Carly Fiorina was officially named as Ted Cruz’s running mate in a move seen by many as an attempt to revive his struggling campaign in a major announcement today in Indianapolis, Indiana.
“When you run for president, one of the most solemn choices you make is in selecting a running mate,” Cruz told cheering supporters.
He cited Fiorina’s knowledge of job creation as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, her “judgment and wisdom,” and her character.
To chants of “Carly, Carly, Carly,” Cruz called her “an extraordinary leader” who started as a secretary of a firm but “climbed her way up the corporate ladder to become the CEO of the largest technology company in the world” and the first woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
Cruz also cited Fiorina’s battle with breast cancer as well as the loss of her step-daughter to a drug overdose.
He also addressed the criticism of naming Fiorina as his running mate so early. Cruz referenced the media, who he said “is trying to tell us the race is over,” saying that the nominee first has to get to 1,237 delegates.
“If we are to win…we must unite,” Cruz said. “And Carly as a vice presidential nominee” will do just that, Cruz said.
“This is a fight for the soul of our party, and the future of our nation,” Fiorina said. “This is a fight worth having, this is a fight worth winning, and with your help, we will win it.”
BREAKING: Ted Cruz introduces Carly Fiorina as running mate in race for GOP nomination; calls her an 'extraordinary leader'.'— The Associated Press (@AP) April 27, 2016
National Review, a conservative publication that opposes Trump, speculated that Cruz’s choice of Fiorina stems from her sharp defense of him in April, when the National Enquirer tabloid said that Cruz had multiple extra-marital affairs.
The Fiorina announcement was reported by Politico two hours prior to the Cruz campaign announcement.
The selection of Fiorina was seen as a way to distract from Trump’s victories the night before, as well as a major foreign policy speech the real estate tycoon gave earlier in the day.
Prior to the announcement, Cruz’s campaign rival, businessman Donald Trump, criticized the move to CNBC, saying, “I think it would be a bad choice, not because she’s a woman but because she did not resonate at all with people.”
Trump added that Cruz was “wasting his time” in picking Carly Fiorina “because he’s not going to be the nominee.”
Cruz’s Fiorina announcement came one day after he suffered a drubbing in five state primaries in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Delaware. According to Real Clear Politics, Trump now has 954 pledged delegates to 562 for Cruz. Ohio governor John Kasich has 153, while Florida senator Marco Rubio, who dropped out of the race six weeks ago, has 171.
Ted Cruz campaigning with Carly Fiorina in Wisconsin.
[Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images][/caption]
Carly Fiorina’s History
Carly Fiorina, 61, entered politics after spending several decades in the business world, which was highlighted by a stint is CEO of Hewlett-Packard. In 1998, Fortune Magazine named Fiorina as “the most powerful woman in business.”
However, CNN reported that her tenure as Hewlett-Packard CEO “has been questioned,” saying that when she failed to produce the revenues she had promised, she was let go. After the news of Fiorina’s resignation was announced, revenue shares jumped 6.9 percent.
In 2008, Fiorina served as an advisor to Republican presidential nominee John McCain. In 2010, she ran for the U.S. Senate seat from California but eventually lost to Democrat incumbent Barbara Boxer.
When Fiorina Took On Trump
Fiorina announced her run for president almost one year ago, on May 4. While she generally polled in the low numbers, her campaign received heightened attention in September after Donald Trump insulted her appearance.
“Look at that face,” he said of Fiorina in an interview with Rolling Stone. “Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!”
Trump also said of Fiorina, “Carly was a little nasty to me — be careful, Carly! Be careful! But I can’t say anything to her because she’s a woman.”
But Fiorina was ready with a response at the next Republican presidential debate, hosted by CNN on September 16.
The debate moderator asked, “Carly Fiorina, I do want to ask you about this. Last week, in an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, Donald Trump said the following about you: ‘Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?’ Mr. Trump later said he was talking about your persona, not your appearance. Please feel free to respond with what you think about his persona.”
Fiorina responded, “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.”
Her statement was met with cheers from the audience, after which Trump cut in to say of Fiorina, “I think she’s got a beautiful face, and she’s a beautiful woman.”
On February 10, Fiorina suspended her campaign after garnering just 2 percent and 4 percent in Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively. In March, she endorsed Ted Cruz and has since appeared with him at numerous campaign events.
The next primary contest is next Tuesday, May 3 in Indiana, which has 57 delegates at stake. Trump currently leads Cruz-Fiorina there by 6.3 percent in the Real Clear Politics average of polls.
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]