Hillary's Honesty and Trump's Temperament

By Jonathan Allen

Democratic Senate nominee Katie McGinty has apologized to Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey for calling him an "assh*le," saying that she regrets the language she used during an event in Philadelphia earlier Monday.

"I regret the language I used and apologize to Senator Toomey," McGinty said in a statement. "Our campaign is about moving Pennsylvania forward and we're going to continue to talk about the issues that are important to Pennsylvania families."

McGinty reportedly made the remark during an event in Philadelphia with Chris Shelton, president of the Communications Workers of America.

"'I'm going to borrow from Chris: Pat Toomey, he's an assh*le, damnit.' Katie McGinty riffing off CWA's Chris Shelton," read the tweet from The Hill's Alex Bolton .

McGinty is in Philadelphia participating in events at the Democratic National Convention. She is slated to address the convention Friday.

Her match-up against Toomey is one of the most competitive Senate races in the country, and potentially pivotal in the battle for control of the Senate majority in 2017.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000

PHILADELPHIA — All those hacked DNC emails showing the joy of backstabbing , the self-absorption of DWS and the price of sitting next to the president have, alas, distracted us from another shocking/not that shocking revelation, this one from the GOP nominee.

On "Meet the Press" on Sunday, Donald Trump stuck up for his old friend Roger Ailes, the ousted (but still well-compensated) head of Fox News, who’s been accused by some two dozen women of trying to pressure them into sex by promising jobs and advancement if they complied and professional consequences if they did not. (Through his famous feminist lawyer, Susan Estrich , he has denied doing any such thing.)

According to The Washington Post, these accusations go all the way back to the '60s — decades before Ailes helped build a network that perseverates on sexual misconduct.

Yet — and I’m not sure how this jibes with Ivanka Trump’s RNC speech about what a champion of women her dad is — Trump at a minimum doesn’t mind leaving the impression that Ailes might soon be running his presidential campaign.

“Is he helping you?” MTP moderator Chuck Todd asked Trump. “Is he advising you?”

“Well, I don't want to comment,” the new nominee responded.“But he's been a friend of mine for a long time. And I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he's helped them. And even recently. And when they write books that are fairly recently released, and they say wonderful things about him.

“And now all of a sudden they're saying these horrible things about him. It's very sad. Because he's a very good person. I've always found him to be just a very, very good person. And by the way, a very, very talented person. Look what he's done. So I feel very badly. But a lot of people are thinking he's going to run my campaign.”

For a candidate who only has to do something to mitigate his historically low standing among women if he wants to win the election, this is bold talk even from him.

But it is hardly out of nowhere for a man who, as Fox’s Megyn Kelly noted at an early GOP debate, has called women he doesn’t like fat pigs … dogs, slobs and disgusting animals,” — a man who’s obsessed with looks and youth, has made a creepy comment about his own daughter’s attractiveness, and with cameras rolling, mocked his then-rival Carly Fiorina’s appearance: “Look at that face!”

Another of Trump’s friends, and one he has in common with Bill Clinton, is Jeffrey Epstein , a convicted pedophile. Years before Epstein’s conviction, in 2002, Trump spoke glowingly — and in retrospect, tellingly — about him to New York magazine for a profile that cast Epstein as “Gatsbyesque” and a “collector of beautiful minds.”

“I've known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” Trump told the magazine writer. “He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

One reason Trump may feel so bad for his buddy Roger Ailes is that he can relate. Because another thing Donald Trump has in common with Bill Clinton is that they’ve both been accused of, and strenuously denied, committing rape.

One more thing they have in common: Neither accusation got as much mainstream attention as you’d think such a serious allegation would attract.

I’ve said for years that we’ve been wrong not to want to know whether the Big Dog was not just a hound dog, but a man credibly accused of violating a campaign volunteer in 1978. The woman involved, Juanita Broaddrick , has also said that Hillary Clinton soon thereafter thanked her for all she’d done for her husband in a way that made Broaddrick think the candidate’s wife was really pressuring her to stay silent.

To me, Trump’s refrain that Hillary Clinton enabled her husband’s treatment of women is indeed relevant as she campaigns on her record as a global encourager of women and their rights. But it was so long ago, when we knew so much less, my friends tell me.

Those who suspect that a prominent Republican accused of rape would be treated differently have so far been proven wrong, because the lawsuit filed last month by a woman who charges that Trump raped her at a 1994 Epstein party when she was 13 years old has been even more widely ignored.

That’s at least in part because the anonymous woman has never given an interview, and neither has another woman who reportedly worked for Epstein procuring adolescent girls as party favors and who has filed a sworn statement saying she witnessed the attack.

It’s also because the woman who filed the suit has gotten financial support from a conservative anti-abortion donor and a former "Jerry Springer" producer who say outright that they’re motivated by hatred of Trump.

In other words, not enough is on the record to assess the facts of the case, and the people who’ve taken it on don’t inspire confidence. The nominee's first wife, Ivana Trump, also said years ago that he had raped her in a fury as they were divorcing, but she later said she didn't mean the charge literally.

A third woman, Jill Harth , filed a 1997 lawsuit alleging Trump had sexually assaulted her but made the charges amid a business dispute and soon dropped the suit. She recently renewed her allegations.

Yet there is more than enough from the innocent-until-proven-guilty candidate’s own lips — including his victim-blaming defense of Ailes and admiring view of Epstein — to convict him of holding a view of women that is not just politically incorrect but all wrong. He used to defend Bill Clinton, too — and smeared our 42nd president's accusers, too, back in the day.

Those, including me, who have thought some pro-choice feminists have been too willing to look the other way on piggery by politicians who happen agree with them on abortion rights should now admit that some pro-life feminists come off as similarly craven in supporting Trump because he’s pledged to appoint Scalia-like conservatives to the Supreme Court; this is their issue, but it isn't the only issue.

And as long as our discussion of the treatment of women never gets beyond forest-for-the-trees arguments over whether the R or D team’s sins are worse, none of the above will change.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000

With the RNC done in Cleveland and the Trump/Pence ticket secured, Roll Call Chief Content Officer David Ellis provides insight to the coming week's events in Philadelphia.

12,000

PHILADELPHIA — Sen. Bernie Sanders' supporters soundly rejected presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Monday.

The crowd packed into a ballroom at the Philadelphia Convention Center responded with loud boos when Sanders said, "We have got to elect Hillary Clinton.”

Sanders addressed his delegates amid heightened divisions in the Democratic Party just a few hours before the first day of the Democratic National Convention.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz agreed Saturday to step down after the convention amid controversy over leaked DNC emails showing some staffers plotted against the campaign.

When Sanders addressed her resignation, the crowd responded with cheers.

Sanders supporters disrupted an appearance at Wasserman Schultz's home state delegation's breakfast Monday morning. And his supporters said to expect further disruption on the convention floor Monday if Wasserman Schultz addresses the convention.

The Bernie Delegates Network, which claims more than 1,200 Sanders delegates in its ranks, said its members were discussing possible protest actions during the convention.

Norman Solomon, the head of the delegate network, said he had not heard from the Sanders campaign that they should not protest. But Karen Bernal, who heads the California delegation, said she had heard indirectly that Sanders campaign staffers were concerned about disruptions.

Sanders did not tell his crowd of supporters not to protest or demonstrate at the convention. He instead attempted to say over the displeased crowd that Trump would be a disaster, and he did not respect the Constitution.

The delegate leaders rejected notions that they could hurt the Democratic Party's chances of unifying by acting on their disapproval of Clinton, and therefore help Trump win the presidency.

"We don't want to see Donald Trump taking the White House," said Bernal. "We need to be able to show that there is a space for this kind of discontent within the party and understanding that we can still move forward and try to do everything that we can to make this a more progressive party."

Sanders spent much of the rally laying out his campaign's victories, including more than 20 primary and caucus victories and nearly 1,900 pledged delegates.

He also encouraged supporters to keep his political revolution going, and support candidates up and down the ballot in November who promote progressive policies.

Campaign organizers passed out papers to attendees encouraging them to sign up and host kick off events for "Our Revolution ," a new political organization to recruit candidates who run on a progressive platform. Sanders said he would support 100 progressive candidates across the country.

"We continue to fight," Sanders said.

Contact Bowman at bridgetbowman@rollcall.com and follow her on Twitter at @bridgetbhc .

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000

You're with her but not actually with her in Philadelphia? Still writing constituent letters while your boss is at the convention? Good news for you, you’re not alone.

Here is the HOH calendar of Democratic convention fun this week in D.C..

Union Pub: $5 Hill Yes! Crush; $3 Dem Jell-O shot; $7 Jell-O Shot/Crush Combo.

201 Bar: New Liberty whiskeys available with titles: "Madam President," "First Dude" and "Feel the Bern."

Mission: $4 Tecate and $7 Madame president margaritas (blue).

Hawthorne: $4 Coronas , $7 Blue State Smash.

Union Pub: $1 Dem Jell-O shots during acceptance speech.

Mission: $6 El Jimador shots during acceptance speech.

Hawthorne: $4 Coronas , $7 Blue State Smash.

Anything to add? Email HOH@cqrollcall.com

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000

In her statement on Sunday announcing her resignation as chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz said she was focusing on serving her congressional district in Florida.

That tidy statement belied a messy situation back home as she runs for a seventh term in the House.

Wasserman Schultz's fall from her lofty party perch on the eve of the presidential nominating convention in Philadelphia was tied to Bernie Sanders.

He had long complained that the DNC favored his victorious rival, Hillary Clinton, in the primaries. That grievance wasn't going far until last week's release of DNC emails that seemed to back him up.

When Wasserman Schultz arrives in South Florida after the convention for the stretch run of her campaign, she'll face Tim Canova, who on his own probably wouldn't stand a chance in the Aug. 30 primary.

But Sanders is playing hardball with his new-found political power and has come through on his vow to make his fellow native New Yorker a private citizen again by backing the law professor and political novice with fundraising muscle. And so far, that's paying off.

Federal Election Committee reports show Canova raised $1.7 million in total contributions in the latest quarter compared to $1.2 million for Wasserman Schultz.

Because the district is so heavily Democratic, the winner of the primary likely will take the seat in November.


12,000

Media outlets are reporting some grumbling about Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's leadership of the Democratic National Committee and whether she can bring the party back together after a divisive presidential primary between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Wasserman Schultz was a rising star from a swing state when President Barack Obama selected her for the chairwoman post in 2011 . Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., in a letter to supporters, said Obama picked her for her "tenacity, her strength, her fighting spirit and her ability to overcome adversity." [ Reports: Murmurs About Ousting Wasserman Schultz at DNC ]

But those qualities have at times rubbed some in her party the wrong way. Here are a few of those times:

She was already in hot water for criticizing the Obama administration's policy of sending undocumented immigrant children back to their home countries a couple weeks earlier.

Contact Akin at stephanieakin@rollcall.com and follow her on Twitter at @stephanieakin .

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000

Democrats might have temporarily bumped up the population of Pennsylvania as they stream in for the convention today, but some party strategists and political analysts aren't certain how the state will lean in November.

"This time, it's not going to be easy," former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, the chair of the convention host committee and a longtime supporter of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, told the Pittsbugh newspaper The Tribune-Review Sunday. “There are a lot of people who feel left out of the process, and we have to reconnect with them and let them know we are on their side.”

Although Democrats have won Pennsylvania in every presidential election since 1992, the state has been considered a swing state since the 1950s . This year, with blue-collar white voters in rural regions considered likely to be open to Republican nominee Donald Trump's populist message, the Democratic grip on the state is considered weaker than it has been in years. In the walkup to the convention, several forecasts — including those at NBC News and NPR — have shifted the state from leaning Democratic to a tossup.

"For the first time in a long time I can see this remaining a tight race,” G. Terry Madonna, a political scientist at Franklin & Marshall College, told the Tribune-Review.

Clinton's campaign strategists said they were certain that Pennsylvania voters would side with their candidate over Trump.

"He's not going to win this state," Robby Mook, one of the campaign's top strategists, told the Tribune-Review.

But the campaign's plans belie such confident projections. As soon as the convention is over, Clinton's husband former President Bill Clinton and running mate Sen. Tim Kaine will be deployed to Pennsylvania, and Clinton is scheduled to start a bus tour across the state.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000
Heard on the Hill

Arizona's Kyrsten Sinema Spins Through Her Day

By Simone Pathé

Dave W. Smith is taking some of Debbie Wasserman Schultz's tough day off her hands. But not by choice.

Smith, whose Twitter profile says he is from Silicon Valley, is receiving mean tweets intended for the outgoing chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee after the content of some internal committee emails were released by Wikileaks.

According to Smith, National Public Radio misprinted Wasserman Schultz's Twitter handle, which is @DWStweets, as his: @DWS. My day so far: NPR misprinted the twitter handle of a certain politician that many folks are very, very angry at. Hi, angry folks. — Dave W Smith (@dws) July 24, 2016

For the record, NPR corrected the misprint quickly. Now waiting for Twitter to act on the misdirection bug this uncovered. — Dave W Smith (@dws) July 25, 2016

Smith is responding to the mean tweets very kindly and asking people to correct the handle.

People have been tweeting at Smith since late Sunday with attacks like, " @ TheDemocrats @ DWStweets why hasn't @ dws tweeted? we need to hear her side of the story? # whatisthetruth."

@cowboysjetsfan I'm tweeting now to tell you that I'm not DWStweets. I'm not involved. — Dave W Smith (@dws) July 25, 2016

A few other tweets included, "LOL at the biggest fraud in the Democratic party DWS. Next to Obama," "Please I know its been hard for you, but please don't get up there tonight and Make a fool of us all" and "@dws is now working for #CrookedHillary."

@DWS Please I know its been hard for you, but please don't get up there tonight and Make a fool of us all — Janet Heinsler (@HEINSLERJAN) July 25, 2016

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000

Norman Solomon, a Sanders delegate from California, said the choice of Sen. Tim Kaine as Hillary Clinton's running mate shows "demonstrable contempt for the progressive wing of the party."

[ Clinton Picks Virginia's Tim Kaine for VP ]

Solomon told reporters at a news conference that there are "very serious" discussions about forcing a challenge to the Kaine nomination on the convention floor.

Solomon heads the The Bernie Delegates Network, an independent group of Sanders delegates which claims 1,250 in their ranks. The group conducted a survey of some delegates 10 days ago, in which some 88.1 percent said Kaine would be a "not acceptable" choice.

"We're going to be very quickly doing another straw poll," to see what action the delegates would like to do, Solomon said. He expected that survey of delegates within the network would take place within the next 24 hours.

[ Kaine the Attack Dog Goes After Trump ]

Solomon said that under the Democratic National Convention rules, it would take 300 signatures, no more than 50 of which could originate from any individual state, in order to put a second name in for nomination as vice president. "There has been outreach to specific individuals" about possibly being involved, said Progressive Democrats of America Executive Director Donna Smith, speaking at the same news conference.

Sanders said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he would have preferred another person for vice president, but the choice was up to Clinton. But, he said, Kaine was not the choice he was hoping for. “Tim is a very very smart guy. His is a very nice guy. His political views are not my political views. He is more conservative than I am," Sanders said. "Would I have preferred to see somebody like Elizabeth Warren selected by Secretary Clinton? Yes I would have.”

Bridget Bowman contributed.

Contact Lesniewski at NielsLesniewski@cqrollcall.com and follow him on Twitter @nielslesniewski.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000

PHILADELPHIA — Delegates in town to support Sen. Bernie Sanders have grievances, but their candidate will be fully behind the presumptive Democratic nominee when he takes the stage Monday night.

