Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was booed off the stage July 20 during his speech at the Republican National Convention after he did not endorse Donald Trump, the party's nominee for president (video below).
Cruz, who was runner-up to Trump in the presidential race, received a standing ovation when he walked on stage to give his speech, the National Review reports.
“I congratulate Donald Trump on winning the nomination last night,” he said at the beginning of his speech, to which the crowd responded with applause. That was the only time he mentioned Trump as he spoke of freedom and the country deserving leaders with principles, shared values and who cast aside anger for love.
“That is the standard we should expect from everybody,” Cruz said.
The mood in the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, turned when Cruz directly spoke about the November election.
“And to those listening, please, don’t stay home in November,” he said to roaring applause.
“If you love our country and love your children as much as I know that you do, 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,” Cruz continued.
At this point, boos from the crowd began as an endorsement for Trump was not forthcoming but the use of an anti-Trump group’s rally cry -- vote your conscience -- was made instead.
Cruz continued his speech as the crowd booed and yelled, “We want Trump!”
“You arrogant ass!” Donald Hoffman, the former president of the American Nuclear Society, yelled at Cruz from the floor, the National Review reports.
“Thank you, and may God bless the United States of America,” Cruz said at the end of his speech while the booing and anger from the crowd continued.
Cruz remained on stage for several moments, reportedly waving and smiling uncomfortably.
Those who support Cruz were not phased by the incident.
“I have never been more proud to work for Ted Cruz,” one lieutenant said in a text message to the National Review.
“I thought Ted, you know, spoke his own mind there, and I can’t quibble with that,” said Ken Cuccinelli, the former Virginia attorney general who was an advisor for Cruz’s presidential campaign. “That’s what he’s done for years, it makes him unique among political figures.”
Trump, who clapped, smiled, and waved at the crowd during Cruz’s speech, took to Twitter to react to him being booed off stage.
“Wow, Ted Cruz got booed off the stage, didn’t honor the pledge! I saw his speech two hours early but let him speak anyway. No big deal!” he tweeted.
During a morning meeting with Texas delegation members on July 21, Cruz defended his choice to not endorse Trump.
“I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father,” he said, according to CNN.