Cruz speech dominates online chatter

Cruz speech dominates online chatter
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzMurkowski: Supreme Court nominee should not be taken up before election Battle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight Sunday shows - Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death dominates MORE’s (R-Texas) speech at the Republican National Convention Wednesday night, where he declined to endorse presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden leads Trump by 36 points nationally among Latinos: poll Trump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better Jimmy Kimmel hits Trump for rallies while hosting Emmy Awards 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 PenceMcConnell locks down key GOP votes in Supreme Court fight Momentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day Sunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before 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 ClintonBiden leads Trump by 36 points nationally among Latinos: poll Democratic super PAC to hit Trump in battleground states over coronavirus deaths Battle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight 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 ObamaTo honor Justice Ginsburg's legacy, Biden should consider Michelle Obama National Urban League, BET launch National Black Voter Day The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - White House moves closer to Pelosi on virus relief bill MORE's 2008 Democratic National Convention speech dominated coverage early in the week.