Ted Cruz standing by controversial speech at Republican National Convention

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Donald Trump gets one last shot to make a big impression on Cleveland Thursday night. He's waking up to headlines not about himself or his running mate, but about Senator Ted Cruz. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Donald Trump is waking up to headlines not about himself or his running mate, but about Senator Ted Cruz. Cruz announced Thursday morning that he's standing by his speech at the Republican National Convention.

WATCH LIVE: ABC News coverage of the Republican National Convention

Once again, the Trump campaign finds itself on the defensive. Just as the Melania plagiarism controversy fades out, Cruz's non-endorsement takes its place.

It's being perceived as something that convention speeches never are to the nominee - shady.

RELATED: Ted Cruz booed off stage after refusing to endorse Donald Trump at RNC

"Stand and speak and vote your conscious and vote for candidates that you trust, up and down the ticket, who you trust to defend our freedom and be faithful to the constitution," he said.

People were so angry after the speech, Cruz's wife had to be escorted out of the hall.


Newt Gingrich had to play clean up, explaining that what Cruz meant to say was "vote for Trump."
RELATED: Parts of Melania Trump's RNC speech identical to Michelle Obama's 2008 speech

Some analysts Thursday morning are saying Cruz made a calculated, risky decision to keep distance between himself and Trump in case Trump loses and Cruz sets himself up for 2020.

On Thursday night, Trump is front and center, introduced by his daughter Ivanka. Their job is to be exciting enough for the big distractions this week - Melania and Cruz - to fade away.

Trump is already stealing back some of the headlines by saying he wouldn't automatically have the backs of NATO nations should they be attacked.

ABC7 anchor Reggie Aqui and reporter Laura Anthony are reporting live from the RNC in Ohio. You can follow them on social media: Click here to follow Reggie on Facebook and click here for Twitter. Track Laura Anthony on Facebook here and follow her Twitter here.
For full coverage of the 2016 RNC, click here, and click here for full coverage on the presidential race.
Related Topics:
politics2016 republican national convention - rncrepublican national committeerepublicansdonald trumppresidential race2016 electionu.s. & worldmexicoOhio
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