If Senator Ted Cruz was turned away from Sheldon Adelson’s private suite at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, it was not on the instruction of the Adelsons, a friend of the billionaire philanthropist told The Times of Israel on their behalf.
“The Adelsons are friendly with Senator Cruz, and whatever their feelings about his speech tonight, that friendship remains intact,” said Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a friend of Sheldon and Miriam Adelson who was in the suite at the time. “They would never have behaved disrespectfully to anyone, much less a friend who is a United States senator and a staunch friend of Israel,” said Boteach, who said he was authorized to make the comments on behalf of the Adelsons.
Reports from the convention in the immediate aftermath of Cruz’s speech, in which he did not endorse Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and was booed from the floor, said Cruz was turned away when he tried to enter the Adelsons’ suite after his address and quoted an Adelson aide saying Cruz had initially been invited but the invitation was rescinded in the light of his speech.
Boteach said, however, that whatever their thoughts about his speech, the Adelsons would not have snubbed Cruz and that he was not turned away on their instructions.
He said they would be meeting with Cruz in the course of Thursday.
Trump stopped by the Adelson suite later, and was photographed with the couple.
The Adelson's with their choice for President! pic.twitter.com/gYsHBeT9AS
— Andy Abboud (@AndyAbboud) July 21, 2016
Adelson said in May that he would support Trump for the presidency if the real estate mogul was chosen as the nominee. “Yes. I’m a Republican, he’s a Republican,” Adelson said at a Manhattan event when asked if he would back Trump, according to The New York Times. “He’s our nominee. Whoever the nominee would turn out to be, any one of the 17 — he was one of the 17. He won fair and square.”
Stubbornly undercutting calls for Republican unity, Texas Sen. Cruz had refused to endorse Trump as he addressed the GOP convention, and ignored thunderous boos from furious delegates as he encouraged Americans to simply “vote your conscience” in November.
In a surreal moment, Trump unexpectedly walked into the arena just as Cruz was wrapping up his remarks. Delegates chanted Trump’s name and implored Cruz to voice his support for the businessman, to no avail.
“Vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution,” Cruz said. While he backed some of Trump’s policy proposals, including building a wall along the US-Mexico border, he mentioned the GOP nominee by name only once.
Cruz’s defiance ripped open party divisions anew, on the summer’s biggest political stage. Trump allies were infuriated, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who said Cruz’s decision was “totally selfish.”