Senator Ted Cruz exposed the disunity within the Republican Party after he refused to endorse their presidential nominee Donald Trump at the national convention in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Texas Senator came in second with 475 delegates in the Republican presidential race. Trump obtained 1,725 delegates. In his speech last night, Sen. Cruz congratulated the real estate mogul for winning the party’s presidential nomination, but he did not endorse him.
Cruz encouraged Republicans to vote their conscience
Sen. Cruz said, “I congratulate Donald Trump on winning the nomination last night.” That was the only time he mentioned the name of the Republican presidential nominee during his remarks at the convention. He focused on promoting the principles of the conservative party and encouraged Republicans to vote their “conscience.”
“We deserve leaders who stand for principle, unite us all behind shared values, cast aside anger for love. That is the standard we should expect from everybody,” said Cruz.
He also stated, “And to those listening, 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 supporters led by the delegates from New York booed Cruz. They also shouted “Goldman Sachs!” at his wife, who was escorted out by security for her safety. Heidi Cruz is an employee of Goldman Sachs.
In an interview with Reuters, Ken Cuccinelli, a former attorney general from Virginia and an anti-Trump delegate said he accompanied Sen. Cruz’s wife outside the RNC out of concern for her safety. He said, “When the speech ended, there was an ugly crowd behind us.”
A vote of no confidence to Trump
Political observers commented that Sen. Cruz’s expressed his vote of no confidence to Trump when he appealed to people to vote their conscience in November.
“’Vote your conscience was the rallying cry of the Never Trump movement. For Cruz to bring that message into #RNC hall was a colossal error,” tweeted Republican strategic Eric Fehrnstrom, who has no ties with either Trump or Cruz’s campaign.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said, “I think it was awful. And quite frankly, I think it was something selfish. And he [referring to Sen. Cruz] signed a pledge. And it’s his job to keep his word.”
During a meeting with the Texas delegation in Cleveland the following morning after his speech, Cruz emphasized, “I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father.”
He added that his promise during the primary to support the Republican nominee was “was not a blanket commitment that if you go and slander and attack Heidi, that I’m going to nonetheless come like a servile puppy dog and say, Thank you very much for maligning my wife and maligning my father.”