Texas Senator and former presidential candidate Ted Cruz came out to the largest applause for a speaker at the convention, and was then loudly booed as he ended for not endorsing Republican nominee Donald Trump.
As Cruz spoke of freedom to wrap up , Trump emerged from the rafters to try to draw attention away from Cruz, in a historically surreal moment in contemporary politics. The Trump family sat silent. The nominee’s campaign was aware Cruz would not endorse Trump during his speech half an hour before the beginning of Wednesday night’s speeches.
Katy Tur reported Cruz’s remarks were scheduled for 10 minutes, his rehearsal went nine. His speech finished after 23 minutes.
Cruz’s wife, Heidi, was removed from the arena by security after angry delegates began yelling at her.
He mentioned LeBron James and the Cavaliers winning the NBA title. He spoke of Dallas PD officer Michael Smith and his 9-year-old daughter. He said Smith served in the military, and that he had no idea who he voted for in any election, but his life was “a testament to devotion.”
“He protected the very protesters who mocked him, because that was his duty.”
Cruz said the story of Smith’s daughter shares the same name as his daughter, Caroline, and near the same age. He said “what if this is the last moment we have to do something for our families and our country? Did we do what we really could? That’s what elections are about.”
“We want to be able to tell all our Carolines we did the best we could for our country.”
Cruz said America doesn’t have a dictator, it’s citizens constrain he government, and it was built on the notion of freedom.
“Citizens are rightly upset at an establishment that breaks its promises and cynically ignores the people.”
“There is a better vision for our future – a return to freedom.”
He pushed school choice as the cure for the problems in he education. Allowing people to choose their own doctor without Obamacare, keep the internet free from taxes and regulation and don’t give it away to Russia and China.
“Freedom means free speech, not politically correct safe spaces. It means religious freedom, whether you are Muslim, Jew or atheist. Whether you are gay or straight, the Constitution allows all of us to live according to our conscious. It means keeping and bearing arms and having the right to protect your family.”
Cruz said something is happening – it has been happening in both parties and happened in Britain. Voters are rejecting big government. People are fed up with corrupt systems that benefit the elites and not the common person.
He supported the construction of a border wall, and said “we deserve a government that doesn’t allow in ISIS as refugees.” That trade agreements should benefit workers and not lobbyists. “Freedom will lift people from dependency and into the freedom of work.”
“Our party was founded to defeat slavery. Together the passed the Civil Rights Act, we fought to eliminate Jim Crow laws. That’s our collective legacy though the media will never share it with you.”
He mention the family of Alton Sterling and the families of those murdered at the Charlotte AME church and racism in the country.
“It’s love I hope will give hope to a grieving 9-year-old girl in Dallas.”
Cruz ended his speech and was booed in force by the crowd for not endorsing Donald Trump.