In an interview on ABC News on Monday morning, Republican runner-up Ted Cruz flatly denied the possibility that he would run as vice president on a ticket with the frontrunner, Donald Trump. Cruz also questioned Trump’s ability to become the Republican nominee.
“I have zero interest whatsoever” in running as Trump’s VP, Cruz declared. Last week, the third place candidate, Ohio Governor John Kasich, said the same thing: “zero chance.”
“The stakes are too high,” Cruz continued, arguing that “that’s why, nationwide, 65 to 70 percent of Republicans recognize Donald Trump loses to Hillary.” The Texas senator declared that the GOP is uniting around his candidacy, touting the five former presidential candidates who have backed his campaign: Rick Perry, Lindsey Graham, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, and Carly Fiorina.
“All of us started out as opponents, but we’ve come together because we’ve got to win, and if Donald’s the nominee, he loses,” Cruz added. He predicted that he would beat Hillary Clinton in the general election, but that Trump would lose, badly. “We’re beating her in key swing states, we’re beating her with independents, we’re beating her with young people, and we’ve got to win.”
Cruz further attacked the possibility that Trump would win the Republican nomination, predicting that The Donald would come short of the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the race before the July convention in Cleveland, Ohio. “Donald’s calculator is missing a few keys,” the Texas senator declared.
Even so, it will be a long slog for Cruz, who may be winning the race for particular delegates, but is still far behind in delegates pledged to support him on the first ballot. Trump has 756, with Cruz at 559, and Kasich at 171.
New York state votes on Tuesday, and will likely add delegates to Trump’s lead. Whatever happens, this will be a tough race to the finish, and if Cruz and Kasich are seriously precluding any possibility of taking the Trump VP slot (and I’m sure Trump would say the same for them), don’t expect the divided GOP to unite anytime soon.