At the state Republican convention Friday supporters of U.S. Senate Candidate Ted Cruz walked out as his opponent David Dewhurst began to speak. It was the second day Cruz activists dissed Dewhurst in front of fellow Republicans.
Thursday Ted Cruz supporters booed when Governor Rick Perry told a crowd of several thousand he supports Lt. Governor David Dewhurst for the US Senate.
Friday, as Dewhurst spoke to a packed auditorium you could hear a few booing again. Several dozen Cruz supporters then walked out of the hall. Suezette Griffin from Pearland was among them.
Griffin: The reason we walked out really was a show of support for Ted Cruz and against the erroneous lies that Dewhurst has been telling in his ads.
Soon afterwards Dewhurst seemed to take the disrespect in stride as he shook hands and posed for photos with Republicans who seemed glad to see him.
Dewhurst: The tug back and forth between different groups that were supporting one candidate over another is normal in the political process. It doesn’t surprise me at all.
A spokesman for Dewhurst’s Senate opponent says the Cruz campaign doesn’t condone incivility. But James Bernsen says you have to expect delegates to express themselves.
Bernsen: I don’t think anyone got too offensive in the last couple days.
Reporter: So a little booing is OK?
Bernsen: Yes, a little booing. It’s just like sports, you know. I would boo a bad call but I would never boo my own team. I think a little bit is fine.
There seemed to be more than just a little bit of booing, though, when Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison urged delegates to support Mitt Romney for President.
Hutchison: It is time for us to rally around Mitt Romney. (boos)
A constant theme linked to the bad manners seems to be a desire for activists to show their disapproval of party leaders they deem too moderate or too status quo. At the Texas GOP convention freedom of expression seems every bit as important as party unity.