Senator Ted Cruz took to the stage at the Republican National Convention where he continued his campaign rhetoric and rather than endorse Donald Trump and strengthen and unite the party he called for division telling people to ‘vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket’.
In response, according to KTSA, Donald Trump tore into his former Republican rival Ted Cruz after the Texas senator’s convention speech Wednesday night — blasting him for “not honoring the pledge” to endorse the party’s nominee.
Trump took to Twitter to attack his fellow Republican, whom he lambasted as “Lyin’ Ted” throughout the primary contest.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2016
Cruz was booed roundly during his speech, during which he congratulated, but failed to endorse Trump, who appeared briefly at the convention Wednesday. Cruz also told voters pointedly to “vote your conscience.”
The speech provoked a raft of reactions both on and off the convention floor, with Cruz being excoriated by Trump supporters and lauded directly and indirectly by Democrats and Green Party candidate.
Gov. Chris Christie spoke to MSNBC about Cruz’ performance, and said that “it was an awful, selfish speech by someone who tonight… showed everybody why he has richly earned the reputation that he has on Capitol Hill.”
Gov. Mike Huckabee published a screed about Cruz on Facebook, saying that he betrayed Trump’s trust.
“Donald Trump did something no previous nominee has done—he allowed Ted Cruz to speak without his promising to support the nominee. I’ve spoken at every convention since 1992, and I can attest to the fact that no one got near that stage without supporting the nominee. Trump trusted Ted and was rewarded with a betrayal, but the delegates in that arena booed Cruz off the stage and out of Cleveland,” Huckabee wrote.
Speaking immediately after Cruz, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich re-framed Cruz’s comments, saying as “Ted Cruz said, you can vote your conscience for anyone who will uphold the constitution. In this election there is only one candidate who will uphold the constitution,” referring to Trump.
Cruz’s words in the speech could be interpreted in a number of different ways, but some saw it as slight against the party’s nominee.
“To those listening, please, don’t stay home in November. If you love our country, and love your children as much as I know 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 said during the speech.
Cruz was booed by delegates.
Donald Trump Jr. celebrated the booing of Cruz while speaking to FOX News after the convention adjourned for the night,
“You see this room when people like to make the story and create the dialogue about disunity,” Trump Jr. said. “The best unity I saw was everyone booing him off the stage.”
But Hillary Clinton attempted to seize the moment by referring to the Cruz speech on Twitter.
Her campaign tweeted “vote your conscience,” and included a link to her website.
Vote your conscience. https://t.co/xahMq2sU1q
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 21, 2016
And Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein said:
I rarely agree with Ted Cruz. But he's right that you shouldn't vote for a candidate just because a party tells you to. Vote your values.
— Dr. Jill Stein (@DrJillStein) July 21, 2016