Watch: Cruz Announces Fiorina As VP

Republican presidential candidate Texas Senator Ted Cruz announced former Republican presidential candidate and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as his running mate at a rally in Indianapolis, IN on Wednesday.

Cruz began by talking about his criteria for selecting a VP, “First of all, knowledge, do they know enough to do the job? Do they know where jobs come from? Do they understand why jobs are leaving America? Do they understand why manufacturing jobs are being driven overseas? Do they understand why Carrier has left Indiana and gone to Mexico? Do they understand what is happening in the economy? And government, do they understand the Constitution and Bill of Rights? Are these words on a paper, or are these promises that protect our fundamental liberty? And security, do they understand the threats facing us in the world, the threats that potentially endanger your children and mine?”

He continued, “Secondly, you look to judgment. Do they have the judgment and wisdom to bear the mantle of a job whose responsibilities have grayed the hair of every person ever to hold that office? Do they think through decisions in a rash and impulsive way? Do they pop off the handle at whatever strikes them at any given moment, or do they think through careful, measured? Do they assemble a team around them who are smarter than they are? You know, there’s an old adage in management that As higher As, and Bs hire Cs. If you see a leader who deliberately surrounds himself with people, who are not capable, who are not informed, who are not skilled, and who would never, ever, ever stand up to that leader, it tells you that leader is not a leader, but rather someone not at all secure in who they are.”

Cruz then wrapped up his discussion on the qualifications for a VP, “And the third thing you look to, is character. Are they honest? Do they have core principles, that come from their gut, are not a momentary dalliance, announced today, to be abandoned tomorrow, but do they know who they are when they look in the mirror? Is it based on whatever the media tells them that given day, whatever the fad is that given moment, whatever is trending on Twitter, or do they have a foundation? And integral to character, how do they treat others? How do they treat others, especially those they don’t have to be nice to? You know, everyone knows how to kiss up. Everyone can be nice to their boss. That is not a complicated skill. But how do they treat the clerk at the convenience store? How do they treat the average man and woman? How do they treat the American citizen? How do they treat the vulnerable? That reveals everything you need to know about character.”

Cruz then stated, “After great deal of time and thought, after a great deal of consideration and prayer, I have come to the conclusion, that if I am nominated to be president of the United States, that I will run on a ticket with my vice presidential nominee, Carly Fiorina.”

Cruz then said Fiorina “experienced the hardscrabble world of being a woman professional in a business world that extracts a price. I say that as a son of a pioneering computer programmer, my mother, who started in the computer industry in the 1950s. I say that as the husband of my wife, Heidi Cruz, who spent two decades in the business world. Over and over again, Carly has shattered glass ceilings. But in addition to being a woman of extraordinary intelligence, she is also a woman of deep principle. She’s served as the chairman of the American Conservative Union Foundation, championing conservative principles on a national level. She has studied the threats facing our national security, serving as Chairman of the CIA’s External Advisory Board.”

After laying out how Fiorina met the knowledge criterion, Cruz discussed her judgement. After praising Fiorina for conditioning her endorsement on it not being halfway, Cruz then argued Fiorina is “careful. She is measured. She is serious. She doesn’t get overly excited. She doesn’t get rattled by whatever is getting thrown at her. And you know, we all saw that, when, in one of the earliest debates, Carly confronted Donald Trump, a man, who in his characteristic understatement, said of her, ‘look at that face.’ And every one of us remembers the grace, the class, the élan with which Carly responded, responded to Donald that she knew exactly what she was saying, and that every woman in america knew exactly what Donald Trump was saying. You know, one of the great principles of bullies, they feed off of fear. They feed off of people who will cower in the corner when they yell and scream and insult and holler and curse, and they don’t know what to do when a strong, powerful woman stands up and says, I am not afraid.”

He added, while discussing character, that the president can’t be “a no-good scoundrel,” “a narcissist,” or “abusive and angry,” and be a good president.

Cruz continued that the president must understand people who are struggling, and not have lived a life of privilege. He then said, “When Carly started as a secretary in a small firm in an environment, in the business world that was not always welcoming to women, she knew and knows what it’s like to struggle in the workplace each and every day. But she’s also faced personal struggle, including being diagnosed with breast cancer, battling cancer, and surviving cancer. As a son, who was by my mother’s side when she battled breast cancer, I know firsthand how devastating that disease can be, and I know what a testament it is to her strength and grit and fortitude that she came roaring back, ready to conquer the world. And Carly has known tragedy, including the loss of her stepdaughter, to a drug overdose. There is no pain on the face of the planet commensurate with the pain of a parent losing a child. And Carly has struggled through that, and going through those personal struggles, all of us, everyone here, has faced personal struggles, but it is when you are facing the void, when you are facing the abyss, that you find your character, you find who you are, you find your faith, you find your grounding. Maybe that’s why Carly isn’t intimidated by bullies, because she’s faced challenges a lot worse than someone bellowing and yelling and insulting her face.”

Cruz also addressed the fact that it’s unusual to make a VP announcement this early, stating that this has been an unusual race, and the media and lobbyists are “trying to tell the American people the race is over.” He added that he was making the decision so voters in upcoming primaries would know what they were getting, and to make the election a clear choice.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett