clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ted Cruz got onstage at the RNC convention and didn’t endorse Donald Trump. The result was chaos.

After a day of will-he-or-won’t-he media coverage, cheering quickly turned to booing on the floor of the Republican National Committee convention Wednesday, as Sen. Ted Cruz decided to congratulate, but not endorse, Donald Trump.

While showing his support of the Republican Party, Cruz, who dropped out of the presidential race two months ago when it was clear he'd lost to Trump, deliberately avoided endorsing the nominee during his speech, sending the crowd into a fury. The last minutes of Cruz’s speech were drowned in "endorse" chants and loud boos.

The convention floor was in chaos

According to media reports from the convention, Cruz’s speech incited raging anger from Trump supporters on the convention floor.

Ken Cuccinelli, president of the Senate Conservatives Fund, escorted Cruz's wife, Heidi Cruz, out of the room, telling ABC News that Trump supporters were approaching her confrontationally and the atmosphere had become too "volatile." According to CNN’s Manu Raju, Trump supporters began shouting, "Goldman Sachs," as Heidi was escorted off the floor.

A lot of Republican officials were not pleased with Cruz’s non-endorsement

According to Fox News’s Bill Hemmer, although RNC officials knew Cruz would congratulate Trump, they found his non-endorsement of Trump to be "classless."

Sources also told CNN’s Dana Bash that a state Republican Party chair reacted to Cruz so angrily after the speech that he had to be physically restrained.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie shared similar sentiments, telling Bash, "It was an awful, selfish speech." Christie, who, like Cruz, withdrew from the presidential run because of Trump, endorsed the nominee in February. Earlier today, Christie told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Cruz "should" endorse Cruz, to "adhere to the pledge" to support the Republican Party’s nominee.

While Christie and the RNC saw Cruz’s decision not to endorse Trump as "classless" and "selfish," other Republican commentators saw the moment as a show of authenticity.

Republican strategist Rick Wilson called it "bravery":

Either way you look at it, Sean Davis, a founder of the Federalist, captured the chaos:

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.