Sen. Ted Cruz still won’t say if he’ll support Donald Trump as the Republican nominee.
Byron York: “Cruz’s outburst came too late to have much of an effect on Indiana voters, who were already going to the polls as he spoke. But his words are sure to set off a debate on why Cruz did not reveal his feelings earlier. Why wait until his back was against the wall?”
“Obviously Cruz did not love Trump or think he was terrific back in December. Cruz was acting strategically, in what he thought was his political self interest. Now, whatever happens in Indiana, the question for Cruz will be: Why didn’t you say what you felt all along?”
“Well, I’ve been married to him for 15 years, and I know pretty well who he is, so it doesn’t bother me at all. There’s a lot of garbage out there.”
– Heidi Cruz, quoted by Yahoo News, denying that Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer.
“I’m going to tell you what I really think of Donald Trump. This man is a pathological liar. He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of this mouth.”
— Sen. Ted Cruz, quoted by ABC News.
Donald Trump “alleged that Ted Cruz’s father was with John F. Kennedy’s assassin shortly before he murdered the president, parroting a National Enquirer story claiming that Rafael Cruz was pictured with Lee Harvey Oswald handing out pro-Fidel Castro pamphlets in New Orleans in 1963,” Politico reports
A Cruz campaign spokesperson told the Miami Herald, which pointed out numerous flaws in the Enquirer story, that it was “another garbage story in a tabloid full of garbage.”
First Read: “The alliance between Ted Cruz and John Kasich to divvy up primary states probably made sense on paper; after all, it theoretically could have given Cruz a clear shot in Indiana. The problem? It backfired, big time. Our new NBC News| SurveyMonkey poll shows that a big majority – 70% — of Republicans are either uncomfortable (35%) or angry (35%) about the deal.”
“What’s more, the vast majority of GOP voters are pretty cynical when it comes to Cruz’s move to pick Carly Fiorina as his running mate: 83% of GOPers said the pick was made to revitalize Cruz’s campaign, not because Fiorina was the best person for the job. Another poll out this morning from Morning Consult also shows that Fiorina hasn’t helped Cruz much overall. A quarter of Republican voters said the decision made them more likely to vote for Cruz, while about the same share – 24% — said they were actually less likely to vote for him as a result.”
Gallup: “Republicans’ views of Cruz are now the worst in Gallup’s history of tracking the Texas senator. His image among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents is at 39% favorable and 45% unfavorable… for a net favorable score of -6. The last few days have marked the first time we have seen Cruz’s image underwater since we began daily tracking in July.”
“In sharp contrast to the recent trajectory of Cruz’s image, we find Trump’s image on an upswing in recent days… Trump had a 59% favorable and 35% unfavorable image among Republicans, for a +24 net favorable.”
Donald Trump told the Daily Mail he was sure he would consider Ted Cruz as a potential Supreme Court nominee.
Said Trump: “I don’t know, I’d have to think about it.”
He added: “There’s a whole question of uniting and there’s a whole question as to temperament. He’s certainly a smart guy, but there’s also a temperament issue. He’s got a tough temperament for what we’re talking about. You have to be a very, very smart, rational person, in my opinion, to be a justice of any kind.”
Trump told the Washington Post that he plans to announce more than a dozen judges from which he’d pick to fill Supreme Court vacancies.
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National Review: “Down in the polls and with zero margin for error heading into Tuesday’s crucial Indiana primary, Ted Cruz could be forgiven for seeing a silver lining in his apparent strength with unbound Republican delegates. Until Donald Trump’s romp through the Northeast last Tuesday abruptly changed the subject, the political world was captivated — and Trump supporters were infuriated — by the Cruz campaign’s successful effort to elect large blocs of friendly delegates at a series of state-party conventions.”
“But friendly delegates are as subject to shifts in the race’s momentum as anyone else, and Cruz’s strength with some of these crucial first-ballot convention voters may be overstated — particularly in North Dakota, where his campaign declared victory after filling 18 of 25 unbound delegate slots with its chosen candidates at the April 3 convention. Those delegates are vital to Cruz’s quest to deny his rival the 1,237 delegates he’ll need on the first ballot in Cleveland. But as they’ve watched Cruz struggle to tread water in a primary increasingly dominated by Trump, many of them, wary of a bitter convention battle that could rend the party at its seams, are rethinking their commitment to the Texas senator.”
