I’m also confused about the animosity towards Cruz. The guy is a scary fruit case true, but Trump eviscerated Cruz and his wife and his father. Is a person with any kind of feelings or loyalty to family just expected to forgive and forget for the sake of the ‘party’?
This is just my take on things, pieced together from various articles I’ve read but here is how I understand things:
Conventions are a good time to highlight members of the party as well as the presidential candidate. A lot of people turned down the opportunity to speak or even be there. The Bush family, Republican royalty since the 1980s, refused to attend. This is a big deal. The closest they came to a former President at the convention was Bob Dole, who ran for the office but did not win. John Kasich, governor of the state where the convention is taking place and an active member of that party, refused to attend. This is huge. It’s like your sister having her wedding at your house and you being out for the day and unable to attend. This is an obvious snub. Many people declined the opportunity to speak at the convention. American politicians rarely turn down the opportunity to appear on a local stage, turning down a national stage is pretty darn amazing. Chris Christie and Ben Carson no longer have political careers so it was okay for them to go to the convention but I think the others are all hoping to still have jobs sometime in the future and figure the best way to do that is not to be in Cleveland.
You can read a bit about his speaker problem here https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/07/14/the-very-odd-list-of-speakers-at-the-republican-national-convention/ and here https://mic.com/articles/147696/donald-trump-is-having-trouble-getting-anyone-to-speak-at-the-rnc-in-cleveland#.LmpjGWgC6.
So, Trump needed a nationally recognized Senator to endorse him and I suppose he thought Cruz was that man. Clearly, he wasn’t. And yes, the party expected Cruz to put everything behind him and play nice. Many Republicans seem to think if they just grit their teeth and bear it, they will survive this election best by endorsing Trump and then pretending he never happened in coming elections. Right. Like the American people will just forgive and forget.