There was yet another unusual turn of events in the 2016 presidential campaign. Despite increasingly dismal prospects of securing the nomination, Ted Cruz announced he has selected Carly Fiorina, former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, as his running mate.
Republican vice presidential picks are usually announced at their national convention, which won’t be held for another three months. It is the first time since Ronald Reagan that a candidate has announced his choice for vice president prior to winning the nomination and the first vice presidential pick since 1936 to have never held political office.
“You deserve to have a candidate who doesn’t change as the wind blows at any given moment,” Cruz said to his supporters. “I make this announcement today so you, the voters . . . will know what you will get.”
The announcement comes the day after Cruz lost to Donald Trump by a considerable margin in five East Coast states. It is a decision that has left some more confused than anything else.
“It’s kind of a mystifying move. But he may feel he’s sort of running out of moves to make,” said Joel Goldstein, a vice presidential historian at Saint Louis University School of Law. “She’s not an A-lister like Paul Ryan. She hasn’t had the experience. And she didn’t do particularly well in the presidential race.”
Many see the decision as a last-ditch effort by Cruz to keep the nomination out of the hands of Trump. Polls indicate Fiorina is only likely to boost the number of Cruz voters by a modest percentage, but if Cruz’s recent alliance with John Kasich is any indication, that may be all he is looking for.
“The pick helps him take attention away from Trump and could be a big splash,” said Brandon Gaston, an Indiana GOP strategist. “For Cruz supporters and those on the fence, it’s a solid fit.”