CLEVELAND, Ohio — Toward the end of Ted Cruz’s speech at the Republication National Convention on Wednesday, a woman in the crowd on the third level, center stood and screamed at the Texas senator, “Say his name! Say Trump!”
She wasn’t alone.
The Quicken Loans Arena erupted in chaos when it became apparent that Cruz, who was also vying for the GOP nomination along with Donald Trump, was not going to endorse the billionaire businessman who locked up the nomination officially on Tuesday.
“That son of a bitch isn’t going to say his name,” another man shouted out from the crowd.
Cruz started the night with a standing ovation and his speech was being well received with numerous pauses for massive applause. But, toward the end, rumblings cascaded across the arena.
As he exited the stage, booming boos filled the arena while Cruz looked around.
After the convention had concluded for the night, Trump addressed the snub.
“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!” Trump tweeted.
Trump allies were infuriated by Cruz’s failure to honor the pledge made to endorse the GOP candidate.
Chris Christie called Cruz’s speech “awful” and “selfish” in an interview with CNN.
“Every one of us signed a pledge, and our words should matter,” he said, citing the agreement as the reason why John Kasich, Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina were not in the room tonight. “It was too cute. I think the performance you saw up there is why Ted has so richly deserved the reputation that he has developed on Capitol Hill.”
“I think it was a disgrace what Ted Cruz did,” Mell Flynn, an actress who is a California delegate, told The Hollywood Reporter. “He never even mentioned Donald Trump in his speech. I believe he was trying to be clever, thinking he would satisfy his people and the Trump delegates. It obviously didn’t work. If he wanted party unity and to beat Hillary in November, he should have endorsed Trump.”
Actor Mark Vafiades, also a California delegate, said: “I was a fan of Cruz — no longer! What he did was selfish and shameful.”
It was a bitter battle all primary season between Ted Cruz and Trump. The two men seemed to clash more often and more personally than any other GOP candidates.
At one point, their wives were even dragged into the mix. Heidi Cruz was escorted out of the arena by Ken Cuccinelli, attorney general of Virginia, who told ABC News, “it was not a pretty situation.”
“People behind her were getting very ugly,” said Cuccinelli. “That was very disappointing. I don’t care what you think of the speech, families are out of bounds.”
On multiple occasions during the primary season, Cruz condemned Trump’s behavior and said his nomination would ensure a victory for Hillary Clinton in the fall.
Angry Ken Cuccinelli escorting Heidi Cruz out as Trump supporters yell at her pic.twitter.com/G6USuhoSx2
— Graham Moomaw (@gmoomaw) July 21, 2016
— Ryan Parker (@TheRyanParker) July 21, 2016