Texas Sen. Ted Cruz took the stage of the republican National Convention to a rousing round of applause Wednesday night, but when he left the claps turned to a chorus of boos that were rained down on him after he failed to offer an official endorsement of Donald Trump.
The senator made several comments that could have been applied to Trump, but an apparent refusal to say Trump's name beyond congratulating the billionaire on clinching the Republican nomination for president left the crowd, which at one point was chanting, "Endorse Trump!" decidedly unsatisfied.
In fact, Cruz only said trump's name once — right at the beginning of his speech when he said, "I want to congratulate Donald Trump on winning the nomination last night." The crowd continued to cheer Cruz until it was apparent there would be no full-throated endorsement of the New York real estate mogul.
Cruz did, surprisingly, endorse a couple of Trump's controversial presidential proposals, such as building a wall along the U.S. southern border with Mexico as a means to keep undocumented immigrants from crossing over into the country.
But from there Cruz spoke of everything but Trump — his mother, the Dallas police officers who were killed this month in the line of duty, President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, terrorism, and more. But still, no endorsement for Trump.
"I am here to tell you there is a better vision for our future – a return to freedom," Cruz said with seemingly everyone listening expecting him to follow that up with a reference to Trump's candidacy, but it was not meant to be Wednesday night.
It came across as a surprise that Cruz would even accept an invitation to speak that convention, considering he and Trump exchanged some vicious barbs during the primary season, including personal attacks that included a jab at what Cruz's wife looks like. When it was announced the Texas senator would appear at the event, the conventional wisdom was that he would fall in party line and rally around Trump, like many Republicans have recently, if not reluctantly, done.
But the man who Trump dubbed "Lyin' Ted" perhaps took the opportunity to try to show up Trump on the grandest stage that there is for him as payback for the personal attacks that apparently are still stinging the senator.