BLOG: Trump calls Cruz non-endorsement ‘no big deal!’

The Associated Press

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Latest on the Republican National Convention (all times EDT):

11:50 p.m.

Donald Trump is reacting to Ted Cruz’s convention speech, saying the address that drew loud boos Wednesday at the Republican National Convention was “No big deal!”

Trump says on Twitter that Cruz “didn’t honor” the pledge that Republican primary candidates had made to support the eventual GOP nominee.

Trump says he saw Cruz’s speech two hours early “but let him speak anyway.”

Cruz aides said the Texas senator informed Trump on Monday that he wouldn’t endorse him. He urged convention attendees to “vote your conscience” and never endorsed Trump in his 20-plus minute speech.

Trump unexpectedly walked into the arena just as Cruz was wrapping up his remarks. Delegates chanted Trump’s name and futilely implored Cruz to voice his support for the businessman.


11:25 p.m.

It came as no surprise to Donald Trump’s campaign when rival Ted Cruz refused to endorse the GOP presidential nominee at the party’s convention Wednesday night.

Cruz informed Trump of his plans during a telephone conversation they had two days ago. That’s according to Cruz strategist Jason Johnson.

Inside the convention arena, Cruz heard lots of boos when he finished his speech without explicitly endorsing Trump.

Cruz called on Republicans to vote their conscience and support GOP candidate on the ballot who support the Constitution.


11:10 p.m.

Donald Trump has given running mate Mike Pence an air kiss at the conclusion of the Indiana governor’s speech at the GOP convention.

Trump came onstage as Pence finished speaking. Pence’s teleprompter displayed the stage direction “embrace” just after his final words.

After the momentary affection, Trump and Pence shook hands and stood together briefly onstage before Trump exited.

Pence took a moment onstage with his family to smile at the audience before exiting.


11:05 p.m.

Mike Pence is framing the November presidential race as crucial to defining the makeup of the Supreme Court for the next 40 years.

The GOP vice presidential nominee says voters must ensure that it’s Donald Trump picking the next high court justices.

The Indiana governor says Democrat Hillary Clinton would choose justices who would take unconstitutional actions.

He says it’s crucial to elect Trump to protect the Second Amendment, “the sanctity of life” and other liberties.


11 p.m.

The Republican vice presidential nominee is calling Hillary Clinton the “secretary of the status quo.”

Mike Pence once swore off negative campaigning. But the Indiana governor is really going after Clinton in his GOP convention speech Wednesday night.

Pence says Democrats are going with a stale agenda and the most predictable candidate.

Pence is playing on one of Trump’s most well-known catchphrase. He says that under Trump, change in the country will be “huge.”


10:55 p.m.

Donald Trump — his own man, an independent spirit, someone who “just doesn’t quit.”

That’s how the Republican presidential nominee is being described by his running mate, Mike Pence.

Pence says Trump has gone about as far as one can go in business, but has never turned his back on American workers.

The Indiana governor also says Trump won’t ever turn his back on American service members, either.


10:45 p.m.

Mike Pence says Republicans have nominated a presidential candidate who never quits or backs down.

The Indiana governor is Donald Trump’s running mate.

Pence says in his speech at the party’s convention that Republicans will retake the presidency in November because they’re being honest with Americans about the stakes in the election — and the choice facing voters.

Pence says Democrat Hillary Clinton will never serve as president.


10:40 p.m.

Indiana’s governor, Mike Pence, has accepted the Republican nomination to be vice president.

Pence says he never thought he’d be standing on the stage at his party’s national convention. Pence jokes that running mate Donald Trump is charismatic and must have been looking for balance in choosing him.

Pence is using the speech to tell his life story. He’s paying tribute to his mother in the audience and says his dad would be surprised at the nomination if he were still alive.


10:35 p.m.

Eric Trump says his father is the one candidate for president “who does not need this job.”

Dad Donald Trump sat in the family box at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland to hear his son make the case for Trump’s election to the White House.

