CLEVELAND (KCBS) – On Thursday night, Donald Trump will accept the presidential nomination of the Republican Party – a party that seems to be in disarray after the stunning rebuke of Trump by his vanquished rival, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.READ MORE: Bill To Abolish U.S. Space Force Introduced By North Bay Rep. Jared Huffman
Trump and his supporters were hoping Cruz, the runner-up in the GOP primary race, would endorse the nominee during his prime time speech to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland Wednesday night.
Sources close to Cruz told KCBS Political Reporter Doug Sovern earlier in the day that Cruz would not do that, and an advance copy of the speech provided to KCBS two hours before it was delivered confirmed there would be no endorsement.
Trump received the same advance notice, but took his seat in the convention hall anyway and watched Cruz commit what many stunned delegates in the hall called “treason.”
On the convention floor, as it became increasingly clear that Cruz would not say the words “I endorse Donald Trump,” or even urge Americans to vote for him in November, California delegates began to shout “Say the words!” and “Bring it home, Ted!”
When Cruz told those in the hall and those watching and listening at home to “vote your conscience,” some of the Californians leaped from their seats and shouted “Trump! Trump!” and “We Want Trump!”
Soon most of the hall was doing that. When Cruz finished his speech without endorsing Trump, a lusty cacophony of boos chased him from the stage.READ MORE: UPDATE: Cal Fire Crews Battling Fremont Fire in Sonoma County
Delegates were irate. Californian Shirley Husar, who just the night before had cast the Golden State’s 172 delegate votes for Trump, said Cruz should be ashamed of himself.
“I thought Cruz was a humble man of God. Obviously, he wasn’t humble enough. He is on a one-man mission, I don’t know what mission that is, but it is not the mission of today,” Husar told KCBS.
“Shame!” shouted delegate Annette Smittcamp of Los Altos. “Disgraceful! Sour grapes!”
Even delegates from Texas, Cruz’s home state, were stunned.
“There was so much good feeling and unity in this convention for three days, and Ted Cruz just came in and cravenly threw it against a brick wall, just so he can set himself up for 2020,” said Shawn Ireland, a Trump delegate from Austin. “For him to walk off that stage without endorsing Donald Trump, he thought it was a mic drop and instead it was a big middle finger to this entire convention.”
The uproar over the withheld endorsement overshadowed well-received speeches by Eric Trump, the nominee’s son, and Governor Mike Pence of Indiana, the party’s nominee for vice president.
It was yet another unexpected and chaotic moment in a convention that has been marked by a Trump speechwriter admitting she copied part of Melania Trump’s Monday night speech from Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention address, and some awkward and lackluster convention programming.MORE NEWS: Man Accused Of Killing Elderly Relative In Sunnyvale Home
Trump gets a chance Thursday night to recapture the momentum with his acceptance speech, and put the missteps of the convention’s first three days behind him.