- Associated Press - Thursday, July 21, 2016

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - The head of the Washington State Republican Party was among those upset that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz did not endorse Donald Trump for president, and she gave Cruz a piece of her mind.

Susan Hutchison bumped into Cruz near an elevator shortly after he was booed off the stage at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland Wednesday night. Hutchison said she identified herself to Cruz and criticized the senator.

“I said that I thought what he did was inexcusable and that he was a traitor to the party,” Hutchison told KUOW Thursday.

Hutchison said Cruz looked surprised, and that his wife, Heidi, told Hutchison she was wrong. “I said ‘no, your husband is wrong,’” Hutchison said.

Hutchison did not immediately return a telephone call from The Associated Press on Thursday.

The Washington state delegation was dominated by Cruz supporters, even though Trump won the state’s GOP primary, and several were upset with Hutchison.

“I think it was very poor form by her,” delegate Eric Minor said. “It’s her First Amendment right, of course, but I was not impressed by it.”

“Ted’s speech was awesome,” Minor said Thursday. “A clear articulation of conservative principles that should really enjoy widespread support.”

Washington delegate Marc Perez said reports of the confrontation “caused many of us, who already felt very upset over the blatant disrespect towards our exceptionally principled conservative candidate, Ted Cruz, to feel even more hurt.”

Delegate Jennifer Fetters said Hutchison’s confrontation with Cruz “embarrassed our delegation.”

“It’s stuck in her craw the whole time that her delegation supports a constitutional conservative,” Fetters said. “Her final back stab to our delegation was to embarrass us like that.”

Most of the Washington delegation attended a Wednesday event in which Cruz thanked them for their support, Fetters said.

But delegate Joel Mattila said Cruz should have endorsed Trump.

“He had an opportunity to tee himself up as the next leader of the Republican Party and unfortunately for him, blew it big time,” Mattila said. “He has damaged himself and his movement.”

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