His campaign seemed to want to make clear to supporters that despite their concerns — whether about the contents of leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee that indicated some staffers there had been plotting against him, or the selection of Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as Clinton's running mate — that Clinton is the obvious choice for November.

A Sanders campaign aide promised a speech touting Clinton's policies on key domestic issues, including the environment and health care.

Sanders said in an interview on ABC's "This Week" that he will use his speech to make the case for his "revolution" to continue.

"We have got to continue to get people involved in the political process at every level," Sanders said. "And that means not just the U.S. Senate but school board, at every level."

[ Sanders Endorses Clinton ]

Sanders also plans to say that his movement is going to, "continue the fight to create a government which represents all of us, and not just the 1 percent — a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice," according to the aide.

The Sanders campaign did claim victory Saturday night with an agreement to establish a commission designed to curtail the power of super delegates.

The deal prevents what could have been a complicated floor fight at Wells Fargo Arena on Monday.

"This is a tremendous victory for Senator Sanders' fight to democratize the Democratic Party and reform the Democratic nominating process," Jeff Weaver, Sanders' campaign manager, said of the commission on superdelegates. "We were pleased to work with the Clinton campaign to enact this historic commission."

As proposed, the commission would feature appointees from both campaigns, as well as the Democratic National Committee.

[ Roll Call's 2016 Election Guide: President ]

"We haven't completely eliminated superdelegates, so this fight is not over. But a guaranteed recommendation of two-thirds fewer superdelegates is a major step, and one that I'm excited to continue building on in future years," said rules committee member Aaron Regunberg, a state lawmaker from Rhode Island who had pushed an effort to completely eliminate the use of superdelegates.

The coming together on reducing the number of party insiders who get to cast votes as delegates without being bound to election results tracks well with the news reported by CNN that Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is expected to no longer have a leading role on the convention stage.

Wasserman Schultz has long been criticized by supporters of Sanders over concerns the DNC put a thumb on the scale in favor of Clinton during the primary process, and the deluge of internal emails released by Wikileaks only added fuel to that fire.

Sanders said Sunday that Wasserman Schultz should step down.

“I think she should resign. Period," Sanders told ABC. "And i think we need a new chair who is going to lead us in a different direction.”

Bridget Bowman contributed to this report.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000

Trump Gets Bounce, but GOP Still Divided

By Jeremy Silk Smith

Hillary Clinton's 'Law and Order' Problem

By Mary C. Curtis

Donald Trump’s biggest selling point is his brilliance as a manager.

Yet if this week’s Republican National Convention is any guide, a Trump administration would marry the micromanaging of Jimmy Carter, who refused to delegate even the scheduling of the White House tennis courts, with the incompetence of, say, James Buchanan, who held that Southern secession was illegal, but that going to war to keep the country together was, too.

The unlikely theme of the day here in Cleveland is “Making America One Again.”

Doing that would never have been easy in a moment so polarized that even the weather is a political topic. (“It’s so cool here for this time of year,” my climate change skeptic dad often tells me in midsummer. “Really? Because it’s beastly here,’’ I often answer.)

But this GOP convention has itself made “making America one again” a little harder.

A conspiracy theory-loving person like the GOP nominee might not have to think too hard before concluding that yes, Donald J. Trump's party is out to sink him with the goings-on here, which have featured daily booing on the floor by what he’s called a tiny minority of embarrassed losers.

[ The Latest From Day 4 ]

John Kasich, the governor of the state hosting Trump’s nominating party, has not only stayed away but let slip that he was offered the vice presidency – and told by Donald Trump Jr. that if he took the job, his portfolio would include both foreign and domestic policy. (The nominee’s son has denied making any such offer, which would presumably have left Trump free to pursue other interests.)

Then we have the whole Melania speech fiasco , George W. Bush wondering aloud whether he will go down in history as the last Republican president, and Ted Cruz urging Americans to “vote your conscience” — a decision that the party, if it does survive, may yet come to see as principled even if it also involved score-settling.

