texas

North Texans Respond to Cruz Non-Endorsement of Trump

Thursday marks a very big night for the GOP. In a speech to the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump will accept the presidential nomination.

But ahead of the speech there continues to be fallout over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's non-endorsement of Trump. The move got him booed off stage at the RNC Wednesday night. But speaking from the airport Thursday, Cruz stuck by his controversial words.

"If we want to win, as a party, every candidate, from the local elected dog catcher all the way up the ticket, I believe voters should ask exactly what I said last night. Who do you trust to defend freedom and be faithful to the Constitution?" said Cruz.

Back in North Texas, Trump supporters will gather at the Tarrant County Republican Party's headquarters in Northeast Fort Worth to watch Trump's speech. They're hoping to shift the focus back from another sign of division in the GOP.

Still, Wednesday's flap was especially felt in North Texas, home to many of Cruz's strongest supporters.

"I voted for Ted Cruz for president. I would have loved to see a Cruz presidency," said Tim O'Hare, chairman of the Tarrant County Republican Party.

But he added that he will now "absolutely" vote for Donald Trump.

"He wasn't my top choice. I'm not sure he was in my top 15, but he's now our nominee," said O'Hare.

To him, the end-goal is preventing a Hillary Clinton presidency. O'Hare thinks that's all Cruz had to say at the RNC Wednesday night.

"If I had written his speech, I would have told him you don't have to give a full-on endorsement but you can get up there and be supportive," said O'Hare.

Instead, Cruz doubled down Thursday morning at a breakfast with the Texas delegation in Cleveland, referring to comments Trump made on the campaign trail about his wife's appearance and accusing his father of being involved in the Kennedy assassination.

"I am not in the habit of endorsing people who attack my wife and attack my father," Cruz said.

"If he can't handle the personal stuff, then he doesn't have any business in politics," Brenda White fired back. She's a Tarrant County Trump campaign volunteer and has been on the "Trump Train" from the start.

"I wanted him to run last election," said White.

She reads more into Cruz's choice not to endorse.

"I was dismayed, really, that he would put himself before the future of this country and I was kind of sickened," said White.

Supporters on both sides agree, Wednesday night could have been a chance for Cruz to bring the party closer together, instead of adding to the distance.

"We're divided in this country, no doubt about it. Well, the parties are divided," said O'Hare.

There's been a lot of talk that Cruz is trying to preserve his legacy in case Trump loses in November. Supporters hope he'll have a chance to run again and stand on his own.

But White, and other supporters like her, say after Cruz's RNC speech, they will never support him again.

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