First Read: “Here’s another finding from our NBC/WSJ/Marist poll: 58% of likely Republican primary voters in Indiana say they disapprove of Cruz and Kasich teaming up to beat Trump in the Hoosier State, while 34% say they approve of the move. What’s more, only 22% consider the Cruz-Kasich alliance a major factor in deciding their vote, 15% say it’s a minor factor and 63% say it would play no factor at all. And if you remove Kasich from the race and reallocate his second-choice support in the NBC/WSJ/Marist poll, Trump still leads Cruz by double digits, 53%-42%.”
“So, yes, it appears that Cruz-Kasich alliance — whereby Kasich promised not to campaign in Indiana to help Cruz, while Cruz promised to return the favor in Oregon and New Mexico — backfired. Big time.”
Washington Post: “Cruz came to Indiana to try to resuscitate his flagging campaign at a pivotal moment in the Republican presidential race. But with just one day of campaigning left until Tuesday’s vote — and after a series of desperation measures — the freshman senator from Texas is on the verge of a defeat that would ravage his campaign and raise new questions about whether his mission to stop the mogul has become futile.”
“An NBC News-Wall Street Journal-Marist poll released Sunday showed Trump leading Cruz by 15 points in Indiana. Other recent public polls have shown Trump leading by narrower margins.”
Donald Trump shrugged off Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s endorsement of rival Ted Cruz, arguing that Pence wasn’t all that enthusiastic about backing the Texas senator, Politico reports.
Said Trump: “A lot of pressure was put on him by his donors, and he had to do it. But he was nicer to me. I mean, everyone thought he gave me the endorsement because he started off ‘Donald Trump, I really want to thank him,’ and then he finished with me. And somewhere in between, he said he’ll vote for Cruz.”
“Even as Donald Trump trounced him from New Hampshire to Florida to Arizona, Senator Ted Cruz could reassure himself with one crucial advantage: He was beating Mr. Trump in the obscure, internecine delegate fights that could end up deciding the Republican nomination for president,” the New York Times reports.
“But it turns out that delegates — like ordinary voters — are susceptible to shifts in public opinion. And as the gravitational pull of Mr. Trump’s recent primary landslides draws more Republicans toward him, Mr. Cruz’s support among the party’s 2,472 convention delegates is softening, threatening his hopes of preventing Mr. Trump’s nomination by overtaking him in a floor fight. With each delegate Mr. Trump claims, he gets closer to the 1,237 he needs to clinch the nomination outright, and Mr. Cruz’s chances of stopping him — even if he pulls out a victory in Tuesday’s Indiana primary — shrink.”
Politico: “In interviews, several aides, speaking on the condition of anonymity, expressed growing alarm that Cruz would lose Indiana’s primary on Tuesday — an outcome that would be a major blow to his hopes of holding Trump below the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination on the party convention’s first ballot. The aides concede that, without a win in an Indiana primary where 57 delegates are at stake, Cruz’s shot at the nomination would significantly narrow.”
“And while the Texas senator has closed the gap in Indiana in recent days, he still trails Trump and his decision to tap Carly Fiorina as a running mate has provided only a modest boost in the state, according to sources familiar with the campaign’s internal deliberations.”
“I don’t think Ted Cruz is Lucifer.”
— Sen. Marco Rubio, quoted by the Palm Beach Post.
“As Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas seeks every possible edge to stop Donald Trump, he has seized on a once-obscure issue with a proven power to inflame conservatives: letting transgender women use women’s bathrooms,” the New York Times reports.
“With polls showing a narrower lead for Mr. Trump in Indiana than in the five Eastern states that he swept on Tuesday, the Cruz campaign’s private polling indicates that the bathroom issue has the power to help close the gap. Moreover, it is fresh in Indiana voters’ minds because of high-profile battles in the state in recent years over gay rights.”
“Ted Cruz is the political version of liver and onions. Some people love it and can’t get enough. And some people gag at the mere thought of it.”
— GOP strategist Ana Navarro, quoted by the Washington Post.
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