Members of the delegation from Texas, Sen. Ted Cruz’s home state, looked shellshocked in the concourse of the Quicken Loans Arena Wednesday night.
Cruz had just delivered a nighttime speech in which he did not endorse Donald Trump. Instead, he told the Republican National Convention to “vote your conscience.” As he walked off the stage, the crowd booed.
“I was very disappointed that he did not endorse Trump,” Gary Inmon, who lives near San Antonio, said. “We had a fair process and Donald Trump is the nominee.”
McShane O’Rourke, a Texas delegate from outside Fort Worth, said Cruz gave a “great speech based on the conservative values of the Republican Party.”
He said that he would have wanted an endorsement but no one should be booed. Still, his senator “hurt the Republican Party” today, he said.
Just down the hall, Nick Weidenkopf, an alternate delegate from Dallas, stood wearing a cowboy hat and a convention pass signed by Ted Cruz.
Weidenkopf liked Cruz’s speech, especially his call to “work together as human beings.” He has come around to Trump and thinks that Cruz did exactly what Trump would have wanted. One of Trump’s central themes in this campaign, said Weidenkopf, is to drop political correctness, and that’s what Trump got from Cruz Wednesday.
“We have the right to free speech,” Weidenkopf said. “Ted Cruz exercised that right.”