On a night marked by discord, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz called for religious freedom and blasted the Iran nuclear deal in a controversial speech.
Cruz, Trump’s runner-up during the Republican primary, got booed for refusing to endorse Trump, and for barely even mentioning the nominee in a speech that centered on the importance of conservative values.
According to media reports, Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson would not let Cruz into his suite at the convention following the speech.
“Vote your conscience,” Cruz said. “Vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”
In his speech, Cruz criticized the Obama administration, which he said “thinks it’s possible to make a deal with Iran, that celebrates its holidays: ‘Death to America Day’ and ‘Death to Israel Day.’”
Indiana Governor Mike Pence, the party’s vice presidential nominee, elicited a rousing cheer from the crowd as he pledged to support Israel. He promised that Donald Trump, the presidential nominee, “will confront radical Islamic terror at its source and destroy the enemies of our freedom.”
“And if the world knows nothing else, it will know this: America stands with Israel,” he said.
Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, also referred to Israel and Jewish people in a speech warning at length about the dangers of a terror attack by weapons of mass destruction on an American city.
“Although we are losing the war with radical Islam, we have been very lucky,” Gingrich said, claiming that an attack on a city would be “worse than what’s happening in France, where there are stabbings of Jews in the streets,” and “worse than what’s happening in Israel, where average citizens fear for their lives whenever they leave their homes.”
On Thursday, the convention’s final day, Trump — along with his Jewish daughter, Ivanka — will address the crowd.