One of the main goals of any party’s convention, especially after a divisive primary season, is to unify the party. It’s a goal that Donald Trump’s convention seems to be failing at. The nominating process was plagued by the #NeverTrump movement and controversies surrounding the way votes were allocated. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) struck another blow to party unity when he refused to endorse Trump during his RNC speech on Wednesday night.
Cruz’s speech began strong and was enthusiastically received until the end, when he implied that Trump was not trustworthy. Cruz implored those watching to “vote their conscience,” but he never openly endorsed Trump.
‘To those listening, please don’t stay home in November. If you love our country, and love your children, as much as I know that you do, stand and speak and vote your conscience. Vote for CANDIDATES up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and be faithful to the constitution.’
At that point, the New York delegation, which strongly supported Trump, broke out in a chorus of boos and shouts of “endorse Trump.” Cruz’s snarky reply of “I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation” did little to help matters.
In fact, it’s possible Cruz could have done Trump more good if he had simply stayed away from the convention altogether. By refusing to endorse Trump, and encouraging voters to vote for candidates they trust, he implied that Trump was not a trustworthy candidate. Rather than uniting the GOP, it appears that Cruz might have fractured the party a bit more. That’s something they can ill afford when facing Hillary Clinton.
Frustrated Trump supporters took to Twitter to attack the Texas senator for his refusal to endorse the GOP nominee, with some calling him a coward and others vowing to never support him again.
@tedcruz Shame on you Ted Cruz……your a coward for not endorsing Trump….
— James Carroll (@asterhill) July 21, 2016
Overall, Cruz’s speech just served as another black mark on Trump’s convention. What should have been a call to unity ended up dividing the party even further. Newt Gingrich took to the stage after Cruz, so perhaps he’ll be able to undo some of the damage.
You can check out Cruz’s entire speech here:
Featured image via Getty Images.