Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) named businesswoman and former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina as his running mate on Wednesday.
The move to name a running mate before successfully securing the nomination is highly unusual and the last time this was done was in the 1976 presidential election. Then-Governor Ronald Reagan named Senator Richard Schweiker (R-PA) before the brokered convention. President Gerald Ford, who had a lead in both the popular vote and delegates, won the nomination on the first ballot.
Cruz’s selection of Fiorina did allow the Senator to seize the news cycle a day after his disappointing finish in the Acela primary. Cruz placed third in every primary on Tuesday except for Pennsylvania. Fiorina’s selection caused the media to move on from Tuesday’s results and the foreign policy speech Donald Trump had delivered earlier on Wednesday.
News broke earlier this week that Carly Fiorina was being considered for the running mate slot and then reports began to indicate that the Cruz campaign was considering announcing a running mate choice before the Indiana primary. Several hours before Cruz’s rally on Wednesday, where he had teased a “major announcement,” news outlets like Politico, CNN, and the New York Times all reported that Cruz was going to announce Fiorina as his running mate.
Supporters at the rally were eventually shown to have been holding Cruz-Carly, as the duo is now known, signs. The crowd began holding them up once Fiorina was announced. Senator Cruz’s website, TedCruz.Org, now redirects to CruzCarly.Com. The Cruz-Carly website is a simplified version of the TedCruz website with information about Fiorina and videos of the two individually and together. There is also a link to the campaign store that is now stocked with items featuring the Cruz-Carly logo. The TedCruz.Org website does still exist and can be accessed by clicking on the Contact button. From there, readers can read the rest of the TedCruz.Org website, including his policy positions.
The Cruz-Carly items for sale are all available for pre-order and the store warns that high demand will cause delay in shipments.
Fiorina could be a big boost for Cruz should they make it to the general election. Fiorina often goes on the attack against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and says that Democrats are the ones waging the “War on Women.” During her speech on Wednesday, Fiorina attacked Trump and Clinton as members of the Washington machine. Fiorina said, “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.”
The Fiorina decision comes as the Cruz campaign is taking more chances in an attempt to deprive Trump of the nomination. On Sunday, Cruz and Governor John Kasich (R-OH) announced plans to cooperate and sacrifice states in order to take on Trump one-on-one.
Trump responded to the announcement by tweeting a video of Fiorina saying, “Ted Cruz is just like any other politician, he says whatever he needs to say to get elected.” Trump accompanied that with, “Agreed!”