That’s the general narrative, but upon further review it’s not actually true.
Here’s the video…
There is no endorsement of Ford in that speech. What there is in the speech is thanks to the then-President for giving him the stage, then an enthusiastic endorsement of the 1976 GOP platform. And then following that, he said this…
“We must go forth from here united, determined that what a great general said a few years ago is true: There is no substitute for victory, Mr. President.”
That’s endorse-y, right? Well, what about this?
We deserve leaders who stand for principle, who unite us all behind shared values, who cast aside anger for love. That is the standard we should expect from everybody. And, to those listening, please don’t stay home in November.
If you love our country, and love our children as much as you do, stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom, and to be faithful to the constitution.
The case we have to make to the American people, the case each person in this room has to make to the American people is to commit to each of them that we will defend freedom, and be faithful to the Constitution.
We will unite the party; we will unite the country by standing together for shared values by standing for liberty. God bless each and every one of you, and God bless the United States of America.
It’s a bit hard to make the case that Reagan endorsed Ford but Cruz didn’t endorse Trump. The major difference between the two speeches is the reaction to them by the audience in the hall.
Ford’s convention in 1976 went wild at Reagan’s kind words. Trump’s convention this year went ballistic at Cruz’. It might be fair to say Cruz is no Reagan; it’s just as fair to say that the Republican Party of 2016 is not the Republican Party of 1976.