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Kinzinger slams Cruz for Trump non-endorsement

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Illinois. | ABC News

CLEVELAND — Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., slammed Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Thursday for not endorsing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during his convention prime time address on Wednesday night.

“If you are invited to speak at the convention, though, you have to endorse him,” said Kinzinger, who is so reluctant to embrace Trump as his party’s nominee that he has been sitting on the fence for months.

“This is Donald Trump’s convention,” Kinzinger said on CNN. “He won the primary fair and square.”

Kinzinger said he was “blown away” with Cruz’s speech, where he urged Republicans to “vote their conscience” rather than say straight up to cast their ballots for Trump.

“I think it was ludicrous of Ted Cruz to do it, and it’s obviously political posturing for whatever comes next,” Kinzinger said.

Cruz was the last Republican to fold his primary campaign, where Trump called him “Lyin’ Ted,” accused Cruz’s father of being with Lee Harvey Oswald before he shot John F. Kennedy, and suggested that Cruz’s wife was unattractive.

Trump “deserves” convention speakers who can endorse him “enthusiastically,” Kinzinger said.

Cruz told the Texas delegation on Thursday morning he was not going to vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton, and Kinzinger has also ruled out that option.

Kinzinger has been buying some time by telling all who asked that he needed to hear Trump’s convention speech — which is Thursday night — before finally deciding if he will back him. Kinzinger said “I’ll probably ultimately end up supporting him but, it’s not really enthusiastic.”

Kinzinger, who is carving out a national security and international affairs niche in Congress, said Trump’s views on NATO — Trump does not promise to defend NATO allies — also gave him pause. “That’s a narcissistic foreign policy. It’s the idea that the world needs us, and we don’t need the world. It’s simply untrue.”