On Wednesday, during a 20 plus minute speech at the RNC convention in Cleveland, Ohio, Texas Senator Ted Cruz managed to rock the Republican Party to its core with a stunningly defiant refusal to endorse the official presidential candidate Donald Trump.
“If you love our country and love your children as much as I know that you do, stand and speak and vote your conscience,” Cruz said. “Vote for…”
At this point, many were expecting Cruz to say Donald Trump, but instead, he said, “candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”
Cruz was eventually boo’d off the stage as he concluded his speech in with a smug smile on his face ignoring the thousands of angry objections being hurled at him from the audience. Cruz concluded:
“The case we have to make to the American people … is to commit to each of them that we will defend freedom and be faithful to the Constitution.”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie didn’t mince words:
“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,” Christie said to reporters on the floor of the convention.
WATCH: Gov. Christie on Ted Cruz: "Awful, selfish speech … showed himself tonight to not be a man of his word." https://t.co/jjvRlWX3Wf
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) July 21, 2016
And Republican New York Congressman Peter King had even harsher remarks reserved for the man he now describes as a “total fraud.”
“To me, Ted Cruz showed America what he really is — he’s a fraud, he’s a liar, he’s self-centered, he disqualified himself from ever being considered for President of the United States,” King said.
“Today is the Ted Cruz I’ve know, unfortunately. He cannot be trusted. He’s not a true Republican, he’s not a true conservative, he’s totally self-centered. I never saw such outrage and anger on the floor as I saw toward Ted Cruz tonight, and he deserved every bit of it. He’s a total fraud,” King continued.
Twitter immediately lit up with reports of anger and outrage from inside the convention hall.
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) July 21, 2016
— Michael Reagan (@ReaganWorld) July 21, 2016
Rep. Peter King to @HallieJackson: Ted Cruz is a "disgrace"
— Mark Murray (@mmurraypolitics) July 21, 2016
— Bill Hemmer (@BillHemmer) July 21, 2016
Cruz stays true. This is a defining moment.
— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) July 21, 2016
— Katie Hinman (@khinman) July 21, 2016
— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) July 21, 2016
Has Ted Cruz committed political suicide or has he just made one of the most brilliant moves in U.S. political history?