Texas Senator Ted Cruz had a big boost to his campaign for Republican presidential nomination when Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker embraced him at a Milwaukee County GOP dinner on Friday, as Trump’s surrogate Sarah Palin only gets a chilly response from the party activists in attendance, reports NBC News.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 2, 2016
Earlier on Tuesday, Walker announced his decision to throw his full weight behind Ted Cruz. The two-term governor told conservative radio host Charles Sykes on WTMJ radio in Milwaukee that Cruz is the best positioned by far to win the GOP nomination and the general election.
“And I’ve chosen to endorse Ted Cruz to be the next President of the United States.”
On Friday night Walker appeared with Ted Cruz on stage for the first time since the endorsement and hugged him amid a big round of applause from the crowd. He stressed that a win for Ted Cruz in the state’s primary next Tuesday will alter the momentum in the race and unite the Republicans.
“My reasons are all about who I’m for, not about who I’m against… I think that’s important in Wisconsin — we like to be for something, not against something.”
The hug from a Wisconsin governor to a Texas senator.
Cruz & Walker share the stage for the first time–> pic.twitter.com/4XUuRpcDja
— Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) April 2, 2016
Cruz then took the microphone and noted that apart from Walker, four other former Republican presidential candidates — Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush, and Lindsey Graham — are now backing his campaign.
“That is the very real manifestation of the unity we need across this country… If we are divided, we will lose the primary and hand the general election to Hillary Clinton.”
Cruz said the nomination of Trump would be “train wrecks.”
Another GOP presidential candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who also attended the dinner, said he is an independent-minded Republican.
“The Republican Party has been my vehicle and not my master… I’ve never wanted to be a professional politician — in fact, I don’t even like politics.”
All mathematics, however, indicate that Kasich, who managed to win a primary only in his home state, is fighting a lost battle.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin started her 20-minute speech by hailing former Green Bay Packers Jerry Kramer and asked all to “do whatever it takes” to get Kramer into the NFL Hall of Fame. She urged Republicans to stand united behind Donald Trump who she thinks is the only candidate who understands that “common sense is an endangered species in Washington.” She also credited him for creating private-sector jobs.
“He (Trump) builds big things.”
When Palin said that Trump is the only one who “talks rationally” on foreign policy and national security, there were some giggles in the crowd. Overall, the reaction of the Republicans in attendance was disappointing for the erstwhile Alaska governor. The mood of the crowd can be perceived from the words of Carol Boettcher, a Republican from Cedarburg, who questioned the energy level of Palin.
“If this is the energy level of the person that you send to represent you, that doesn’t bode well for people to vote for him on Tuesday.”
According to Daily Mail, as many others believe, it has been a difficult week for Donald Trump. First, he had to shield his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski following a female reporter’s claim that he grabbed her. Then he had to withdraw his statement that women should be punished for having abortions. Trump also had some awkward interviews with Wisconsin radio hosts. All these developments helped Ted Cruz leapfrog him in public polling.
Ted Cruz’s victory in Wisconsin could prove a turning point in the race for Republican nomination. If Trump fails to gain a big electoral prize here, it would be much harder for him to grab the nomination, which means he will have to confront a contested Republican convention scheduled in July.
[Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images]