Sen. Ted Cruz conceded his bid for the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday night after the Indiana primary election he called “pivotal” delivered frontrunner Donald Trump a win.
Initial results in Indiana showed Cruz with 35.3 percent, Trump 53.6 percent, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich 8.4 percent with 30 percent reporting. Multiple news outlets called the race just after the last polls closed at 7 p.m. ET.
Cruz addressed supporters from a planned election night event in Indianapolis. He spoke of the last contested convention and much about former president Ronald Reagan.
“The movement that you have started is extraordinary,” said Cruz.
“From the beginning, I have said that I would continue on as long as there was a viable path to victory. Tonight, I’m sorry to say, it appears that path has been foreclosed,” he resolved.
“Together, we left it all on the field in Indiana. We gave it everything we’ve got, but the voters chose another path. And so, with a heavy heart, but with boundless optimism for the long term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign, but hear me now, I am not suspending our fight for liberty. I am not suspending our fight to defend the Constitution, to defend the Judeo-Christian values that built America. Our movement will continue,” said Cruz, adding that he will continue to fight with all his strength and ability.
“Together we will continue as long as God grants us the strength to fight on,” Cruz continued. “For one thing remains true today as it was 40 years ago in Kansas City. In this fight for the long term future of America there is no substitute for victory. There is no substitute for the America that each and every one of us loves with all of our heart, that we believe in with all of our heart, and that together we will restore as a shining city on the hill for every generation to come.”
“Thank you to each of you and God bless you,” he concluded.
In the final days before the Indiana Republican primary Cruz named a Vice Presidential running mate in Carly Fiorina. He gained the endorsement of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence who then joined Cruz on the campaign trail. He pulled in campaign surrogates Sen. Mike Lee, Rep. Louie Gohmert, wife Heidi Cruz, and Glenn Beck to campaign in the Hoosier State.
While Cruz called Indiana’s primary “pivotal,” he also told California Republicans, “California is at a crossroads. California is going to decide this Republican primary” during his Saturday state party convention speech in Burlingame.
The Cruz and Kasich campaigns each released statements just over a week ago that stated intentions to divide Indiana, Oregon, and New Mexico. Cruz later confirmed that the two campaigns had spoken regarding their intentions. Kasich is focusing on Oregon and New Mexico while cancelling campaign plans for Indiana. Cruz went all in on Indiana while not planning to actively campaign in Oregon and New Mexico.
The Cruz campaign also released massive lists of endorsements and campaign leaders in the days leading up to primary day. Radio and television ads hit the airwaves with assaults on Trump, comparing him to Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
Rumors that Cruz could drop out if he didn’t win Indiana were flying among party insiders ahead of voting results. Local Indiana radio stations were said to be talking of Cruz possibly suspending his campaign, according to sources on the ground.
In March Cruz met with over 100 potential California delegates, continuing an aggressive California primary campaign effort that had been organizing since at least last August. He took questions for around 45 minutes before continuing on to an Orange County fundraiser with former candidates turned Cruz supporters Jeb Bush and Fiorina.
Next Tuesday Republicans will vote in Nebraska and West Virginia. Californians vote in the final set of primary elections on June 7.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana