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Former Republican Rival Cruz Draws Boos for Not Endorsing Trump

  • Chris Hannas

Ted Cruz takes the stage at the Republican National Convention, July 20, 2016. (A. Shaker/VOA)

Division instead of unity is a dominant narrative at the the Republican National Convention, as Texas Senator Ted Cruz's criticisms of presidential nominee Donald Trump spilled over into the final day of the four day event.

Speaking to his home state delegation Thursday at the convention in the midwestern city of Cleveland, Cruz said he will not cast his presidential vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton, but declined to say if he will vote for Trump.

"I'm not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and who attack my father," said Cruz, adding he refuses to act like a "servile puppy."

During a grueling campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Trump launched personal attacks against Cruz's wife, Heidi, and father, Rafael.

WATCH: Cruz defends decision not to endorse Trump

Cruz remarks followed his Wednesday convention speech that drew boos when he failed to include a clear endorsement for Trump.

Cruz was one of the last competitors in the contentious race for the nomination, during which Trump nicknamed him "Lying Ted." But like most of the once large Republican field, he appeared at the convention in Cleveland, Ohio, to address party officials and millions of people watching on television.

"To those listening, please, don't stay home in November," Cruz said. "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."

A short time later, those representing the state of New York chanted over Cruz as he spoke, demanding he announce his backing of their nominee.

"I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation," Cruz responded. Boos turned to cheers again as Cruz walked off stage just as Trump appeared elsewhere in the arena.

Trump addressed the situation later on Twitter.

Trump gives his address to the convention on its final day Thursday.

Before the speech, Trump gave an interview to the New York Times in which he said he will prioritize the country's needs.

"We are going to take care of this country first before we worry about everyone else in the world," he said.

When asked about last week's attempted coup in Turkey, Trump praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"The coup never took place. The coup was not successful, and based on the fact, and I give great credit to him for being able to turn that around," Trump said, according to a Times transcript."

Trump also said he is a "big fan" of the Kurds and expressed a desire to see unity between the them and the Turkish government, something he thinks can be done with negotiations.

"If I ever have the opportunity to do it, meaning if I win, we will have meetings."

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, left, gives his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, a thumbs up after Pence addressed the Republican National Convention.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, left, gives his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, a thumbs up after Pence addressed the Republican National Convention.

Pence addresses delegates

The main speaking slot at the convention on Wednesday went to Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Trump's pick for vice president, who cast himself as a personality who balances the ticket with Trump.

"He is a man known for a large personality, a colorful style and lots of charisma, and so I guess he was just looking for some balance on the ticket," he said.

Pence also lobbed criticism at their Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

"At the very moment when America is crying out for something new and different, the other party has answered with a stale agenda and the most predictable of names," he said. "People in both parties are restless for change, ready to break free of old patterns in Washington and Democrats are about to anoint someone who represents everything this country is tired of."

WATCH: Political correspondent Jim Malone sums up day 3 of the RNC

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