Will Carly Fiorina shake up the GOP primary race now that she has accepted the invitation to be Ted Cruz’s running mate? The early signs point to that possibility, but in less than a day she demonstrated that Cruz may have a bit of trouble keeping his new partner on message. Fiorina had barely left the stage in Indiana before she showed up on Mark Levin’s show and pretty much drove a stake through the heart of the recent Cruz – Kasich alliance to stop Donald Trump. (Real Clear Politics)
Carly Fiorina tells Mark Levin that John Kasich should drop out of the race for president.
“Look, there is somebody in this race who ought to get out. His name is John Kasich,” Fiorina said. “Ted Cruz can and will win this nomination. Donald Trump, as I said, the very week he announced his candidacy… he does not represent me and he does not represent my party, and that is why Ted Cruz and I are going to fight this fight for the soul of our party and for the future of our nation.”
I was unsure of how practical the entire “alliance” idea was when it was first announced last weekend, but we are quickly coming down to the wire in this race. Many observers rightly note that the final question won’t be answered until California votes, but if Ted Cruz can’t come up with a win in Indiana the odds of Donald Trump reaching 1,237 go up to a near certainty. As of the last three sets of polls coming out of the Hoosier State, John Kasich is hanging on to anywhere from 16 to 22 percent of the vote. Ted Cruz will need a significant number of those voters to hold their nose and cross over from the candidate they are supporting in order to catch Trump.
Of course, the entire idea of “the deal” in the minds of Kasich voters is that the short term goal is only to stop Trump from reaching a majority of delegates, opening the door for a festival of bargaining, wheeling and dealing in Cleveland where their guy might still negotiate his way past Cruz and walk out with the nomination. Having Cruz’s new top surrogate immediately call for Kasich to drop out doesn’t really reinforce the warm and fuzzy feelings required for them to push Cruz over the top.
The job of the veep candidate is generally considered to be that of the attack dog in chief. It’s a role that Carly Fiorina is ideally suited for when you think back on her own presidential bid. She was devastatingly effective at the debates (even though it didn’t translate into popular national support) and I personally considered her one of the best debaters and speakers in the entire pack. I couldn’t think of one of the original candidates on the GOP side who Hillary should have feared more in a head to head contest. But Carly also has to know where to direct her fire. She can go after Trump guns blazing at this point and it only serves to help Cruz, assuming victory is still possible. But taking shots at Kasich at this stage just seems like a mistake.