Eric Trump says the country should put his father in the White House because America needs someone who “understands the art of the deal” and appreciates the value of a dollar.


10:25 p.m.

Newt Gingrich is defending Ted Cruz’s decision not to endorse Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Cruz — a bitter Trump rival from the primaries — used his speech earlier Wednesday night at the party’s convention to suggest that people vote their “conscience for anyone who will uphold the Constitution.”

Gingrich — a former House speaker who’s a Trump supporter — says Cruz’s advice actually amounts to an endorsement.

Gingrich says there’s only one candidate on the ballot in November who’ll uphold the Constitution — and that’s Trump, he says.

The convention hall booed Cruz after he finished his prime-time address — when he didn’t explicitly endorse Trump.


10:20 p.m.

Newt Gingrich says people should be terrified at the prospect of Democrat Hillary Clinton as president. The former House speaker says Clinton won’t tell the American people the truth about the danger posed by Islamic extremists.

Gingrich is telling the Republican National Convention that the price Americans would pay for electing Clinton would be what he calls the “loss of America as we know it.”

Gingrich — a Donald Trump ally — says Islamic extremists are stronger than the Obama administration admits.

He says that instead of losing nearly 3,000 people in a Sept. 11-style attack, Americans could wake up to an attack that leaves 300,000 dead. Gingrich warns that terrorists with weapons of mass destruction could capture a U.S. city.


10:10 p.m.

Donald Trump has made good on his promise to forgive more than $47 million in loans he made to his campaign during the primary season.

New federal campaign finance reports show the GOP presidential nominee no longer is carrying a balance on his loans.

That’s as he raised $21.9 million in contributions, leaving Trump with $20.2 million in the bank.

Trump’s haul came after a disappointing May, when his campaign finished with $1.3 million.

The latest figures show the Republican Party had $21.1 million cash on hand by July 1.

Fundraising figures for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign aren’t yet available. They have to be filed by midnight Wednesday.


10:05 p.m.

Donald Trump is sitting in the front row of the VIP section of the convention hall for the final speeches of the evening.

Trump’s daughter Ivanka turned and applauded her father as he entered just as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was finishing his speech.

The GOP presidential nominee is joined by children Tiffany and Donald Jr. along with some of his children’s spouses.

Son Eric Trump is praising his father’s business record in his speech to the convention.


9:55 p.m.

Boos filled the convention hall in Cleveland as one-time presidential candidate Ted Cruz finished his prime-time speech to Republican activists.

The jeers rained down after the Texas senator refused to endorse Trump — now the official GOP presidential nominee — in his address.

Cruz finished second to Trump in the delegate count and the two were bitter rivals during the primary campaign.

Cruz told supporters to vote their conscience — and not to stay home for the general election in November.

The boos stopped once Trump entered the convention hall.


9:50 p.m.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says the British vote to leave the European Union is sign of a powerful political force at work.

Cruz — in a speech at the Republican National Convention — isn’t explicitly supporting that decision. But he says the vote shows that people are overwhelmingly rejecting big government.

He says — in that respect — it’s a “profound victory.”

He says people are fed up with politicians who don’t listen to them and they’re weary of a corrupt system that benefits elites.

Cruz received enthusiastic applause in the convention hall when he brought up the Brexit vote.


9:30 p.m.

Ted Cruz finished second in the delegate count to Donald Trump, but the Texas senator isn’t ready to endorse the Republican presidential nominee.

Cruz is taking his turn on the stage at the Republican National Convention — and he’s stopping short of endorsing his former rival.

Cruz says in remarks released before he began speaking that Americans should “vote your conscience.” He never says they should vote for Trump.

Trump and Cruz engaged in bitter recriminations during the Republican primaries. Trump repeatedly referred to Cruz as “Lyin’ Ted.” Cruz said Trump was a “pathological liar.”

Cruz is saying almost nothing about Trump in his speech. But he’s heaping criticism on Democrat Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration.


