Laura Ingraham: I Was Asked to Primary Ted Cruz
In her new book, 'Billionaire at the Barricades,' the radio talk-show host recounts the wild scene at the GOP Convention
People were so angry at Sen. Ted Cruz for not endorsing Donald Trump for president at the 2016 Republican National Convention that one man approached Laura Ingraham and asked her to move to Texas to unseat Cruz in the 2018 primary election.
Ingraham also personally witnessed Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas billionaire and top Republican donor, decline to let Cruz into his convention suite.
Ingraham, the editor-in-chief of LifeZette, documents the incredibly raw emotional reaction at the 2016 Republican National Convention in her new book, "Billionaire at the Barricades: The Populist Revolution from Reagan to Trump."
The tale is one still playing out today as nervous Republican senators try to come to grips with the populist revolution that propelled Donald Trump and Mike Pence into the White House. Cruz, for his part, came around by September, when he finally endorsed Trump.
But Ingraham sheds new light on Cruz's path to a Trump endorsement.
The events unfolded in Cleveland on July 20, 2016, after she gave a rousing speech to the Republican convention.
"Ingraham rocks the GOP," CNN reported. "[Ingraham] brought down the house on the Donald Trump holdouts."
But despite her well-received speech, Cruz was obviously set to disappoint the crowd later in the night.
"The place was buzzing with speculation about whether he was going to endorse Trump," Ingraham writes.
Cruz walked by Ingraham, then circled back to greet her before he spoke.
"'You gotta endorse him tonight,' I told him, looking him right in the eyes," Ingraham writes. "'Did you hear the crowd just now?' He didn't answer and continued on his way."
Cruz then spoke, as Ingraham watched. The crowd greeted the senator with heart, "whirling cowboy hats in the air." But the mood turned sour as an endorsement never came out of Cruz's mouth.
"People were so torched by Cruz's failure to endorse Trump that talk of primarying him ignited almost the moment he walked off the stage. In fact, a tanned, good-old-boy type in his late 40s approached me and asked me if I'd consider moving to Texas to run against him."
"The arena reverberated with boos and chants of 'Endorse Trump!'" Ingraham writes. "I have never heard a crowd jeer even after a speaker is finished speaking."
Ingraham recalls angry delegates in a state of disbelief that Cruz had not endorsed Trump.
"People were so torched by Cruz's failure to endorse Trump that talk of primarying him ignited almost the moment he walked off the stage," Ingraham writes. "In fact, a tanned, good-old-boy type in his late 40s approached me and asked me if I'd consider moving to Texas to run against him."
Ingraham also recounts how she then went to Adelson's suite, where the GOP mega-donor told security not to admit Cruz, who wanted to come inside.
The GOP and Cruz, a reliable conservative, eventually reconciled on Sept. 23, 2016, when Cruz issued a statement on Facebook, endorsing Trump.
Ingraham, in addition to being the founder and editor-in-chief of LifeZette, has written several New York Times best-sellers, including "Of Thee I Zing" and "Power to the People." She has hosted "The Laura Ingraham Show" since 2001, becoming the most listened-to female radio talk-show host in the nation.
Ingraham will begin hosting "The Ingraham Angle" on Fox News on October 30, every weekday night at 10 p.m.
"Billionaire at the Barricades" is published by All Point Books, a division of St. Martin's Press.