Jill Stein Supports Ted Cruz's RNC Speech & The 2 Candidates Might Be More Similar Than You Think

Texas senator and former presidential candidate Ted Cruz struck a nerve in his party on Wednesday night during his speech at the Republican National Convention. Cruz refused to endorse official party presidential nominee Donald Trump, and he was booed by the conservative audience in Cleveland, Ohio because of it. On the other hand, Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein applauded Cruz's RNC speech, and she encouraged voters to think beyond party lines in November, just as Cruz did in his speech.

Cruz congratulated Trump on winning the GOP's nomination. He stopped short of endorsing The Donald, though — too short for many audience members' comfort levels. Although Cruz mentioned the need for a wall at the U.S. border, which Trump has championed, he also mentioned many of his own priorities, including limiting the size of the federal government and promoting school choice. These are generic Republican values, but they don't exactly scream "Donald Trump."

"Stand, speak, and vote with your conscience," Cruz told the crowd. "Vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution." A more supportive GOP ally might have said, as Newt Gingrich did shortly thereafter, that Trump is the candidate voters can trust.

Stein, who has been nominated by a non-major party and hasn't reached the level of support needed to make a real impact in the election, seemed to see Cruz's speech as an opportunity to join in the mainstream political conversation. Cruz criticized Hillary Clinton in his speech, and he didn't exactly approve of Trump, so naturally, a sympathetic voter's mind may wander to a third-party candidate. As a member of the grassroots Green Party, Stein would very much like to be that candidate.

Cruz's speech even used a line that's familiar to the Green Party. "And, to those listening, please don't stay home in November," Cruz said. The Green Party has on its website's homepage the phrase "Don't stay home on election day. Vote Green." Seems as if Cruz and Stein might have more in common than we've all thought.

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It might not be safe to assume that Cruz intended to encourage voters to consider a third party, but it's clear that he doesn't want them to vote Democrat, and he isn't too keen on the idea of them voting Republican, either. Cruz was likely making his case for a 2020 presidential run, in the event Trump doesn't win this time around. Meanwhile, Stein is making her case for a 2016 shakeup to the two-party system that has long dominated U.S. government.