Cruz "was trying to reach those people who say 'Never Trump, '" said Emily Redditt, an alternate delegate from Texas, as she defended her senator.
A man badly in need of a big moment, Donald Trump on Thursday faced the most important speech of his presidential campaign, a last chance to make his case to skeptics at a convention marked by divided loyalties and unwanted distractions.
Trump joined Pence on stage, applauding his new partner and leaning in almost to give him a kiss on the cheek. "The problems we face now - poverty and violence at home, war and destruction overseas - will last only as long as we continue relying on the same politicians who created them".
Even delegates from Texas, Cruz's home state, were stunned. In not endorsing Trump, Cruz is being entirely consistent. Immediately after saying he was ready for questions, one man yelled, "Are you going to vote for Trump?"
"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 and say thank you very much for maligning my wife and my father", he added.
Quote of the day "I'm not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father" - Ted Cruz at a morning-after briefing explaining his refusal to endorse Trump in his convention speech on Wednesday night.
The uproar over the withheld endorsement overshadowed well-received speeches by Eric Trump, the nominee's son, and Governor Mike Pence of IN, the party's nominee for vice president.
"I always heard he didn't have that many friends in Washington D.C. He certainly didn't have that many friends in this room last night", Trump's son Eric told NBC's Today show. His comments in The New York Times created a new, day-long controversy hours ahead of Trump's acceptance speech as the Republican presidential nominee.
Cruz didn't tell the convention crowd that he plans to vote for Trump.
The mood quickly soured as more and more delegates wanted to know why Cruz walked back on a pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee.
Trump is expected to make a campaign stop Monday in the Triad, according to state Republican Party officials. "Stand and speak, and vote your conscience". He called it "troubling" that he was booed by "partisans" when he told the convention to vote for candidates in whom they believe.
It could be that this speech will ultimately hurt Cruz among Republicans, particularly if Hillary Clinton wins the election in November. The party most divided leaving the conventions nearly always loses in November, and the Clinton campaign tweeted out Cruz's signature line from his speech - "Vote your conscience" - within minutes of its being delivered.
Former House Speaker John Boehner of OH, who had compared Cruz to the devil, responded by remarking: "Lucifer is back", his spokesman said on Twitter.
Mr Trump said he wanted to reduce United States military expenditure and involvement overseas. "He won the primary fair and square". I'm looking for a good grouping of words, that's going to talk about our country, and the problems we have.