9:10 p.m.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is telling Republicans who are on the fence about supporting Donald Trump for president that “we can’t wait four more years.”

Walker says in a speech to the Republican National Convention that “America deserves better than Hillary Clinton.”

Walker — who was one of Trump’s early challengers before dropping out of the race last year — says a vote for a protest vote for a third-party candidate is essentially a vote for Democrat Clinton.


9 p.m.

A state senator from Kentucky switched briefly to Spanish during his speech to the Republican convention and urged voters to back Donald Trump.

Ralph Alvarado says people came to the U.S. from countries that are full of corruption and dishonesty. He’s pleading with Americans not to let that happen in the U.S.

He says in America, there’s opportunity and freedom.

It’s the first time at this convention that a speaker has tried to appeal directly to Spanish-speaking voters.



8:30 p.m.

Businessman Phil Ruffin is describing Donald Trump as an honest broker who can be trusted with the job of running the country.

Ruffin is a Trump business partner. He says he’s known Trump for 20 years and says the GOP presidential nominee is smart and tough.

Ruffin spoke at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night. He was trying to undercut claims by people who’ve done business with Trump that Trump fails to pay his bills or underpays his contractors.

Ruffin says Trump pays bills promptly and that nobody lost any money.

Ruffin veered frequently from his script during the speech, and improvised while the teleprompter struggled to keep up.


8:15 p.m.

The “lock her up” chant — the “her” is Hillary Clinton — is in full roar again at the Republican National Convention.

The chant returned early in Wednesday evening’s session, with Florida Gov. Rick Scott on stage criticizing the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

Scott says Clinton won’t protect the borders, eliminate Islamic extremism or create jobs.

He says: “Hillary fails. She fails. She fails. She fails.” The governor says Democrats have “led us to a cliff.”


8 p.m.

Donald Trump says Meredith McIver made a mistake.

She’s the Trump Organization staff writer who’s taken the blame for nearly identical passages from Melania Trump’s Republican convention speech and Michelle Obama’s remarks eight years ago.

Trump tells ABC that McIver is a “terrific person” and should keep her job

Here’s Trump’s take: “People make mistakes. … We all make mistakes.”

Trump says he thinks it’s “terrific” that she’s admitted that mistake.

The Trump campaign had spent the past two days denying that any part of Melania Trump’s convention speech was plagiarized. McIver took blame Wednesday and offered to resign.


5:45 p.m.

Bernie Sanders plans to meet with 1,900 of his delegates right before the start of the Democratic National Convention on Monday.

The meeting is aimed at providing direction to his undecided supporters after he endorsed presidential rival Hillary Clinton.

The Sanders campaign, in an email to delegates, is promising a “very special meeting with Bernie himself.”

The private meeting will follow morning briefings hosted by the campaign on health care, trade and criminal justice. One session will offer guidance to delegates about “how to keep the political revolution going strong.”

The email was obtained by The Associated Press.

Many Sanders delegates are expressing disappointment — and some uncertainty — as they prepare to descend on Philadelphia for a convention that will nominate Clinton.


4:35 p.m.

The Secret Service is investigating a prominent Donald Trump supporter who said Hillary Clinton should be “shot for treason.”

Secret Service spokesman Robert Hoback says the agency is aware of comments made by New Hampshire state Rep. Al Baldasaro. Hoback says the Secret Service “will conduct the appropriate investigation.”

Baldasaro said Clinton — a former secretary of state who’s the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee — should be “put in the firing line and shot for treason” over the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans.

Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks says Trump and his campaign don’t agree with Baldasaro’s remarks.


3:52 p.m.

Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential search is centering on three main contenders.

An announcement is expected as early as this weekend. Clinton is preparing for the Democratic National Convention set to begin Monday in Philadelphia.

Democrats familiar with the search say Clinton’s running mate process has focused on Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Labor Secretary Tom Perez.

That’s according to Democrats familiar with the process. They spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private discussions.

Clinton is expected to announce her decision during a two-day campaign swing in Florida later this week.