From Daily Mail
Ted Cruz refused to endorse Donald Trump and instead urged Americans to ‘vote your conscience’ in November
He delivered a calculated speech that divided the hall at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio
Cruz’s own supporters cheered loudly as he spoke while some pro-Trump delegates yelled out in apparent disgust
Video footage has emerged showing Cruz’s wife Heidi being led out of the Quicken Loans Arena
Angry Republicans reportedly had to be restrained from assaulting failed presidential candidate Cruz
Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia then addressed the turmoil to ‘paraphrase’ what Cruz had said earlier
Gov. Chris Christie said ‘it was an awful, selfish speech’ and Cruz showed himself ‘to not be a man of his word
Trump told his Twitter followers he saw Cruz’s speech two hours earlier but ‘let him speak anyway’
Eric Trump gave a rousing tribute to his father, however it was beset by technical difficulties
Failed presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s wife Heidi was quickly escorted from the Republican National Convention floor Wednesday night as baying crowds closed in after her husband refused to endorse Donald Trump.
The Texas Senator addressed the millions of Americans sitting at home and told them to ‘speak and vote your conscience’ – prompting his own supporters to cheer, while some pro-Trump delegates yelled out in disgust.
Some on the floor in Cleveland, Ohio and others seated in the stands began yelling ‘Trump, Trump Trump’ to shout down pro-Cruz forces.
Trump, who will represent the party in the November 8 election against presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, made his entrance to the convention hall near the end of Cruz’s speech, applauding Cruz’s remarks but distracting the crowd from his former rival.
Video footage has emerged showing Cruz’s wife being led out of the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland when the crowd turned on him.
Leading Cruz backer Ken Cuccinelli, a former state attorney general who is a delegate from Virginia, escorted Mrs Cruz off the Convention floor out of concern for her safety.
He said: ‘During the course of the speech more and more people were coming down closer and closer to Heidi and (Ted Cruz’s father) Rafael… When the speech ended, there was an ugly crowd behind us… She was trying to leave.’
Cuccinelli, who was sitting next to Mrs Cruz, said he did not think anyone anticipated a problem.
‘People in my own delegation started physically approaching and yelling at her,’ he told DailyMail.com. ‘The one that stuck with me was somebody pointing at her and yelling something about Goldman Sachs.’
‘I don’t think anybody expected him to endorse,’ Cuccinelli said, defending Cruz’s speech. ‘I mean I haven’t endorsed him and I said I’m going to vote for him. He made the case for the decision on November 8.
‘I mean he prosecuted Hillary Clinton. He hit Donald Trump’s signature issue. Obviously supporting him. And Ted talks in terms of drawing a picture and you reach your conclusions. I don’t think this is inconsistent with that.’
There were also reports of Republicans being restrained to prevent them attacking Cruz after his speech divided the Convention.
Immediately recognizing the potential damage done, former Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia addressed the turmoil just minutes after Cruz left the stage in Cleveland to ‘paraphrase’ what Cruz had said earlier.
‘Now, I think you misunderstood one paragraph that Ted Cruz, who is a superb orator, said,’ Gingrich told the crowd. ‘And I just want to point it out to you. Ted Cruz said you can vote your conscience for anyone who will uphold the Constitution. In this election there is only one candidate who will uphold the Constitution.’
‘So to paraphrase Ted Cruz, if you want to protect the Constitution of the United States, the only possible candidate this fall is the Trump-Pence Republican ticket.’
‘That way we haves a Republican ticket to implement Republican principles in Washington,’ Gingrich said – earning applause from the crowd for his retooled explanation.
After Cruz’s speech, GOP nominee Trump tweeted: ‘Wow, Ted Cruz got booed off the stage, didn’t honor the pledge! I saw his speech two hours early but let him speak anyway. No big deal!’
Gov. Chris Christie told NBC Nightly News: ‘It 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… I just think it was an awful performance by someone who showed himself tonight to not be a man of his word.’
Retiring Indiana Senator Dan Coates fumed to Roll Call: ‘Sen. Cruz tried to destroy the Republican party tonight just like he’s tried to destroy the Republican caucus.’
One angry delegate told DailyMail.com: ‘I don’t understand what he was trying to drive home with that message “vote your conscience”. That was a reference to the potential amending of the rules to vote your conscience. That failed.’
He said members of his own delegation: ‘They were very unhappy with the senator’s lack of acknowledging Donald Trump by name [during his call for voting] and his refusal to endorse Donald – Mr. Trump.’
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton made the most of the situation by tweeting ‘Vote your conscience’ with a link to a website for people to register to vote.
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