[ Who Came Off Worse — Cruz or Trump? ]

After that performance, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called the Texas senator "selfish,” to which Cruz's former campaign manager, Jeff Roe, responded, “That guy turned over his political testicles long ago.”

All in all, you have to wonder how Trump can run a country when he can’t run a convention, or how he might bring the country together when the Quicken Loans Arena is the site of so many civil war skirmishes.

The speakers squarely in Trump’s corner are busy making the drawing together of our countrymen less likely with over-the-top rhetoric like Christie's, when he essentially asked for a thumbs up or thumbs down during a mock trial of Clinton on Tuesday that recalled entertainment in the Roman Colosseum . And when Ben Carson linked Clinton to Lucifer, Dana Carvey’s old “Church lady ” skit on Saturday Night Live was officially surpassed by reality.

In his speech accepting the GOP nomination tonight, Donald Trump would have to change course radically to even start to unify the country. And though I’m sure we will hear a few words about love and kindness, any suggestion that we’re not that different or all that far apart would be so out of character that his supporters wouldn’t recognize him even if he did.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000

Sen. Tim Kaine pulled out a Trump card against the Republican presidential nominee at his first appearance as presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's running mate.

The Virginia senator said one of his sons, who is a U.S. Marine, will soon be deployed to Europe in support of NATO allies, an obvious opening for the generally affable Kaine to whack GOP nominee Donald Trump.

"He repeatedly calls the American military, 'a disaster.' And just this week, Donald Trump said that as president, he'd consider turning America's back on our decades-old commitments to our allies," Kaine said. "While our service members are out there on the front lines, Trump's saying he'd leave our allies at the mercy of an increasingly aggressive Russia. And folks, that's an open invitation for Vladimir Putin to just roll on in."

"We've seen again and again that when Donald Trump says he has your back, you better watch out," Kaine said.

It was the genial Kaine assuming the classic role of the vice presidential candidate as lead attack dog.

Clinton and Kaine emerged on the Miami stage with their arms raised, and the Virginia senator was grinning ear-to-ear as he sat behind Clinton while she introduced him.

"Make no mistake, behind that smile Tim also has a backbone of steel. Just ask the NRA," Clinton said, referring to Kaine's history of battling with the gun rights organization.

Much of the talk from Clinton and Kaine to a packed house in Miami was about introducing Kaine to unfamiliar audiences and outlining keys to the agenda for a Clinton-Kaine administration, in both English and Spanish.

Kaine said that within the first hundred days, Clinton would be proposing an overhaul of immigration laws, including a pathway to citizenship. He also highlighted economic priorities for Democrats, like an increased minimum wage.

And unlike the roll out of GOP Vice Presidential nominee and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence by Donald Trump, Clinton's introduction of the junior senator from Virginia focused chiefly on the new addition to the ticket, introducing the Kaine biography.

Both Clinton and Kaine recounted his resume -- as a civil rights attorney, Richmond mayor, Virginia governor and U.S. senator -- to stress a shared commitment to public service.

His speech ranged from the folksy, when talking about his upbringing in the Midwest, to the emotional, when describing a visit to Virginia Tech after the mass shooting there in 2007 as the worst day of his life.

And he spent time going after Trump for the business mogul's failure to release tax returns and for what he called the GOP nominee's "Me First" attitude.

"When this election is done, the only thing people will remember about Donald Trump is 'You're fired!'" Kaine said.

Just after Clinton and Kaine finished, another potential vice presidential choice and favorite of the party's liberal base threw her weight behind the ticket, in a move that could quell some liberal angst about the Kaine selection.

Speaking at a National Council of La Raza event a few hours drive north in Orlando, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts repeated her call for Democrats to do everything they can to ensure Trump is never elected president.

"We believe that we must make Hillary Clinton the next president of the United States and Tim Kaine the next vice president of the United States," Warren said. "Not can, not should. Must — must make them."

