The Latest: Cruz on 2020: Not sure what the future holds


CLEVELAND (AP) — The Latest on the Republican National Convention (all times EDT):

2:32 p.m.

Ted Cruz was ruminating in Cleveland about “what the future is going to hold” for his presidential ambitions when Donald Trump’s personal jet appeared in the sky over head to remind him whose party he was attending.

Cruz, who finished second to Trump in the GOP contest, chuckled, “That was pretty well orchestrated.”

He spoke Wednesday to hundreds of supporters who chanted, “2020, 2020, 2020,” ahead of his speech to the Republican National Convention.

He left wide open a return to the presidential campaign trail in the future. The Texas senator is not expected to endorse Trump during his address to the convention.

___

2:21 p.m.

Donald Trump has dramatically landed in Cleveland in advance of accepting the Republican nomination for president.

Trump’s plane landed at an airstrip near Lake Erie and then the celebrity businessman took his helicopter to a landing field at the Great Lakes Science Center a short distance from the convention site. His wife, Melania Trump, was not with him.

Some members of Trump’s family, his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, and some supporters were on hand to greet him. Amid swelling music, Trump and Pence thanked their supporters.

Trump was at the convention Monday to introduce his wife Melania but then returned to New York.

He is slated to address the convention Thursday night and may appear with Pence during the vice presidential nominee’s speech Wednesday night.

___

1:49 p.m.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says that passages incorporated into Melania Trump’s convention speech from Michelle Obama’s convention speech in 2008 shows that Americans admire similar values in their political leaders.

Earnest was reacting to news that Meredith McIver, a Trump Organization staff writer, says she made a mistake in including the passages. He says that admiring the same values shows the nation isn’t as divided as it may seem. That’s a point made recently by President Barack Obama.

Earnest says Mrs. Obama’s speech in 2008 drew widespread praise. He says “I’m confident in the future, aspiring first ladies or potential first husbands will draw on the same kind of sentiments to advocate for their spouse.”

Meredith McIver explained her role in the Trump plagiarism controversy in a statement issued Wednesday.

___

1:12 p.m.

A prominent Donald Trump delegate from New Hampshire says Hillary Clinton should be “put in the firing line and shot for treason,” over the Benghazi, Libya, attacks that killed four Americans.

New Hampshire state Rep. Al Baldasaro appears frequently with Trump and serves as an adviser on veteran’s issues. He made the remarks Tuesday when asked on a Boston radio program if Clinton was responsible for the Benghazi deaths.

He says Clinton “is a disgrace for the lies she told those mothers about their children,” adding, “Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason.”

He’s also calling Clinton a “piece of garbage” for using a private email server while she was President Barack Obama’s secretary of state.

Baldasaro is known for making controversial comments in his role as a New Hampshire lawmaker. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

___

1:03 p.m.

Some delegates to the Republican National Convention are upset that Ohio Gov. John Kasich is skipping out on the main events.

Kasich has avoided the convention hall in Cleveland and has refused to endorse his former presidential rival Donald Trump.

New Hampshire delegate Steve Stepanek, who is the state co-chairman for Trump’s campaign, says Kasich’s actions are a “real slap in the face” and an “insult” to Trump and Republican delegates from across the country.

Missouri delegate Dave Spence says he also is “a little miffed” at Kasich. Spence supported Kasich in Missouri’s primary. And Kasich helped raise money for Spence’s unsuccessful gubernatorial bid in 2012.

But Spence says Kasich is “trying to be too coy” and should be at the Republican convention in his home state.

___

12:44 p.m.

A Trump Organization staff writer says she made a “mistake” in including passages from a Michelle Obama speech in Melania Trump’s convention speech.

Meredith McIver says she offered her resignation, but Donald Trump rejected it.

McIver explained her role in the Trump plagiarism controversy in a statement issued Wednesday.

McIver says Mrs. Trump read passages of Mrs. Obama’s 2008 convention speech during the writing the process. She says her notes from that conversation made it into the final version.

She says she feels terrible for the “chaos” she caused.

The Trump campaign has said denied accusations of plagiarism, saying the similarities were coincidence.

___

12:08 p.m.

Sen. Bob Corker says the controversy over passages in Melania Trump’s convention speech has been “aggravated by the response” from the Trump campaign.

The Tennessee Republican tells The Associated Press that he “can’t imagine that from her part there was anything nefarious under way.” Corker adds that he thinks the campaign should have found “a better way” to handle the situation “so that it’s not kept alive. She’s got to be mortified.”

Two passages of Mrs. Trump’s speech Monday night were nearly identical to passages from Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention eight years ago. But rather than acknowledge any error, Trump’s campaign is in denial mode, blaming the media for creating a controversy and suggesting Hillary Clinton bore some responsibility.

