Heidi Cruz, the wife of U.S. Senator and former presidential candidate Ted Cruz, was abruptly hustled off the floor of the GOP convention at the Quicken Loans Arena Wednesday night near the end of her husband’s speech. Ted Cruz was nearing the finish of his highly-anticipated address and Republican delegates were realizing that Cruz was not going to endorse Donald Trump. People in the crowd began booing Cruz, shouting “We want Trump!” Meanwhile, on the floor, Ken Cuccinelli, a former Virginia attorney general and a staunch Trump opponent, quickly ushered Heidi Cruz to safety as anger grew among the people surrounding them. “People behind her were getting very ugly and physically approaching her,” Cucinelli reportedly said later. “It was not a pretty situation.” Video captured by reporters on the floor at the time showed the moment he hustled her away from the angry delegates, who shouted “Goldman Sachs!” at her. She used to work at the bank as an investment manager prior to her husband’s presidential bid. Cruz’s non-endorsement completely overshadowed everything else that happened on the convention’s third night.
In fact, it overshadowed another non-endorsement earlier in the evening. While the Trump campaign reportedly was aware Cruz wouldn’t endorse the nominee in his speech, retired NASA astronaut Eileen Collins, the first woman to command a space-shuttle mission, had planned, according to the prepared remarks that were distributed to the press, to endorse Trump.
“We need leadership that will make America first again. That leader is Donald Trump,” the prepared speech indicated she would say. But when the time came to utter the words on stage, she skipped over that portion, apparently unable to do so. However, her non-endorsement did not spark the uproar that Cruz’s would later in the evening.
By Thursday morning, Cruz was defiant about refusing to endorse his party’s candidate. In a brief press conference with reporters, Cruz said, “I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father.” During the primary, Trump had suggested Cruz’s father may have been involved with the plot to assassinate JFK, and retweeted an unflattering image of Heidi Cruz that was widely denounced as being sexist and plainly unfair to the wife of a candidate. At the time, Ted Cruz responded by saying, “Donald, real men don’t attack women. Your wife is lovely, and Heidi is the love of my life.”