Campaign Wrap: Cruz Set to Tap Fiorina as VP to Boost Bid

After sweeping losses in 5 state primaries, Ted Cruz is set to pick Carly Fiorina as his running mate in a bid to held re-energize his candidacy, Bloomberg’s Terrence Dopp and Sahil Kapur report.

  • Cruz finished 3rd in 4 states yesterday, and came away with just 3 convention delegates
    • Donald Trump had a hugely successful night, carrying every county in Pa., Md. and Del., all but one in R.I. and all but 6 in Conn., according to CNN maps
  • Cruz is shifting all his efforts to Ind., which many analysts now view as potentially his last stand against Trump
    • Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes argues that losing Indiana would be a “fatal blow” to Cruz
    • On Fox News, Daily Caller’s Jamie Weinstein calls Ind. “Armageddon” for the anti-Trump forces -- “you either stop” Trump in Ind., “or you don’t stop him at all”
  • If Trump wins Ind., “then he makes a case that he could win all over the country, even in a two-man race, and that would be very beneficial to him as he prepares for the West Coast primaries,” former RNC Chairman Haley Barbour told the Indianapolis Star
  • Cruz’s anointment of Fiorina as his running today in Ind. highlights the focus on the state, as well as his efforts to revive his chances
    • Move is reminiscent of Ronald Regan’s decision to name Sen. Richard Schweiker of Pa. as his would-be running mate just before the GOP’s 1976 national convention
    • Then-President Gerald Ford maintained his slim delegate lead in the face of Reagan’s gambit and won the nomination
  • Trump already ripped into Fiorina on ABC today, saying that in her presidential bid, “Carly did not resonate at all with people”

ON THE TRAIL

Trump said on MSNBC he’s planning on using some of Bernie Sanders’ attacks on Hillary Clinton in his anticipated general election campaign against her

  • “I’m gonna be taking a lot of the things that Bernie said and using them”
  • Trump delivered a speech outlining his foreign policy in Washington, part of an effort to strike a a more presidential posture
    • Saying America’s security will be the foundation of his policies, he criticized U.S. allies for not contributing enough to ensure international security

Cruz responded to Trump’s by saying it’s “the most dramatic evidence thus far that Donald Trump fails the presidential test”

  • In the response, Cruz also called out Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort as being “widely recognized for his entanglements with corrupt foreign regimes and anti-Democratic rulers”
  • As Cruz focuses on Ind. he was being zinged for yesterday using the phrase “basketball ring” in referring to the height of the hoop, the Indianapolis Star reports
    • He was standing in the gym made famous in the 1986 basketball film “Hoosiers” as he sought support in a state noted for its devotion to the sport
  • Trump plays his basketball card in the state today, appearing at a rally with Bobby Knight, the legendary Indiana U. hoops coach who helmed the last Division 1 men’s college basketball team to complete an undefeated season

John Kasich’s campaign still believes it “remains true” that only he can defeat Clinton in a general election, even though the Ohio governor gained only 5 delegates in yesterday’s primaries, AP reports

  • Spokesman Chris Schrimpf says, “Like Trump, Ted Cruz can’t defeat Hillary Clinton”

Sanders reassured his supporters in Ind. after losing 4 out yesterday’s 5 Democratic primaries yesterday

  • “Let me make this clear, so there is no confusion: We are in this campaign to win, and become the Democratic nominee”

DELEGATES

Trump came one state away from a clean sweep in pledged delegates yesterday, according to Bloomberg Politics delegate tracker

  • Won all 28 in Conn., all 16 in Del., all 38 in Md., all 17 pledged delegates in Pa.
  • Under R.I. proportional rules, Trump won 10 in the state, Kasich 5, Cruz 3, final one not yet projected

Updated delegate count:

  • Trump: 954
  • Not Trump (combined): 902
  • 1,237 needed to secure nomination; 616 not yet allocated

Washington Post reports that Trump has secured at least 39 of Penn.’s 54 unbound delegates

ADS

New Day for America, a super-PAC backing Kasich, released a web ad that portrays a scene of July’s convention depicting a convention victory for him

ENDORSEMENTS

Colo. Sen. Cory Gardner, who last Nov. endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio in GOP presidential race, today announced he’s backing Cruz

ETC.

The General Election Starts Now” is Amy Walter’s headline at the Cook Political Report

  • Says delegate math “remains tricky” for Trump, but he’s got momentum and will get close to the magic number before the convention, at minimum
  • “While lots of smarty-pants number crunchers are making the case for how/why Cruz can win on a second or third ballot, most voters have already wrapped their heads around the fact that Trump will be the nominee. That is only going to grow stronger, not weaker as we move forward”
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