Corker is a Trump supporter who is in regular touch with campaign officials after taking himself out of the running for vice president. He is in Cleveland this week but declined a speaking role to the convention hall. He says teleprompter speeches aren’t his thing.

___

11:47 a.m.

Donald Trump says the plagiarism charges surrounding his wife’s speech at the Republican National Convention are not necessarily all bad.

Trump says in a tweet, “Good news is Melania’s speech got more publicity than any in the history of politics especially if you believe that all press is good press!”

Mrs. Trump’s speech Monday evening included two passages that matched word-for-word with First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech to the Democratic convention.

Trump advisers have defiantly denied the charge, despite clear evidence to the contrary.

Trump blames the press for harping on the issue, saying the media “is spending more time doing a forensic analysis of Melania’s speech than the FBI spent on Hillary’s emails.”

___

11:44 a.m.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is preparing for his closely watched moment at the center of the Republican National Convention.

Pence, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s running mate, will speak at the convention in Cleveland Wednesday night. He did a walkthrough at the Quicken Loans Arena that morning.

Joined by his wife Karen, Pence stood onstage at the arena for several minutes, checking the sight lines, doing a mic check and getting comfortable with the TelePrompTers.

Pence, who was selected by Trump last week after days of highly public debate, is expected to vouch for the celebrity businessman’s conservative credentials and call for unity in a Republican Party left divided after a bruising primary fight.

___

10:35 a.m.

Caitlyn Jenner says it was easier to come out as transgender than it was as a Republican.

The transgender activist and Olympic gold medalist is speaking at a breakfast at the Republican National Convention to promote LGBT inclusion in the GOP. She says Democrats do a better job on the issue.

Jenner is crediting President Barack Obama for taking positive steps for LGBT individuals. She received a smattering of applause from fellow Republicans for acknowledging his move to eliminate the ban on transgender people serving openly in the military.

Jenner says the issue of which bathrooms transgender people use has been used politically for many years. She says she hasn’t had any problems.

Formerly known as Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner transitioned to her new identity last year.

___

10:31 a.m.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry says President Barack Obama is to blame for long waits and other problems that still plague the Department of Veterans Affairs, two years after a scandal where veterans died while waiting for an appointment.

Perry says veterans have been treated with “disdain” under Obama’s administration. He said Obama has failed to fix the problem, despite appointing a new VA secretary and receiving $16 billion in new funding from Congress.

Perry said Wednesday that “nothing happened” after Congress approved a VA overhaul in 2014.

The reason, Perry said: “The president of the United States doesn’t care about the veterans of this country. That’s not a harsh thing to say. It’s just the truth.”

Perry spoke to Mississippi delegates at a breakfast during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

___

9:33 a.m.

Donald Trump Jr. says his father’s speech Thursday will be about “taking care of America.”

Trump Jr. says politicians overpromise and under-deliver and that his father is different. Trump Jr. is speaking in Cleveland at a breakfast hosted by the Wall Street Journal.

Asked whether the candidate’s delivery will be more in the style of a freewheeling rally or teleprompter policy speech, Trump Jr. says, “This is a time where there will be discipline.”

___

9:24 a.m.

Donald Trump Jr. isn’t ruling out a future in politics.

The 38-year-old New Yorker says that when his five children are older, he’d consider running for office. Trump Jr. is speaking at a breakfast in Cleveland hosted by the Wall Street Journal.

He adds that he’d “love to be able to do it, as a patriot.”

___

8:50 a.m.

Donald Trump’s top adviser says that former presidential rival Ted Cruz will have a role in the general election campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Paul Manafort told CNN’s “New Day” that the Texas senator, who is scheduled to address the Republican National Convention later Wednesday, will offer a message “consistent with what Mr. Trump is talking about.”

Asked whether Cruz will endorse Trump, Manafort said Cruz “will be part of the campaign going forward,” but “in what capacity, I’m not sure.”

He said his words will at least “suggest” that he is backing Trump’s candidacy for president.

Throughout the primaries, Trump consistently called Cruz “Lyin’ Ted” and took jabs at the appearance of his Cruz’ wife, Goldman Sachs executive Heidi Cruz.

___

7:12 a.m.

Donald Trump’s campaign chairman says one purpose of the Republican National Convention is to redefine the GOP presidential nominee.

Paul Manafort said on ABC Wednesday that, “we feel that the American people don’t know all of Donald Trump.”

He added that by the time the convention closes this week, Trump’s family and close friends will have painted “a picture of the candidate who’s… a father, a compassionate human being, a successful businessman.”

Manafort said there will be less emphasis on Trump’s signature issues that he highlighted during the GOP primary, such as a temporary ban on Muslim immigration and building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.