Senator Ted Cruz spoke at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, on Wednesday night. But despite many Republicans' hopes, he did not officially endorse Donald Trump.
Cruz has a handful of reasons to not offer his endorsement. You might recall that Trump labeled Cruz "Lyin' Ted" and said Cruz's father helped in the Kennedy assassination and made some gross comments about Cruz's wife and oh yeah stole the election from establishment Republicans who have been working toward this campaign for years only to have it swept out from under them by Donald frickin' Trump.
So Cruz has a few reasons to not want to endorse Trump.
In his speech at the convention on Wednesday, Cruz told listeners to "vote your conscience" from local to national elections — but he did not tell them to vote for Trump. Marc Perez, a Washington state delegate and Cruz supporter, told Elite Daily,
He did everything but say, "I endorse Trump." But many of the Trump delegates — and even more of the Trump alternates and guests — were booing and yelling, making chants disrespectfully as Ted Cruz was speaking for no reason. They expected — they demanded — Ted Cruz to endorse Donald Trump.
The convention floor erupted in boos and shouts at Cruz for not endorsing Trump.
They were telling him 'go home,' they were being very disrespectful by the end of the speech.
It got so bad after Cruz's speech that his wife, Heidi, was escorted out of the convention floor as people shouted at her.
Trump supporters thought that a Cruz endorsement would be a strong sign of unity and support for the Republican candidate. Conservatives are largely unsupportive of Trump, as they do not think he supports their values, so an endorsement from conservative Cruz could've swung some voters.
Although Trump supporters wanted to hear an endorsement, there was no sign that Cruz would actually do it. When he announced that he would be speaking at the convention earlier this month, Cruz said, "There was no discussion of any endorsement," when he met with Trump about speaking.
Kathleen Estabrook, also a Washington delegate and Cruz fan, had an idea of why Cruz didn't endorse Trump. She said,
When you endorse a candidate, you endorse everything about them. You endorse their conceptions and their policies. I don't feel that Cruz stands for the same things. So I would've been shocked had Cruz done that, because there's too many differences between the two candidates. I think that what he did do tonight was beyond what I expected, and I thought it was very gracious, personally.
Kathy Rogers, a Texas delegate, was conflicted about the non-endorsement (though she added, "It's never classy to boo").
I wanted to see it tonight. I wanted to see it this afternoon at the thank you party for volunteers. But I can understand what got between him and Trump, and there were just some unfortunate things said.
Rogers said although Cruz didn't officially give an endorsement, he basically did by telling Republicans to follow their values — which clearly doesn't mean to vote for Hillary Clinton.
I just think everybody really thought he was going to endorse more heartily. But if we really think about it, he did say "you've gotta vote and vote your values, and Hillary isn't our values." So he kind of did. But it could've been stronger.
This incident seemingly put another wedge in the Republican party, which is becoming increasingly split. On Monday, delegates attempted to change the rules of the convention, leading to outrage on the floor when they thought their voices weren't acknowledged.
Many Republican delegates are not happy with the choice of Trump as their nominee. But though they're split on that, they're united in wanting to beat Clinton. Rogers said,
I think he would've been really the big person to say, "OK, he said this about my father and the Kennedy assassination, he said this about my wife, and he called me Lyin' Ted, but we've got to beat Hillary."
There are clearly still tensions going into the last day of the Republican National Convention.
What these Trump supporters are doing is basically telling us to piss off.
Trump himself didn't seem too angry about the whole thing. He tweeted,
Cruz stood by his non-endorsement on Thursday morning, saying,
I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father.
If anything, Cruz is setting himself up as the sole major Republican to not align himself with Trump. Remember this in four years.