CLEVELAND (AP) — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tried to link arms with Republicans at the party’s national convention but was booed lustily by delegates when he ended his speech without offering Donald Trump his endorsement — or even saying he would vote for the New York billionaire.
The blatant sign of disunity in prime time angered the Trump campaign, with top adviser Paul Manafort saying Cruz “used very bad judgment” and was “not respectful to the invitation by the convention to come and speak.”
Manafort told NBC’s “Today” on Thursday that Cruz “understood what the responsibilities are, someone in his position.”
Trump repeatedly mocked Cruz throughout the campaign as “Lyin’ Ted,” compared Heidi Cruz’s look to Melania Trump’s and made the widely debunked suggestion that Cruz’s father had a role in President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
As he appeared on stage Wednesday night, Cruz basked in a minute-long standing ovation. Cruz finished second to Trump in the crowded Republican primary campaign and congratulated the GOP nominee on his victory.
But the closest as Cruz came to saying he wanted Trump to win the White House was when he said: “I want to see the principles that our party believes in prevail in November.”
Cruz didn’t tell the convention crowd that he plans to vote for Trump. Nor did he ask his supporters, hundreds of whom encouraged him to run for president in four years at an event on Wednesday afternoon, to vote for the newly minted Republican nominee.
Interrupted by chants of “Trump, Trump, Trump,” Cruz paused and said with a smile, “I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation.”