Ted Cruz names Carly Fiorina as his vice-presidential running mate

Move to unveil a No 2 without clinching the nomination is nearly unprecedented, last made by Ronald Reagan during his ill-fated 1976 campaign

Ted Cruz unveiled former business executive Carly Fiorina as his running mate on Wednesday.

Cruz told a crowd of hundreds of supporters: After a 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, I will run on a ticket with my vice-presidential nominee Carly Fiorina.

The move comes as an attempt to shift the national conversation the day after Trumps overwhelming win in the Republican primary in five east coast states and only six days before Indianas crucial primary, which awards the statewide winner 30 delegates, the largest single pot available until June.

Fiorina took the stage to loud cheers and country music, telling the crowd: Today I am very proud and very humbled and honored to announce that I have accepted Senator Ted Cruzs offer.

She went on to describe the Republican nominating process as a fight for the soul of our party and the future of our nomination and pledged that she is prepared to stand by [Ted Cruzs] side and give this everything that I have to defeat Donald Trump, restore the soul of this party and take our country back.

The newly minted vice-presidential candidatehas been an active surrogate for Cruz since endorsing him in early March. The former Hewlett-Packard CEO has barnstormed across the country on behalf of the Texas senator since then. Cruz has often praised Fiorina on the stump and saying that the former CEO gives Hillary Clinton nightmares. I can just picture Hillary thinking about Carly and tossing and turning and tossing and turning in her jail cell. Fiorina has since grown close to the Cruz family and even sang a song for Cruzs young daughters from the stage on Wednesday.

Although it was widely reported that the Cruz campaign was vetting potential vice-presidential candidates, and a Fiorina aide confirmed to the Guardian that she was participating in the vetting process, the announcement of a running mate by a candidate who still has yet to clinch the nomination is historic. The last candidate to do so was Ronald Reagan on the eve of the 1976 Republican national convention. Reagan tapped Pennsylvania senator Richard Schweiker in an unsuccessful attempt to oust the incumbent president, Gerald Ford.

While its widely considered that Reagan made a mistake in naming the liberal Republican to be his running mate, Cruz refused to condemn the move in a December interview with the Guardian. Oh, look, one could go back and second-guess decisions that are difficult decisions to make, said Cruz of Reagans failed attempt to unite the Republican party.

Cruz acknowledged that announcing a vice-presidential selection this early was unusual, but he pointed out that this race is, if anything, unusual. The Texas senator said the announcement was so the voters will know what you will get and give the American people a clear choice. He contrasted this with Trump, whom he described as a New York liberal who constantly shifted positions.

Fiorina, who dropped out of the presidential race in February after poor results in Iowa and New Hampshire, would be the first vice-president in history to have not held public office. A former CEO of Hewlett-Packard whose reign was marked by controversy after the printer companys failed acquisition of Compaq, Fiorina previously mounted a losing Senate campaign in California in 2010 against Democrat Barbara Boxer.

Fiorinas selection could help boast Cruzs appeal among female voters in the remaining Republican primaries. Trump has consistently done better with men than women in exit polls and Fiorina could help reinforce this gender gap.

Vice-presidential nominees have traditionally been attack dogs to allow presidential candidates to keep their hands clean. However, that script was reversed on Wednesday as Fiorina repeatedly referenced God, the constitution and the founding fathers while Cruz bashed Trump as a no-good scoundrel and a big government New York liberal, who is a Washington insider, who agrees with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Trump and Fiorina have a long history of conflict. The Republican frontrunner mocked her appearance in a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone, saying: Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that?

Cruz though praised Fiorinas response to these attacks on Wednesday. At 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 elan with which Carly responded. Responded to Donald Trump that she knew exactly was saying and every woman in america knew exactly what Donald was saying.

Trump was slightly more charitable to Fiorina in a phone interview with Good Morning America on Wednesday, describing her as a nice person but she never resonated.

He added: By the end she was an insignificant player.

In a statement to the Guardian on Fiorinas selection, Trump did not mention her by name, and he dismissed choosing her as a desperate move by the Cruz campaign.

After massive defeats in Arizona, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut and Maryland (in addition to 20 other contests), and given the fact that Senator Cruz has millions of votes less than me and is being clobbered on the delegate front, this is a pure waste of time, said Trump.

He added in a reference to a pact between Cruz and Ohio governor John Kasich to divide up the forthcoming Indiana, New Mexico and Oregon primaries: It reminds me very much of the already failed 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. Cruz has no path to victory he is only trying to stay relevant.

Trumps policy adviser Stephen Miller was more direct about Fiorina at a rally just five miles away and two hours after she was announced as Cruzs running mate. Miller described Cruzs selection as one of the weirder events that weve ever seen in American political history and said Fiorina is the outsourcer-in-chief. After saying Cruz sided with China over the US, the Trump aide said Cruz and Fiorina are now officially the outsourcing ticket.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/27/ted-cruz-carly-fiorina-running-mate-vice-president

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