Challenger Cruz picks Carly Fiorina as running mate

TH29-VARGHESE-CRUZ_2832239fRepublican presidential candidate Ted Cruz stands with Carly Fiorina after he announced Fiorina as his running mate at a campaign rally in Indianapolis, on Wednesday.

Mr. Cruz’s unusual move of picking a running mate while his own nomination is a distant possibility drew ridicule from Mr. Trump

Senator Ted Cruz, now a weak challenger to frontrunner Donald Trump in the Republican nomination race, sought to revive his fortunes by announcing former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential candidate. Ms. Fiorina too was a presidential aspirant, but dropped out in February after failing to get a foothold in the race.

Mr. Cruz’s unusual move of picking a running mate while his own nomination is a distant possibility drew ridicule from Mr. Trump and scepticism from commentators. It was Ronald Reagan who had tried this trick the last time, naming Pennsylvania Senator Richard Schweiker as his running mate ahead of a contested convention in 1976. Reagan did not win the nomination.

Poor show on Tuesday

Mr. Cruz has won just three delegates from the fives States that had primaries on Tuesday and finished last in four. He has made a pact with the third candidate, John Kasich who has agreed to not campaign in Indiana, the next primary state that votes on May 3. Mr. Cruz said he decided on Ms. Fiorina after “deep consideration and prayer”. Ms. Fiorina said Mr. Trump and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton were “two sides of the same coin”, and Mr. Cruz and she represented the conservative voice.

Terming the Cruz-Fiorina tie-up a “pure waste of time”, Mr. Trump said in a statement: “It reminds me very much of the already failed [John] Kasich “collusion” — a desperate attempt to save a failing campaign by an all talk, no action politician…The people of Indiana are very smart — they will see through this just like they saw through the already failed Kasich alliance.”

Meanwhile, now almost clear that he won’t be running a general election campaign, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders has let 225 of his campaign staffers go, in States where primaries are over. “ [W]hat we are going to do is allocate our resources to the 14 contests that remain, and that means that we are going to be cutting back on staff,” Mr. Sanders said.

His plans to go all the way to the party convention in Philadelphia in July remains in tact, where he expects to push the party to a more progressive platform.

Mr. Sanders said he planned to focus particularly on California, the State with the largest number of delegates in the country. “If we can win the largest State in this country, that will send a real message to the American people,” he told The New York Times.

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