Former GOP contender Carly Fiorina is officially the newest passenger to climb aboard the “anybody but Trump” bandwagon. On Thursday, the businesswoman endorsed Texas senator Ted Cruz for president, telling supporters that he is “the only guy who can beat Donald Trump.” Fiorina made the announcement at an event in Miami, calling Cruz a “leader and reformer [who is] willing to take on the status quo in Washington,” according to CBS affiliate KMTV.
During her remarks, Carly Fiorina took aim at her old rival Donald Trump, lumping him in with the Republican Party’s prime target, Hillary Clinton. She referred to Trump and Clinton as part of “the system.” In the present election cycle, many candidates have touted themselves as “outsiders” and insurgents, including Trump and Fiorinia, who both come from the world of business. Ted Cruz has also effectively portrayed himself as anti-establishment, due in part to his affiliation with the Tea Party.
Although her endorsement of Ted Cruz was not exactly a foregone conclusion, Carly Fiorina probably did not give too much consideration to throwing her support behind Donald Trump given the seemingly mutual animus between the two.
Donald Trump made headlines relatively early in his quest for the Republican nomination when he criticized Fiorina’s physical appearance in the presence of reporters. An account of the incident was published by Rolling Stone and recounted by Inquisitr.
“When the anchor throws to Carly Fiorina for her reaction to Trump’s momentum, Trump’s expression sours in schoolboy disgust as the camera bores in on Fiorina. ‘Look at that face!‘ he cries. ‘Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!… I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posedta say bad things, but really folks, come on. Are we serious?’ “
Fiorina later responded to the story during her first face-to-face debate with Trump, telling the event’s moderator, “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said,” as recounted by NBC News. ABC News noted Trump later impugned Fiorina’s business record, saying that she did a “terrible job” during her time at the helm of Hewlett-Packard and he got eventually personal once again, tweeting that listening to Carly Fiorina for more than ten minutes at a time gave him a “massive headache.”
It is difficult to know how influential Carly Fiorina’s endorsement of Ted Cruz will prove in the long run. The Republican anti-Trump initiative is gathering steam with the likes of John Sununu and Mitt Romney in the ranks, but there does not appear to be a clear favorite among that particular movement. Indeed, Mitt Romney has reportedly recorded anti-Trump “robocall” ads for both Marco Rubio and John Kasich, but it’s worth noting that neither of those candidates failed to emerge from the “Super Tuesday 2” primary contests with significant gains. In fact, many pundits are forecasting the imminent demise of Marco Rubio in the wake of a relatively disastrous showing in the aforementioned primaries.
Ted Cruz remains Donald Trump’s most formidable challenger heading into decisive primaries in Ohio and Florida. Cruz needs big wins from those races, as he currently trails Trump with 359 delegates to Trump’s 458. As for Trump himself, he moved to a more conciliatory tone in the wake of his recent wins, professing a desire to unite the Republican Party after a particularly nasty primary season. While many Republicans have suggested that they will ultimately support the party’s nominee, those like Carly Fiorina, who have endured especially mean-spirited personal attacks, might find it particularly difficult to express public support for Donald Trump if he is indeed the GOP nominee come the party convention this summer.
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