Defiant Ted Cruz stands by refusal to endorse Trump after being booed during convention speech
Cleveland (CNN) Ted Cruz on Thursday strongly defended his refusal to endorse Donald Trump during his Republican National Convention speech, saying he’s not “in the habit” of backing politicians who attack his family.
“I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father,” Cruz said at a morning meeting where he faced sharp questions from the Texas delegation in Cleveland.
The Texas senator sensationally withheld an endorsement of Trump in his speech Wednesday, earning a chorus of boos from the floor while getting upstaged in a power play by the GOP nominee himself.
In a dramatic development, as Cruz wrapped up his speech, Trump suddenly appeared in the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. He walked to join his family in a VIP area and flashed a thumbs-up — a gesture that transmitted clear anger at the Texas senator’s behaviour.
Cruz, his party’s runner-up, uttered Trump’s name just once — to congratulate him — and instead pitched the ideological brand of conservatism that endears him to the GOP’s base.
“I congratulate Donald Trump on winning the nomination last night,” Cruz said. “And like each of you, I want to see the principles that our party believes prevail in November.”