Sen. Ted Cruz announced former candidate Carly Fiorina as his intended vice presidential running mate after a great deal of hype on Wednesday.
The Cruz campaign teased a “major announcement,” sparking rumors of either a Fiorina VP pick or the endorsement of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. Pence met last week separately with both GOP frontrunner Donald Trump and Cruz.
From a stage in Indianapolis, Indiana, Cruz said:
Elections are about choices, the Republican Party faces a choice today. Indiana and America, I believe, want to unite behind a positive, optimistic, forward looking, conservative campaign based on real policy solutions to the problems facing this country.
And the American people deserve a real choice in November. A choice and not an echo. A meaningful distinction. If we come to November and the American people are given a choice between two big government liberals, two Washington insiders enmeshed in the corruption of Washington, then we as a Republican Party will have failed the American people.
And I tell you when you run for President, one of the most solemn choices you make is the choice of selecting a Vice Presidential candidate. This is a choice that you are telling the American people — this is an individual who I trust. And even more importantly this is an individual you can trust to lead this country no matter what might happen.
Any responsible candidate for President would have spent much time assessing possible candidates, thinking through the pros and cons, studying who these people are, praying about it and examining the potential candidates…
Cruz listed knowledge, judgment, and character as requirements for the job of President of the United States. He made several veiled references to Trump and his staff failing these tests.
In a release put out during the speech, Cruz said:
In choosing the person I believe would honorably and faithfully serve in the office of the Vice President – the person who under our Constitution could ascend either temporarily or permanently to the presidency – there must be a higher criteria, and that criteria must be this: will that person keep the faith and trust of the American people? For all the enormously impressive qualities I saw in others whom I considered for the office of the Vice Presidency of the United States, I found a clear choice:
One who has never been afraid to stand up to the insider status quo. Who knows the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution because this leader has lived them – a life dedicated to the dignity of work, of our right to pursue our wildest aspirations – and to help others do the same. And a leader who understands that power never has and never will come from the government – here in the United States it comes from the people.
Who respects the people, who has worked alongside them, and who will serve them with an unbreakable purpose of protecting every one of their rights – and making sure that the America we hand to our kids and grandkids is better than the one before us today.
For the 13 months of this race, there has been a proven, consistent, courageous fighter. A fighter who terrifies Hillary. And who will do the same to our enemies. And that’s why I am proud to announce Carly Fiorina as my Vice Presidential running mate.
Leading up to the announcement, the Cruz campaign admitted it was in the process of vetting a short list of potential Vice President running mates for the Texas senator. Fiorina’s name was the only one publicly leaked to media.
Trump recently announced that Bobby Knight has endorsed his campaign as he heads toward next week’s Indiana primary contest. Tuesday night,Trump swept all five Republican primary elections in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Following news of his resounding wins, Trump declared himself “the presumptive nominee.”
Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich announced an alliance Sunday evening to strategically withdraw their campaigns from tight races to keep Trump from the nomination with easier three-way contests. Cruz will focus on campaigning in Indiana while Kasich focuses on Oregon and New Mexico. The two also announced that all other remaining primary states are up for grabs and they will compete.
Ronald Reagan made a similar move in 1976 when he chose liberal Republican Richard Schweiker as his running mate. He went on to lose the nomination that year. Cruz is a big fan of Reagan, even giving the Gipper a nod in his Pennsylvania primary campaign kickoff speech titled “a point of choosing.”
With news of Fiorina as Cruz’s VP pick breaking ahead of the official announcement, Trump tweeted:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 27, 2016
Trump, Cruz, Kasich, and Fiorina are all scheduled to speak at this weekend’s California Republican Party convention. California boasts 172 Republican delegates up for grabs in the June 7 primary election.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana