Cruz: Can Anyone Imagine Donald Trump Standing in Front of Voters Like This and Answering Questions?

July 21, 2016

Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) took another shot at Republican nominee Donald Trump during remarks to Texas delegates on Thursday, saying he could not imagine Trump standing before voters in such a way and answering their questions.

Cruz was booed off the Republican National Convention stage Wednesday night when he told the audience to "vote your conscience" and did not endorse Trump. He addressed the furor Thursday morning and said his earlier pledge to back the GOP nominee had been "abrogated" when Trump leveled personal attacks against his wife and father.

Cruz took angry questions from Texas delegates about his snub of Trump, including the last one where a woman who said she loved and respected Cruz nevertheless criticized him for not thinking of the country first.

"I have to say that it is not about Donald Trump," she said. "It is not about Ted Cruz or Heidi Cruz or Rafael Cruz. It is about the United States."

The crowd broke into cheers and chants of "U-S-A!"

"Ma’am, I agree with you emphatically. It is about the United States, and I will point out that every day in the Senate I have spent every waking moment fighting for this country, fighting for you, fighting to honor the promises I made. And by the way, there’s a reason why others don’t," Cruz said. "Because the reaction in Washington is you get screamed and hollered down when you follow your commitments."

He said that is what he did the previous night with his speech, saying it was not focused on himself but rather on the United States.

"What I said last night is what I believe is the only path to saving this country, and it is not simply blindly chanting a name and yelling down dissenters,"Cruze said. "I believe in free speech. Let me point out, by the way, can anyone imagine our nominee standing in front of voters, answering questions like this?"

There was a smattering of "noes" and "yeses" from the audience.

"If we don’t defend freedom and the Constitution, and if we don’t make the case to the American people that our candidate can be trusted to defend freedom and the Constitution, we will lose and we will deserve to lose," Cruz said.