In a coordinated effort to stop GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, the Cruz and Kasich campaigns announced late last night a joint strategy for upcoming primaries, leaving Indiana to the Texas senator and Oregon and New Mexico to the Ohio governor.
Not only would Trump get blown out by Clinton or Sanders, but having him as our nominee would set the party back a generation.
Jeff Roe, Cruz campaign manager
Trump fired back in a statement at nearly 1 a.m. today that “It is sad that two grown politicians have to collude against one person who has only been a politician for ten months in order to try and stop that person from getting the Republican nomination.”
The New York billionaire is ahead in the delegate count and potentially could secure the 1,237 delegates a candidate needs to win on the first ballot at the GOP convention in Cleveland. Both Cruz and Kasich cannot hope to make it on the first ballot and their strategy is to get to a second or third ballot when most delegates are no longer bound to the candidate that won their state.
“Having Donald Trump at the top of the ticket in November would be a sure disaster for Republicans,” said Cruz campaign manager Jeff Roe in a statement. “To ensure that we nominate a Republican who can unify the Republican Party and win in November, our campaign will focus its time and resources in Indiana and in turn clear the path for Gov. Kasich to compete in Oregon and New Mexico, and we would hope that allies of both campaigns would follow our lead. In other states holding their elections for the remainder of the primary season, our campaign will continue to compete vigorously to win.”
Kasich chief strategist John Weaver said in a statement shortly after the Cruz statement was issued, “Due to the fact that the Indiana primary is winner-take-all statewide and by congressional district, keeping Trump from winning a plurality in Indiana is critical to keeping him under 1237 bound delegates before Cleveland. We are very comfortable with our delegate position in Indiana already, and given the current dynamics of the primary there, we will shift our campaign’s resources West and give the Cruz campaign a clear path in Indiana.”
Weaver said the campaign would focus on New Mexico and Oregon, where the more moderate Kasich finds a more welcoming electorate than Cruz, whose conservative agenda has more appeal in Indiana.
The alliance will not be in effect for Tuesday’s primaries in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Like the Cruz campaign, the Kasich campaign asked super PACs supporting the Ohio governor to follow suit. But Weaver confirmed that the alliance is only for these states, with Indiana May 3, Oregon May 17 and New Mexico is June 7, the last GOP primary day when other states including delegate-rich California also hold elections.
“We expect to compete with both the Trump and Cruz campaigns in the remaining primary states,” said Weaver.
Trump, for his part, blasted both Cruz and Kasich.
“Senator Cruz has done very poorly and after his New York performance, which was a total disaster, he is in free fall and as everyone has seen, he does not react well under pressure. Also, approximately 80% of the Republican Party is against him. Governor Kasich, who has only won 1 state out of 41, in other words, he is 1 for 41 and he is not even doing as well as other candidates who could have stubbornly stayed in the race like him but chose not to do so.
Trump concluded, “Because of me, everyone now sees that the Republican primary system is totally rigged. . . This horrible act of desperation, from two campaigns who have totally failed, makes me even more determined, for the good of the Republican Party and our country, to prevail!”