Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's refusal to endorse Donald Trump in his speech Wednesday night is hijacking the final day of the Republican National Convention and causing a war of words between Republicans.
Trump responded to Cruz's nonendorsement Wednesday night by tweeting that he knew the content of the speech beforehand and said it was "no big deal."
Let's make the case for FREEDOM and win in November! #RNCinCLE https://t.co/x3NL4o7flU — Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 21, 2016
"Cruz chose very bad judgement. I think he made a mistake," Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, said on NBC's "Today" show Thursday. "I think he was not respectful to the invitation by the convention to come and speak. He understood what the responsibilities are of someone in his position and he didn't meet them."
Ted Cruz talks about the Constitution but doesn't say that if the Dems win the Presidency, the new JUSTICES appointed will destroy us all! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2016
Other than a small group of people who have suffered massive and embarrassing losses, the party is VERY united. Great love in the arena! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2016
This has started a war of words that is pitting Republicans against themselves.
Right after Cruz's speech, New York Rep. Peter T. King told NY1 that what Cruz did was "absolutely disgraceful."
And this morning, King went on New York's 710 WOR radio station and expounded:
"America saw Ted Cruz for what he is: He is a liar, he's a fraud, he's a totally self-centered person who, as far as I am concerned, should never even be considered to run for president again," he said.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called Cruz "selfish" on the floor shortly after the speech, a charge later dismissed by Cruz's former campaign manager Jeff Roe. “That guy turned over his political testicles long ago,” Roe said in a radio interview on The Chris Stigall Show . “So I don’t take what he has to say with any meaning. You know, he embarrassed himself pretty quickly in this.”
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee wrote on Facebook that Cruz has now properly earned the nickname "Lyin' Ted," a moniker Trump bestowed on him during the primary campaign.
The bad blood between Cruz and Trump intensified after the real estate mogul appeared to knock Cruz's wife Heidi's looks in a tweet that was never taken down , and after he claimed that Cruz's father was involved in the JFK assassination.
“I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father,” Cruz told a divided Texas delegation at a Cleveland breakfast Thursday morning. “And that pledge was not a blanket commitment that if you go and slander and attack Heidi that I’m going to nonetheless come like a servile puppy dog.”