- Associated Press - Thursday, July 21, 2016

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska Republican party chairman said he would be surprised if Texas Sen. Ted Cruz could be a serious future presidential contender following a GOP national convention speech in which Cruz failed to endorse the party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump.

State chairman Tuckerman Babcock said he was left speechless by Cruz’s Wednesday evening address, calling it a “petulant” reaction by Cruz to losing the nomination to Trump. Cruz missed an opportunity to be diplomatic, Babcock said.

“I sat there in shock,” Babcock said Thursday, describing the boos from the convention hall in Ohio as “deafening.”

“And I thought: What a misjudgment,” he said.

Babcock said he was in a section for alternate delegates at the time. When Cruz came on stage, a woman nearby yelled, “I love you, Ted;” as the speech wore on, she said, “Oh, come on, Ted, please,” Babcock said. The woman was in tears at the end, he said.

He said his reaction the day after the speech was, “Why would anyone care what Sen. Cruz has to say at this point?”

Jim Crawford, chairman of Trump’s campaign in Alaska, said by text message Thursday that people in politics must decide whether to keep their word. He said Cruz’s personal ambition won over keeping his word, and Cruz is now “immaterial” to the 2016 campaign.

Cruz told his home-state delegation that the unconditional support for the GOP nominee he had promised earlier this year disappeared “the day this became personal,” citing attacks on his family by Trump.

Crawford, a Trump delegate for Alaska, said conservative Republicans and independents are coming together with a goal of electing Trump. “The Trump campaign certainly doesn’t need the few Cruz holdouts left to win Alaska,” Crawford wrote.

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Follow Becky Bohrer at https://twitter.com/beckybohrerap.

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