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Cleveland
Cleveland RNC

CLEVELAND—During a prime-time slot of the Republican National Convention’s third night, Texas Senator Ted Cruz ’92 addressedthe delegates and conventioneers, framing his speech around freedom and adhering to the Constitution. Cruz spoke on the convention staged framed by images of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Cruz also refused to formally endorse presumptiveRepublican presidential nominee Donald Trump, though he did recognize the enthusiasm inside Quicken Loans Arena, where the convention is taking place.

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Cleveland RNC

In Cruz’s speech, he began and ended with a story of Caroline, the 9-year-old daughter of police sergeant Michael Smith, one of the five officers gunned down in Dallas by Army veteran Micah Xavier Johnson. According to Cruz, Smith asked his daughter when he hugged her goodbye that morning “What if this is the last time I saw you?”

Cruz said his eldest daughter shared the same name as Smith’s daughter.

“We live in a world where so many others have had their lives destroyed by evil like Orlando and Paris and Nice and Baton Rouge,” he said.

“What if this is our last moment to do something for our families and our country? Did we live up to the values we say we believe?” He asked.

He followed the theme of freedom, noting that “government power has been the unavoidable constant in life... but not here. We have no king of queen—we the people constrain government.”

“Our nation is exceptional because it was built on the five most beautiful words in the English language: ‘I want to be free,’” he said in his speech. “Never has that message been more needed than today. We stand heretonighta nation divided.”

Cruz said that there is a profound difference between our two party's vision for the future.

“Freedom means free speech not politically-correct safe spaces,” Cruz said in his speech. He added that freedom also means that states can govern themselves. “That’s the way it’s supposed to be, diversity. If not, what’s the point of having states to begin with?”

“We must make the most of our moment to fight for freedom and to protect our God-given rights even with those with whom we don’t agree so that when we are old and gray and our work is done and we give those we love one final kiss goodbye, we will be able to say ‘Freedom matters, and I was part of something beautiful,'” Cruz said as he brought his speech to a close.

He called for listeners to act on their conscience and vote to “defend freedom.”

This was met with chants of “Donald Trump!” and “We want Trump!” from the floor. Cruz then said he “appreciated” the enthusiasm of the New York delegation.

Trump is expected to accept the Republican nomination Thursday night. The Democratic National Convention will take place in Philadelphia next week.

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