Update: Ted Cruz responded to his chilly reception at the Republican National Convention later on Wednesday night, citing attacks on his family for his refusal to endorse nominee Donald Trump. “I’m not going to get into criticizing or attacking Donald Trump, but I’ll give you this response: I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father,” he told the Texas delegation, The Chicago Tribune reported. During a vitriolic primary campaign, Trump had made a series of personal attacks on Cruz’s wife Heidi, including a retweet comparing an unflattering shot of Heidi Cruz, a Goldman Sachs executive, with one of his wife, Melania Trump, a former supermodel. Trump also suggested that Cruz’s father had been associated with the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
In addition, Cruz shot down suggestions that he was bound by a pledge he made during the primary season to support whomever the Republican nominee would turn out to be. “The day that was abdicated was the day this became personal,” he said. "And that pledge was not a blanket commitment that if you go and slander and attack Heidi, I'm going to nonetheless come like a servile puppy dog and say, 'Thank you very much for maligning my wife and my father.'" This story was originally published on July 21, 2016, at 12:45 a.m. Well, that was awkward. Ted Cruz just delivered an address at the Republican National Convention — and he got booed. The reason? He didn't endorse Donald Trump. The Texas senator and former presidential hopeful's failure to throw his support behind the newly minted GOP nominee was met with loud boos and jeers from the thousands of delegates and guests who filled Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena for night three of the RNC. Cruz was one of the last candidates standing in a long and bitter primary fight that once saw more than a dozen Republicans fighting for the party's nomination. Trump officially clinched the nod on Tuesday, when delegates from across the country gave him the support he needed to become the GOP's candidate on the November ballot. On Wednesday, Cruz gave a primetime address that many observers thought sounded a lot like a guy planning to run for president again. The Texas Republican congratulated Trump on the honor of winning the nomination and urged all listening, "please don't stay home in November." But he stopped short of giving his formal rival his formal backing. "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 to be faithful to the Constitution," Cruz said. Boos echoed out inside the arena as well as in an outside plaza, where dozens more Republicans were gathered to watch the speeches via livestream. When the crowd broke into chants of "We Want Trump," Cruz simply paused and gave a nod to Trump's home state. "I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation," he said. Trump took to Twitter to dismiss Cruz's move as "no big deal."
It's worth noting that there doesn't appear to be much love lost between the two Republicans. Cruz once called Trump "amoral," a "pathological liar," and a "narcissist at a level that I don't think this country has ever seen." Trump frequently trolled his opponent as "Lyin' Ted" on Twitter. Cruz wasn't the only former primary competitor to speak at the RNC. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker were also given slots to address the crowd. Both have endorsed Trump.