Contact Lesniewski at NielsLesniewski@cqrollcall.com and follow him on Twitter @nielslesniewski.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000

Months after he started calling him Lyin' Ted, Donald Trump appeared at a May rally in Indiana and suggested that Sen. Ted Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz, had been involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

"What was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death, before the shooting?" Trump asked. "It’s horrible.”

Incensed, Cruz responded by calling Trump a narcissist and a pathological liar. On Wednesday night, Cruz exacted his revenge and refused to endorse Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention meant to unify GOP support behind his nomination.

In front of 5,000 RNC Republican delegates and a television audience of millions, Cruz at first did what he was supposed to do and declared Trump the 2016 winner fair and square. "I want to congratulate Donald Trump on winning the nomination last night," Cruz said.

But as delegates waited for the endorsement, Cruz moved on to talk about conservative principles, devotion to family, and protecting the American dream. He spoke of a little girl who lost her father, a police officer, who died in the line of duty.

[ Ted Cruz Delegates Not Ready to Back Trump in November ]

"What if this is our last time?" Cruz asked. "Did we live up to the values we really believe? Did we do all we really could?"

He urged Republicans to "vote your conscience," but never urged them to vote for Donald Trump.

It wasn't supposed to be this way.

Earlier in the day, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort indicated Cruz would endorse Trump. "We expect we'll like what we hear," Manafort said at a briefing. Cruz's former campaign manager, Jeff Roe, also seemed to expect an endorsement. "I think they'll be pleased with the speech," he said of the Trump campaign.

But if the Trump campaign really thought Cruz had forgotten about the way Trump had treated his father and his wife (when Trump tweeted out an unflattering picture of her next to his supermodel wife, Melania), they were wrong.

And if the Trump campaign believed an endorsement was coming from Cruz, they haven't been paying attention.

Since the day Cruz dropped out of the presidential campaign, it has been clear that his fight was only just beginning. Over the past several months, he has revamped his Washington operation to look a lot more like a White House-in-Waiting than a consolation prize.

He has hired a David Polyansky, a top adviser in the campaign, as his Senate chief of staff. He's also launching two political non-profits "to promote conservative principles," widely seen as laying the ground work for policies and messages for his next presidential run.

[ Welcome Back to the Senate, Ted Cruz! ]

At a barbecue lunch for his supporters earlier in the day, Cruz insisted he didn't know "what the future will hold." But to a person, the supporters I spoke with fully expected Cruz to run again.

"Back in 2005, my wife said Ted Cruz would be president, and I still see that in his future," said Brian McAullife, a Cruz delegate. Asked if he thought Cruz would run sooner rather than later, McAuliffe said, "That depends on how good a job Trump does as president."

But hard feelings against Trump have remained deep among other Republicans.

Regina Thompson, Cruz's Colorado state director and deputy director of an effort to unbind the delegates from Trump, said, "Personally, I will not support Trump. I can't adhere to this. I will write in Ted Cruz."

Chris Herrod, Cruz's Utah state director, said he's trying to get there with Trump, but he can't say yet that he'll vote for him. "Some of the things he's said and written in his books are very difficult," Herrod said. "But more than anything, I think it's the bullying that people have a hard time with. I agree with many of his policies, but you shouldn't be a bully."

Even Utah's Sen. Mike Lee, a close friend of Cruz's, led the effort earlier this week to unbind convention delegates from voting for Trump. When asked two weeks ago why he hadn't yet endorsed Trump, Lee listed Trump's comments about the Kennedy assassination as the first of many reasons.

"We can get into the fact that he accused my best friend's father of conspiring to kill JFK," Lee said.

As it became clear Wednesday that Cruz would not endorse Trump, a chorus of boos inside the convention grew to a roar, but Cruz didn't seem worried at all. He finished his remarks calmly and smiled as he left the spotlight, exiting into the darkness.

[ Ted Cruz Shares the GOP's Values ]

Did he just live up to the values he really believed in? Yes. Did he do all he really could? Yes again.

