In a desperate to revive his flagging, campaign Texas Senator Ted Cruz announced his choice for a vice presidential running mate. On Wednesday afternoon, April 27, 2016, Cruz named former 2016 GOP candidate and former Hewlett Packett CEO Carly Fiorina his running mate if he wins the Republican nomination in the case of a contested convention. Cruz made the announcement at a rally in Indianapolis, Indiana; the state is holding their primary on Tuesday, May 3.
In announcing his VP pick at the rally, Cruz declared, “I will run on a ticket with my vice-presidential nominee, Carly Fiorina.” The Texas Senator said he made the decision after “a great deal of consideration and prayer.” Cruz praised Fiorina calling her a “woman of extraordinary intelligence” and “a woman of deep principle.”
Cruz said, “Carly respects the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and she understands the threats facing America. She understands this is a dangerous world and in naming her as my vice presidential nominee, I am also telling you that she is someone you can be confident in.”
Referring to a September 2015 GOP debate where Trump attempted to attack Fiorina on her appearance, Cruz praised Fiorina’s ability to stay calm. Cruz complimented, “She is careful and she is measured and serious and she doesn’t get overly excited or rattled by everything that is getting thrown at her.”
The Texas Senator also could not end his rally without attacking his opponent Trump but did so without naming him. Cruz said, “If you see a leader who deliberately surrounds themselves with people who are not capable, who are not informed, who are not skilled, and who would never, ever stands up to that leader, it tells you that leader is not a leader, but, rather, someone not at all secure in who they are.”
Earlier Wednesday, Cruz spoke at a campaign stop in Indianapolis where he discussed the qualities he is looking for in a vice presidential candidate on his GOP ticket. Cruz noted, “I have said from the beginning the most important attribute for any running mate is that he or she should be prepared to step in and fulfill the role as president.”
Cruz’s rival GOP front-runner Donald Trump, who had a long-standing feud with Fiorina early on in the campaign, was not impressed with the announcement. Trump tweeted a CNN video clip from earlier in the campaign where Fiorina says, “Ted Cruz is just like any other politician; he says whatever he needs to say to get elected,” Trump added the caption, “Agreed!”
Cruz’s campaign is in trouble after finishing third in four of the five Atlantic primaries on Tuesday, April 26. The exception was Pennsylvania, the only state where Cruz cracked over 20 percent of the vote with 21.6 percent. Mathematically he cannot win the nomination except in the event of a contested convention. However, Cruz is looking to block Trump from gaining the remaining delegates he needs to clinch the nomination, a win in Indiana and its 57 delegates would go a long way in his goal to force a contested convention.
Fiorina dropped out of the campaign after a poor finish in the New Hampshire primary in February. On March 9 the former HP CEO and only female GOP candidate this season endorsed Cruz and since then she has been his most visible surrogate on the campaign trail.
Speculation first mounted that Cruz might announce Fiorina as his running mate on Monday, April 25 when news broke that Cruz is vetting Fiorina for the post. On Wednesday morning, the Cruz campaign announced a ‘major announcement’ at 4 p.m. with Fiorina in Indianapolis the press started assuming that Cruz was intending to announce her as his VP choice.
Fiorina hails from California that holds its primary on June 7 with 172 winner-take-all delegates at stake; Cruz is hoping with Fiorina on the ticket he will be able to capture the major prize ad prevent Trump from clinching the nomination. Currently, Trump is leading California polls by wide margins.
At the general election level, Fiorina has also campaigned as the GOP’s answer to Democratic front-runner and potential nominee Hillary Clinton. Fiorina is the only GOP candidate this cycle who could equal the woman card that Clinton pulls consistently, and Trump has recently attacked her about.
Trump currently has 988 delegates out of the 1,237 needed for the Republican nomination, and only needs 57 percent of all remaining delegates up for grabs. Cruz has 568 while Kasich only has 152.