Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who was forced out of the presidential race by eventual Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, did not endorse his party's new standard bearer at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, Wednesday night, but told voters "don't stay home this November."
The apparent omission appeared to irritate some delegates however who chanted "we want Trump" as he delivered his address and booed him as he walked off the stage for apparently not endorsing his party's nominee.
"We deserve leaders who stand for principle. Unite us all behind shared values. Cast aside anger for love. That is the standard we should expect, from everybody," said Cruz who was among three former Trump rivals to speak at the convention Wednesday. The other two were Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
"And to those listening, please, don't stay home in November. Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution," Cruz said.
It was the closest he came in his entire speech to rallying the base to vote.
And reactions to Cruz's speech came fast and furious.
Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer noted on Twitter that "Sources with the RNC say @Tedcruz speech was 'classless.' Party officials expected him to congratulate @realDonaldTrump."
Cruz's wife Heidi, reportedly had to be escorted out of the convention hall as Trump supporters yelled at her. Another report said "a man in a donor suite had to be restrained from assaulting Ted Cruz after he entered it after his speech."
One online source also claimed: "The Trump camp knew this morning Cruz would not endorse and told Cruz's camp they'd orchestrate booing if he refused."
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who followed Cruz's speech, recognized the discord triggered by Cruz's reaction to Trump's nomination was forced to go off-script.
"With no requirement for endorsement, [Trump] encouraged his competitors to speak once again," he said. "Gov. Rick Perry, Gov. Chris Christie, Gov. Scott Walker, Dr. Ben Carson, Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Ted Cruz have all responded to Donald Trump's generosity."
He continued: "So, to paraphrase Ted Cruz, if you want to protect the Constitution of the United States, the only possible candidate this fall is the Trump-Pence Republican ticket."
Rubio, who appeared in a brief video shortly before Cruz's address, appeared more gracious and focused his attacks on presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton.
"She was a key figure in implementing Barack Obama's shameful foreign policy record of appeasing our enemies and betraying our allies and diminishing our role in the world and she turned her back on the fallen heroes in Benghazi, carelessly jeopardized our national security and then she lied about it to the American people," said Rubio. "Hillary Clinton doesn't have the honesty, the courage or the independence to be the next president we need for the next four years after the president we've had for the past eight."
He continued: "But unlike Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump is committed to cut taxes, curb spending, and get our national debt under control. Unlike Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump takes seriously the threats from Islamic radicals and is committed to rebuilding our military. And unlike Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, he is committed to appointing constitutionalist judges who will respect the proper role of the judiciary. After a long and spirited primary, the time for fighting each other is over. It's time to come together and fight for a new direction for America. It's time to win in November."