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The Lid: Intense Spotlight Now on Politics Top Showman

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Ted Cruz defended his decision not to endorse Donald Trump by saying he is not a "servile puppy dog." Because, you know, the cute and easily lovable Ted Cruz is just SICK AND TIRED of being compared to adorable animals.

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'16 from 30,000

It's showtime for the ultimate political showman tonight in Cleveland, and the stakes could not be higher. The nominee's keynote address on the final night of the convention is always high pressure. But the many problems that have nagged the GOP convention thus far have only made the spotlight on Trump even hotter. On one hand, there is no one in politics who has proven he can put on a better show than Trump. On the other, Trump has come off as flat and -- dare we say -- low energy, when delivering scripted speeches in the past. So will a disappointing speech cap what has been a disappointing week for the GOP? Or can Trump become the GOP's version of the Comeback Kid? You can follow all the action on our live blog here.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

FOR THE RECORD…

"That pledge was not a blanket commitment that if you attack and slander Heidi, I'm going to come along like a servile puppy dog."

  • Ted Cruz defending his non-endorsement of Trump to the Texas delegation Thursday.