Is the Republican Party going to be united leaving this convention? Thanks to Ted Cruz and the rest of the Republicans who can't forgive Trump's sins, no. It won't even be close.

Roll Call columnist Patricia Murphy covers national politics for The Daily Beast. Previously, she was the Capitol Hill bureau chief for Politics Daily and founder and editor of Citizen Jane Politics. Follow her on Twitter @1PatriciaMurphy.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000

CLEVELAND — Donald Trump's campaign thinks Connecticut is in play.

The state hasn't exactly been friendly territory for Republicans lately.

Take it from someone who'd know.

"Connecticut is an incredibly, incredibly blue state," said two-time GOP Senate candidate Linda McMahon, a delegate to the Republican National Convention.

But with Trump at the top of the ticket, McMahon thinks there's a chance her state will go red, and she credits her own two failed campaigns for awakening Republicans in the Nutmeg State.

[ Failed But Not Forgotten, Linda McMahon Keeps Hand in GOP ]

The co-founder and former CEO of WWE, McMahon has known Trump for 30 years — mostly through business. "We're not close social friends," she said, sitting in a private lounge on the fourth floor of the Quicken Loans Arena overlooking the convention floor.

As a northeastern Republican best known for her role in the entertainment business and for pouring nearly $100 million of her own money into her campaigns, McMahon's political trajectory wasn't all that different than Trump's.

On policy, too, she sees an affinity. She's fiscally conservative and socially moderate.

“He has said he’s a pro-life candidate, so we may be a little different on that," McMahon said of the GOP nominee. But he suspects there's not all that much room between herself and the New York real estate mogul on social issues.

This isn't McMahon's first convention, but it's a little different from what she's experienced in the past.

McMahon sat with a shawl over her shoulders — she'd had frozen yogurt for a late lunch, the leftovers of which she instructed an aide to toss — and it was icy in the lounge.

She recalled roaming the floors of both the Democratic and Republican conventions in 2000 and 2004 as part of WWE's "Smackdown Your Vote!" programming to encourage young people to vote.

It was almost time for her to get down to the floor for the delegations to cast their votes for the nominee.

This year is McMahon's first time as a delegate, and as a member of the rules committee, she'd been a strong supporter of delegates being bound to the candidate who won their state. Trump won Connecticut with 60 percent of the vote.

But she had to leave extra time to get down to the floor because of a still-healing foot surgery that rendered her reliant on a motorized scooter to get around.

That's meant no parties. After the convention programming each night, she's back to her room to ice her foot.

But McMahon's enjoying just being in Cleveland. She ran into Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker over dinner at the Ritz Carlton, and she was smitten when Dan Rather held the door open for her scooter.

And although she didn't start out backing Trump — she hosted two fundraisers for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at her house during the early part of the campaign — she's all in for Trump now.

Christie has campaigned for her in both 2010, when she ran against Richard Blumenthal, and in 2012, when she ran against Chris Murphy. Trump also supported those two campaigns, both of which she lost by 12 points.

During both of those campaigns, McMahon faced many of the same attacks Trump has — for ties to an entertainment business criticized as unsavory and for trying to buy political power.

During that first Senate campaign, McMahon didn't accept donations.

"I felt it was a bonus to use my own money because I said out-front I won’t be beholden to any lobbyists," she said. Trump made the same argument throughout the primary, and on Wednesday, he officially forgave all the personal loans he'd made to his presidential campaign.

Trump is funding 55 percent of his own campaign, according to the Center for Public Integrity .

Self-funding opened McMahon up to attacks that she was buying the election, she said. So when she ran two years later, she accepted donations. The problem was, no one wanted to give to her because they all knew she didn't need the money as much as other candidates.

McMahon is done running for office. Instead, she's helping other female Republicans like New Hampshire's Kelly Ayotte, Arizona's Martha McSally and New York's Elise Stefanik.

"I don’t have that desire to run again," she said. Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.

12,000

The 10 Most Vulnerable House Members

By Simone Pathé