GOP crowd turns on Cruz

CLEVELAND — Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzIs this any way for NASA to build a lunar lander? GOP strategist predicts Biden will win nomination, cites fundraising strength 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 MORE was booed loudly during the closing stages of his convention speech as it became clear to the audience that he would refuse to endorse his former rival Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE.

As Cruz sought to finish his speech without an endorsement, the crowd erupted in fury in an extraordinary scene on the floor. 

Men and women in red baseball caps bearing Trump's "Make America great again" slogan yelled "endorse Trump" and pointed their fingers aggressively at Cruz, who finished second to Trump in the GOP presidential primaries.
 
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The delegates from New York, Trump's home state, stood directly in front of the stage and were particularly boisterous.
 
Some people yelled out "Lyin Ted" and "go home!" at the Texas senator, and one woman woman stood on a chair and gave Cruz the thumbs down.
 
Cruz, whose wife and father were targeted for ridicule by Trump during their nasty rivalry, acknowledged the crowd's response wryly, noting the "enthusiastic" reaction from the New York delegation.
 
But that did nothing to quiet those angered by Cruz, who has indicated an ambition to again run for the White House.
 
At times, the boos got so loud that Cruz was almost completely drowned out and had to pause. But he pressed on and finished his speech without endorsing Trump.
 
And as he sought to end the speech, Trump entered the auditorium, drawing the television cameras to him and away from his vanquished opponent.
 
Convention attendees were in a state of shock as they watched the remaining speeches. Immediately outside the convention arena in the Quicken Loans Arena, delegates and other party faithful watched Newt Gingrich's remarks on a large video screen in complete silence.
 
The negative reaction after the wild scene with Cruz, uncommon at modern U.S. political events, was swift.
 
New York Rep. Pete King, who was sitting on the floor with his state’s delegation, told NBC News that Cruz broke his promise to support the Republican nominee. 
 
“He’s a fraud, he’s a liar, he’s self-centered and disqualified himself from ever being considered for president of the United States,” King said. 
 
“This is the Ted Cruz that I’ve known, unfortunately. He can’t be trusted and he’s not a true Republican — he’s not a true conservative, he’s totally self-centered,” King said. 
 
“I’ve never seen such outrage and anger on the floor as I saw toward Ted Cruz tonight, and he deserved every bit of it.”
 
“He disgraced himself. He disgraced the party, and the party should never consider him again for office.”
 
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told CNN's Dana Bash that Cruz's speech was "awful and selfish".
 
Ronny Risinger, a delegate from Texas, called it "extremely disappointing."
 
Interviewed immediately after Cruz's speech, controversial Trump delegate Al Baldasaro — who called for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump takes aim at media after 'hereby' ordering US businesses out of China Trump knocks news of CNN hiring ex-FBI official McCabe Taylor Swift says Trump is 'gaslighting the American public' MORE to be "shot for treason" — told The Hill that he was disappointed in Cruz.
 
"I thought he gave a great speech. I just wish that he'd have endorsed," Baldasaro said.
 
"We thought he was going to come forward and do the right thing. I mean I like the guy. But he didn't endorse and it's a shame," he said.
 
He then said of the GOP, "We're still united."
 
Vicki Needham contributed.