Republican contender for president Ted Cruz formally announced on Wednesday that he has selected Carly Fiorina as his running mate. It has been a difficult week for Cruz, as he suffered devastating losses to Donald Trump in Rhode Island, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Delaware. It is his hope that this announcement will bring new life to his campaign. Cruz praised Fiorina during his announcement in Indianapolis, and spoke of his belief that the campaign still has a chance, CNN reports.
“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 said. He continued, “She is careful, she is measured, she is serious,” Cruz said. “She doesn’t get overly excited, she doesn’t get rattled by whatever is thrown at her.”
Fiorina responded in kind, speaking hopefully about their campaign and their hopes for a nomination.
“Ted could not be more right in what he said: There is a lot at stake, and in fact, this is a fight, this is a fight for the soul of our party and the future of our nation. I’ve had tough fights all my life. Tough fights don’t worry me a bit,” Fiorina said.
Campaign staff changed the logo on the podium while the two spoke. As CBS News reports, it is unusual for a presidential contender to make this sort of announcement this early in the race. Therefore, it is apparent that Cruz is hoping that this decision will give a jolt to his campaign.
However, it is not yet clear whether or not this tactic will work as responses, even among the right wing, have been varied.
Michelle Malkin, an outspoken conservative, quickly released an article outlining 11 red flags about Fiorina. Among the concerns were Fiorina’s support of the DREAM Act and Gang of Eight, which support and assist illegal immigrant, and H-1B, which addresses companies and their right to outsource or move overseas. Additionally, Malkin suggests that Fiorina’s ties to Jesse Jackson and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor suggest left-leaning tendencies. Additionally, it seems that Fiorina is less consistent than some would like to see, having changed her stance on both Common Core and government bailouts.
— Middle Class America (@DonaldJohnTed) April 23, 2016
National Review is likewise skeptical of Cruz’s choice. They state that while there are benefits to selecting a running mate this early in the race, the ability to campaign in two places at once as well as the excitement generated by a familiar and well-lauded name, the move speaks to a level of desperation and political manipulation that some might find unappealing.
Donald Trump, Cruz’s competitor and the frontrunner for nomination, also had something to say about the selection, the Washington Times reports.
“She had one good debate. She went up and then she dropped like a rock. She never resonated with the people. So, I mean, Carly’s not going to do the trick,” he said.
Still, others are optimistic. Fiorina has long been one of Trump’s most outspoken detractors. She has never shied away from engaging with him, and has fared well in the sparring matches in which they have engaged. She has never held an elected office. While some are concerned that lack of experience may be an issue, others feel that her distinct separation from “big politics” and career politicians will fare well for her. Additionally, as both race and gender have played largely in this election, some feel that a female vice presidential candidate will help Cruz’s odds. Also, Fiorina is outspokenly pro-choice, an advocate for states’ rights, proposes a smaller and simpler tax code, and views ISIS, Iran, and Russia as tangible threats. Each of these issues are favorable among most conservative voters.
Ted Cruz’s choice of Carly Fiorino is unprecedented, unique, and controversial. However, was it effective? Voters will know the answer after Indiana’s primary.
[Photo by Michael Conroy/AP Images]