caused most offense were: "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."

  • Trump on Cruz, March: "Lyin' Ted Cruz just used a picture of Melania from a GQ shoot in his ad. Be careful, Lyin' Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!"

Marco Rubio

Image copyright Reuters

Did not turn up in the flesh but sent a pre-recorded video message in which he said: "Unlike Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump is committed to cut taxes, curb spending, and get our national debt under control... The time for fighting each other is over, it's time to come together and fight for a new direction for America, it's time to win in November."

  • Trump on Rubio, February : "He's a nervous Nellie. I watched him backstage, he's a mess, the guy's a total mess. I joked recently, could you imagine [Russian President Vladimir] Putin sitting there waiting for a meeting, and Rubio walks in and he's totally drenched? I don't know what it is but I have never seen a human being sweat like this man sweats."

Ben Carson

Image copyright AFP

Told convention: "I'm proud to support Donald Trump, an extraordinary businessman. The right leader for a time such as this."

  • Trump on Carson, November 2015: "He wrote a book and in the book, he said terrible things about himself. He said that he's pathological and he's got basically pathological disease... I don't want a person that's got pathological disease."

Jeb Bush

Like his father George and brother George W, he is staying away from the convention. In an email to Reuters news agency, he wrote: "Working out of my office in Miami this week".

  • Trump on Bush, February: "He's a desperate person… He's a desperate person. He's a sad and he's a pathetic person. He doesn't even use his last name in his ads. He's a sad person who has gone absolutely crazy. I mean, this guy is a nervous wreck. I've never seen anything like it."

Chris Christie

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Christie (centre) has led the attack on Hillary Clinton at the convention

The New Jersey governor told the convention: "We have a man who is unafraid. We have a man who wants to lead us. We have a man who understands the frustrations and the aspirations of our fellow citizens... It is time to come together and make sure that Donald Trump is our next president."

  • Trump on Christie, December 2015, recalling Superstorm Sandy's impact on New Jersey: "You had Christie so friendly with President Obama during the flood. I actually called, I said, 'Let me ask you, is he going to vote for Obama?' I thought he was going to vote for Obama. I don't know, I think he possibly did."

Other former contenders

Image copyright Mike Huckabee

Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul were both expected to stay away from the convention, according to US broadcaster NPR. Mike Huckabee congratulated Mr Trump on his nomination in a tweet, and attacked other former contenders for failing to endorse him.

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