Carly Fiorina says no “deal” has been struck with Ted Cruz to become his running mate, but she won’t rule out joining the GOP ticket should he emerge as the nominee.
Her remarks came moments after Cruz identified Fiorina, a former rival for the Republican nomination, as the type of “strong, inspirational” leader the country needs. More broadly, they came against the backdrop of an ugly feud between Cruz and Donald Trump involving their wives and tabloid-fueled allegations of extramarital affairs, prompting fresh concerns from GOP leaders about the party’s ability to attract women voters in the fall.
Fiorina, who quit the presidential race in February and endorsed Cruz prior to Florida’s March 15 primary, has emerged as his standout surrogate on the campaign trail. Her engaging presence and from-the-hip style are a strong supplement to Cruz, who can struggle to connect with voters and sometimes comes across as inauthentic. Fiorina’s latest swing with Cruz is conspicuously well-timed, coming amid the Texas senator’s clash with Trump and fresh scrutiny of the front-runner’s history of verbally degrading women. (Fiorina, who antagonized Trump as a rival candidate, experienced it first-hand; she memorably confronted Trump on the debate stage in September after he told Rolling Stone of her appearance, “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that?”)