Welcomed with cheers on Wednesday night, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who came in a distant second behind Trump in the race for the nomination, stopped short of endorsing Trump after a bitter and personal campaign and mentioned him only once, drawing boos and repeated chants of “We want Trump.”
“I want to congratulate Donald Trump on winning the nomination last night,” he began. Later in his speech, he urged: “Please, don’t stay home in November. 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.”
Trump made his entrance to the convention hall during the speech, applauding Cruz’s remarks but distracting the crowd from his former rival.
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During the campaign for the party’s nomination, Trump insulted Cruz’s wife’s looks and suggested the Texan’s father was with John F. Kennedy’s assassin just before the president was shot in Dallas in 1963.
During the primary campaign, Cruz called the New York real estate developer a “serial philanderer” and a “narcissist.”
According to CNN reports, Cruz’s wife, Heidi, was heckled by Trump supporters before being escorted off Republican Convention floor.
Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker who’s a Trump supporter, defended Ted Cruz’s decision not to endorse Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
He said Cruz’s advice actually amounts to an endorsement since there’s only one candidate on the ballot in November who’ll uphold the Constitution — and that’s Trump, he says.
At the Cleveland convention, Cruz had suggested that people vote their “conscience for anyone who will uphold the Constitution.”
The convention hall booed Cruz after he finished his prime-time address — when he didn’t explicitly endorse Trump.