The Republican enters the race with his former rival Carly Fiorina. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, is laying off campaign aides.
A team: Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz photo: ap
Ted Cruz has picked former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as his running mate. With just under three months to go before the Republican Party’s nominating convention, the Texas senator is taking an unusual step – normally, a presidential contender does not name his running mate until he has secured a majority of delegate votes for the party’s convention. Cruz, however, is far from that.
After losing to front-runner Donald Trump in five more primary states on Tuesday, Cruz desperately needs momentum to still distinguish himself as a suitable alternative. In 61-year-old Fiorina, he chose a possible vice presidential candidate who had sought the Republican nomination herself but dropped out of the race in February after the New Hampshire primary.
Cruz announced his choice Wednesday in Indianapolis. He praised Fiorina for her career advancement from secretary to HP chief and her already demonstrated willingness to challenge Trump.
Time and time again, Fiorina has smashed invisible obstacles, Cruz said. The co-chairman of his Los Angeles campaign team, Gary Aminoff, said, "Carly is smart, knowledgeable, brings great financial expertise, and she’s a woman."
Only woman in the Republican field of candidates
The selectee had made her case for Cruz shortly after her presidential bid ended. She had been the only woman in the large Republican field of candidates.
"This is the fight of our time," Fiorina said Wednesday night (local time) at Cruz’s announcement. "And I believe Ted Cruz is the man to lead this fight." She said she is prepared to stand alongside him and give her all to "bring back the soul of our party and beat Donald Trump, beat Hillary Clinton, and take back this country."
Trump criticized Cruz’s decision even before it was officially announced as stupid and ridiculous. "He shouldn’t nominate anybody because he has no chance at all," Trump told Fox News television. He also said Fiorina had cut a poor figure in the campaign.
Democratic criticism of the alliance was not long in coming either. Cruz and Fiorina are best described as "evil and nasty," said California Senator Barbara Boxer, who defeated Fiorina in the 2010 Senate election.
Mathematically, Cruz can no longer catch up with Trump and thus secure the Republican presidential nomination. He and the other candidate, John Kasich, are therefore counting on a battle vote at the nominating party convention in July, should Trump himself fail to achieve the necessary 1237 delegate votes in the primaries.
Sanders: Does not want to drop out of the race
That Cruz announced his choice in Indianapolis is no coincidence: Indiana will host the next primary next Tuesday. Fiorina contacts to California could also help him to win the important primary in the U.S. state on June 7.
Meanwhile, U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has announced the firing of hundreds of campaign workers. He wants to focus entirely on the primary election in California at the beginning of June, the New York Times quoted the self-proclaimed socialist as saying. As a result, he said, he no longer needs staff in the other states. However, he does not want to drop out of the race for the presidential nomination.
Sanders is clearly trailing his rival Hillary Clinton. The ex-Secretary of State is hardly in contention for the presidential nomination in November after her recent primary victories. About a dozen ballots remain before the nominating party convention this summer. Almost half of the delegate votes not yet awarded can be won in the most populous US state of California alone.