At the time of his convention speech, there was compelling political logic for the ambitious firebrand to steer clear of Trump. Cruz appears likely to run for president again, and Trump, at the time, looked like was headed toward a blowout loss. Not to mention, Trump had essentially called Cruz’s wife unattractive and erroneously linked his father to JFK’s assassination.
Cruz’s allies believed if he played it right, he could emerge from the election as one of the last principled conservatives — the final bulwark against a candidate who violated many of the values conservatives hold dear.
But with Trump approaching Hillary Clinton in the polls, Cruz’s diss had become more of a liability: A narrow Trump loss might have been pinned on Cruz for keeping conservatives home on Election Day because they were following his lead.