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Ted Cruz agrees to speak at Republican convention

Trump's Challenges

Shortly after meeting privately with Donald Trump Thursday, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told reporters that he accepted an invitation to speak at the Republican national convention in Cleveland this month.

"Donald asked me to speak at the Republican convention, and I told him I'd be happy to do so," Cruz said. He called their meeting -- which was also attended by Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus and Cruz's former campaign manager Jeff Roe -- a "positive and productive" one.

The Texas Republican has withheld his support for Trump since exiting the White House race, after a rancorous Republican primary race in which the New York billionaire viciously attacked Cruz's wife on Twitter and suggested that the senator's father, Rafael Cruz, was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Trump told the New York Times last month that he would not invite a person to speak "if there's no endorsement." But at the meeting with Cruz Thursday morning, the Texas Republican said there was "no discussion of any endorsement."

Previewing the likely content of his speech, Cruz told reporters that he would continue to "urge Americans to get back to the Constitution."

"Eight failed years of the Obama-Clinton economy. Eight failed years of a presidency disregarding the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Eight failed years of a commander-in-chief not protecting Americans --keeping us safe from radical Islamic terrorism. It's time for that to end," Cruz said. "And so I'm going to do my very best to point to the policies and principles that we should be unifying behind and that give a better direction for this country going forward."

Trump promised Wednesday that he would release his convention speaker lineup -- which he has said will include his wife and all of his adult children -- Thursday.


Last week, Trump had said all the speaker slots for the convention were "totally filled."

Trump was in Washington, D.C. Thursday to meet with Congressional Republicans.