Ted Cruz announced today that he has chosen Carly Fiorina as his running mate. He is the first candidate so far in the 2016 presidential race to add someone to the ticket, and the move comes as little surprise, considering reports have circulated since early this week that Cruz' campaign was heavily vetting Fiorina for the position.
Fiorina, a former CEO at Hewlett-Packard, ended her own presidential campaign in February before endorsing Cruz a month later. According to Politico, Fiorina appeared before a Cruz rally in Miami to endorse her former rival in March.
"It's time to unite behind Ted Cruz,” Fiorina said at the rally. "We knew Ted Cruz is a leader and a reformer. He is willing to take on the status quo in Washington D.C., [and he] is proud to be known by the enemies he’s made in the D.C. cartel.”
But Cruz needs all the friends he can get at this point in his campaign. Cruz is dragging far behind GOP forerunner Donald Trump. According to statistics blog FiveThirtyEight, Trump has won 956 delegates to Cruz' 546, and Cruz was drubbed yesterday along the East Coast, where five states voted overwhelmingly for Trump. Whether adding Fiorina to the campaign will make much of a difference for Cruz is unclear.
Jennifer Rubin, a conservative blogger for the Washington Post, says Fiorina could help Cruz in the important primary in California, where Fiorina "ran for Senate and worked as a chief executive." According to Rubin, Fiorina makes sense as Cruz' preferred veep for a number of additional reasons:
She is ferocious in attacking both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Moreover, as a former chair for the American Conservative Union and a former fundraising chair for the RNC’s “Victory Initiative” in 2008, she would be a capable hand in corralling delegates — without carrying the baggage of a lifetime political insider. She and Cruz seemed to get along well on the trail, appearing together at numerous events and making the case against “business as usual.”
But critics of the pick say Fiorina probably won't help Cruz out very much.
Given Cruz's own likability issues, wouldn't it make sense to pair him with someone who doesn't have same problem? pic.twitter.com/wX1hm3u10B— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) April 27, 2016
Not sure what Fiorina does for Cruz as running mate. She couldn't sustain her own campaign last fall & she won't deliver CA.— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) April 27, 2016
Meanwhile, Trump doesn't seem too worried about Fiorina re-entering the presidential mix as Cruz' running mate, claiming Fiorina "didn't resonate" with voters during her campaign and would be a "bad choice" for Cruz.
"He has got no path to victory and he's naming a VP candidate," Trump told FOX & Friends earlier. "I guess that's cute."
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.