Cruz looks to reignite campaign with early announcement of VP pick
♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com editor
INDIANAPOLIS (CFP) — U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has picked former Hewlett-Packard CEO and one-time rival Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate in a bid to jump start his flagging campaign.
“Carly is brilliant and capable, and yet she experienced the hardscrabble world of being a woman professional in the business world that extracts a price,” Cruz told a rally in Indianapolis on April 27, where he rolled out his new ticket. “Over and over again, Carly has shattered glass ceilings.”
Conceding that selecting a running mate before clinching the nomination was “unusual,” he said he picked Fiorina because she can unite the GOP and because her selection would “give the American people a clear choice.”
In her debut as a vice presidential candidate, Fiorina described the campaign as “a fight for the soul of our party and the future of our nation.”
“I’ve had tough fights all my life. Tough fights don’t worry me. What matters is, is this fight worth having? And this is a fight worth having. This is a fight worth winning.”
Fiorina, 61, suspended her own presidential campaign in February after finishing in seventh place in the New Hampshire GOP primary. She later endorsed Cruz and has joined him on the campaign trail, where she has bonded with Cruz’s two young daughters.
In an odd moment during her debut, Fiorina went on to sing part of a song she made up for his daughters, which began, “I know two girls that I just adore. I’m so happy I can see them more.”
GOP front-runner Donald Trump ridiculed the selection of Fiorina, dismissing it as a “desperate attempt to save a failing campaign.”
The Fiorina pick marks the first time since 1976 that a presidential candidate has named a running mate prior to clinching the nomination. It came a day after Cruz was mathematically eliminated from capturing a delegate majority after getting wiped out in five primaries in the Northeast.
Cruz came in third behind both Trump and Ohio Governor John Kasich in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Rhode Island. He failed to crack 20 percent in any of those states and managed less than 11 percent in Rhode Island.
The only state where Cruz didn’t finish dead last was Pennsylvania, where he took 22 percent of the vote and edged out Kasich for second place. Trump won all five primaries up for grabs in the April 26 vote.
Cruz, the last Southerner left in the presidential race, will now head to Indiana, which is increasingly seen as a must-win for the senator to stop Trump from getting to a delegate majority, triggering a contested convention. Indiana votes May 3.
A contested convention is now Cruz’s only path to the GOP nomination. With his losses in the Northeast, he has 562 delegates and would need 675 to secure a majority in Cleveland; however, there are only 616 delegates still outstanding.
With his victories in the Northeast, Trump has 954 pledged delegates. He needs to win just 283 more delegates to secure the nomination, or about 46 percent of the delegates remaining.