×

Ted Cruz booed at RNC after not endorsing Donald Trump

CLEVELAND — Texas Senator Ted Cruz came perilously close to doing something he said he wasn't going to do on Wednesday night.

"I want to congratulate Donald Trump on winning the nomination last night. And like each of you, I want to see the principles that our party believes in prevail in November," Cruz said at the Republican National Convention, but did not formally endorse the GOP standard bearer, as expected. "Vote your conscience."

Cruz was booed by the crowd as he was wrapping up his speech that lacked a clear endorsement of Trump.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) delivers a speech on the third day of the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
Alex Wong | Getty Images
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) delivers a speech on the third day of the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

Cruz's wife, Heidi, was escorted out of the floor by former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli , who told Reuters he escorted her out because he was concerned for her safety.

A senior aide to the Trump campaign said "Trump bailed Cruz out. The crowd was booing Cruz so loudly until Trump entered the arena and made them cheer again."

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who spoke Tuesday night, said Cruz's speech "was an awful selfish speech by someone who tonight, through the words he said on that stage, showed everybody why he has richly earned the reputation that he has on Capitol Hill."

Tensions between the Texas senator and Trump remained high ahead of the convention. Cruz has refrained from formally endorsing Trump, even after several high-profile GOP members have fallen in line.

"Republicans are going to have to ask themselves the question: 'Do we want a candidate who could be tied up in court for two years?' That'd be a big problem,"Trump told The Washington Post when asked about Cruz's birth in Canada.

L-R) Vanessa Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump and Tiffany Trump stand as they listen to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speak during the third day of the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
Getty Images
L-R) Vanessa Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump and Tiffany Trump stand as they listen to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speak during the third day of the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

Trump also retweeted a tweet criticizing the appearance of Cruz's wife, Heidi.

Meanwhile, Cruz called Trump a "a pathological liar," on May 3.

Cruz was one of the few Republican presidential candidates to briefly threaten Trump's rise within the GOP, winning the key Iowa caucus.