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Cruz speech dominates online chatter

Cruz speech dominates online chatter
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Defense: Top admiral shoots back at criticism of 'woke' military | Military guns go missing | New White House strategy to battle domestic extremism Top admiral shoots back at criticism of 'woke' military: 'We are not weak' Biden tries to erase Trump's 'America First' on world stage MORE’s (R-Texas) speech at the Republican National Convention Wednesday night, where he declined to endorse presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpKushner lands book deal, slated for release in 2022 Biden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal Progressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC MORE, dominated online chatter.

Cruz's speech ended with a cascade of boos from the audience and overshadowed what was supposed to be the night's highlight: Indiana Gov. Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard Pence21 Republicans vote against awarding medals to police who defended Capitol on Jan. 6 Virginia couple pleads guilty to misdemeanor charges linked to Capitol riot Juan Williams: GOP preparing the ground to steal an election MORE's acceptance of the party's vice presidential nomination.

Google said searches for Cruz rose 1,100 percent, as opposed to 450 percent for Pence. There was also an 800 percent increase in searches for the phrase “vote your conscience,” which Cruz used during his speech.

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The top question-based searches for Cruz included: “Why didn’t Cruz endorse Trump?” and “Why were people booing Ted Cruz?,” according to Google.

Facebook also said Cruz’s speech was the top moment on the social platform Wednesday night.

In his speech, Cruz failed to endorse his party’s nominee and was heckled by the crowd. He instead urged Republicans to follow their conscience when they vote in November.

He said on Thursday morning that his motivations not to endorse Trump were partly personal.

“I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father,” he said.

Trump had mocked his wife's appearance and suggested Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz, may have had a role in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Cruz’s speech largely distracted press coverage from Pence, who attacked presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonProgressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC Hillary Clinton backs Manhattan DA candidate in first endorsement of year NSA leaker Reality Winner released from federal prison MORE and introduced himself to Republicans and the broader television audience in his speech.

It's been a difficult convention for Trump. Allegations that Melania Trump's speech was plagiarized from first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaJill Biden, Kate Middleton to meet this week Jill Biden to focus on military families on foreign trip Book claims Trump believed Democrats would replace Biden with Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama in 2020 election MORE's 2008 Democratic National Convention speech dominated coverage early in the week.