Va. delegate Whitbeck: Cruz’s refusal to support Trump ‘disappointing’

WASHINGTON — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was booed off the stage after refusing to endorse presidential candidate Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, but one delegate from Virginia says that’s not stopping the delegation from getting on board with their party’s direction.

“It’s always disappointing when someone who calls themselves a Republican and relies on all of the Republican volunteers and all of the people that do the work to help get them elected doesn’t fall through with their pledge to support the nominee,” said John Whitbeck, a member of the Virginia delegation and chairman of the Virginia Republican Party.

Despite Cruz’s decision and announcement that he will not back someone for president who he said “attacked his family,” Whitbeck said the delegation at the RNC is all-in when it comes to helping to elect their candidate in November.

“We met as the delegation closed to the media and talked about all of the things that have happened this week and every single one of our delegation is 100 percent united,” said Whitbeck. “Even the folks that were Cruz supporters or Rubio supporters or Carson supporters before, are all on board. We’ve all got our Trump T-shirts and we’re united and we’re ready to go,” he said.

Trump takes the stage at the convention on Thursday, speaking for the first time as the Republican Party’s nominee.

When it comes to what he needs to say to get his party riled up, Whitbeck told WTOP Thursday that the candidate needs to continue to be himself.

“I want to hear him continue to be authentic, I want to hear him continue to throw political correctness out the window and continue to tell it like it is,” Whitbeck said.

“One of the things that they have a problem with on the Democratic side is an establishment candidate who’s not authentic, who’s not truthful, who the majority of Americans think is frankly a liar,” he said referencing Democratic presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. “Our candidate tells it like it is and he’ll continue to do so and that’s why he’s been so successful and I think that’s why he’s going to win in November because voters want change desperately,” he said.

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Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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