Ted "New York values" Cruz faced a tough crowd Thursday at the New York State Republican gala, BuzzFeed reports. According to NBC News, the crowd of 800 Republicans was "stunningly distracted" during his speech, which was "almost entirely ignored." Talking Points Memo is a bit gentler, stating Cruz received a "cool reception." Things started off badly when Cruz's opening joke about Donald Trump "only drew muted laughter," as BuzzFeed puts it. After that, attendees walked around, took selfies, and chatted with each other, the noise of talking and silverware growing louder as Cruz's speech wore on. It was the worst response any speaker received. "Attendees … are talking over Ted Cruz waaaay more than they did with Trump, Kasich, or even New Mexico Gov. Martinez's yawner speech," one journalist tweeted.
One attendee says Cruz's criticism of "New York values" hurt him with the crowd. “I think people have had ... difficulty forgetting that," he tells BuzzFeed. Another says Cruz's decision to stick to his normal stump speech showed he didn't bother to understand his audience. One Republican voter tells NBC Trump simply had a home-court advantage. "This is Trumpville; this is Trump town," he says. NBC estimates that out of hundreds of attendees, Cruz received applause from only two dozen or so people at any given time. One Cruz supporter blames the fact that Cruz was speaking last and attendees were hungry and waiting to eat. But CNN points out attendees had already gotten their food and were nearly finished eating by the time Cruz took the stage.