Ted Cruz Names Carly Fiorina as Running Mate

Ted Cruz has chosen Carly Fiorina as his presidential running mate. Kevin Kolczynski/Reuters

At a rally in Indianapolis on Wednesday, Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz announced to much fanfare that if he becomes the GOP nominee for president, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina will be his running mate.

Cruz listed three traits—knowledge, judgment and character—as key in a running mate and said he believes that Fiorina possesses all of these characteristics. He also positioned himself in opposition to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and Republican front-runner Donald Trump, whom he described as "big government New York liberal[s]." Fiorina echoed that sentiment when she followed Cruz onstage.

"Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are two sides of the same coin," said Fiorina, who also sought the GOP nomination but dropped out of the race on February 10 with anemic poll numbers. Cruz is the first presidential candidate in this cycle to name a running mate—an announcement that typically happens after the presidential nominee has been chosen. Fiorina endorsed Cruz in April and was spotted in Indiana on Tuesday, sparking rumors earlier on Wednesday that Cruz would select her.

Cruz's announcement comes after a string of victories in the Northeast primaries by Trump, who won Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island on Tuesday night. Cruz's losses in these states make his already-narrow path to the nomination even more precarious. Not enough delegates remain in play for Cruz to win a majority before the party's convention, slated for July—a fact that Cruz finally acknowledged on Wednesday. But he affirmed his competitor won't get there either.

"I'm not getting to 1,237 delegates, and Donald Trump is not getting to 1,237 delegates," Cruz said.

If Cruz succeeds in keeping Trump from reaching the required delegates count for the nomination, the party will face a contested convention in which he or another Republican could step in and swipe the nomination from the front-runner via parliamentary trickery.

The selection of Fiorina may be a way for Cruz to solidify his lead among Republican women voters, who overwhelmingly dislike Trump. On Wednesday, the senator reminded supporters of Trump's derogatory remarks about Fiorina's face and touted "the grace, the class, the élan with which she responded."

Earlier, when it became clear that Ohio governor and third-place GOP candidate John Kasich could not win a majority of delegates, Cruz called on Kasich to drop out. "I think any candidate, if you don't have a clear path to winning, it doesn't make sense to stay in the race," Cruz said at the time. Kasich also called on Cruz to drop out of the race.

In a last-ditch effort to stop Trump, earlier this week Cruz allied with Kasich against the real estate mogul, with Cruz agreeing not to campaign in Oregon and New Mexico, where Kasich is polling well, and Kasich agreeing to stay away from Indiana, where Cruz is courting the evangelical vote.

The next GOP primary contest will take place in Indiana on Tuesday.