Cruz's VP Pick Seen as 'Desperate Gambit'

He's the first candidate since Reagan to name a VP early
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2016 5:10 AM CDT
Cruz's VP Pick Seen as 'Desperate Gambit'
Carly Fiorina speaks during a Cruz rally in Indianapolis on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

In yet another unusual twist in an unusual campaign season, Ted Cruz named Carly Fiorina as his running mate on Wednesday, making him the first candidate from either party to name a veep pick before the convention since Ronald Reagan in 1976. But while Reagan's naming of Sen. Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania slowed down Gerald Ford's momentum, Reagan still ended up losing the nomination, notes the Boston Globe, which calls the tactic the "grandest diversionary ploy a candidate can stage." And unlike Cruz, Reagan waited until after the primaries to name his choice. A roundup of reactions:

  • Politico calls the attention-grabbing move a "desperate gambit" from a candidate who had been mathematically eliminated from winning enough delegates for the nomination less than 24 hours earlier.

  • Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post also considers the move a "desperate attempt to retake the momentum in the race before it's too late," but he credits Cruz for trying it. With the choice of Fiorina, Cruz has brought a woman, a Californian, and a relatively effective "attack dog" on board, Cillizza notes.
  • The National Review calls the ploy "an attempt to infuse a jolt of energy and excitement into a flagging candidacy," but it notes that Cruz appears to have "genuine chemistry" with Fiorina, who will hit the campaign trail in California on Friday.
  • The choice of Fiorina could "present a perilous challenge" for Donald Trump, according to the New York Times, which notes Trump has come under fire for derogatory comments about women and that another "slashing remark" about Fiorina's appearance "could have grave consequences" for him.
  • Trump, however, says Cruz is wasting his time, NBC News reports. "Cruz can't win. What's he doing picking vice presidents?" he told supporters at a rally in Indiana after Cruz's announcement. Cruz is "the first presidential candidate in the history of this country who's mathematically eliminated from being president who chose a vice presidential candidate," Trump added. "OK? It's a record."
(Trump's "America first" foreign policy speech is being called "incoherent" and "rambling.")

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