After Cara Carleton “Carly” Fiorina dropped out of the Republican race for president in February, she was on track to be little more than a history book footnote as the only woman to run against 16 men in the 2016 campaign.
On Wednesday, her footnote status got a reprieve when Texas Senator Ted Cruz, running a distant second to Donald Trump, named her his pick for vice president.
Both Sen. Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich trail GOP league leader Donald Trump by insurmountable margins, as both try to prevent Trump from earning enough delegates in the field to win the nomination outright at the Republican convention in July in Cleveland, Ohio.
Their most recent collaboration to achieve the downfall of the House of Trump fell apart shortly after each announced Sunday past that they would not actively campaign against each other in states suited more to one than the other. For Ted Cruz, his state to win is Indiana, next Tuesday. For John Kasich, his states are Oregon on May 7 and New Mexico a month later.
In the battle for recognition, votes and delegates, after Donald Trump swept five states Tuesday, Sen. Cruz pulled a woman out of his hat in an effort to give voters another reason to vote for him. Mrs. Fiorina, who gathered exactly one delegate before departing the race nearly three months ago, joined Cruz at a campaign event in Indianapolis ahead of next Tuesday’s Hoosier State primary with 57 delegates at stake.
Donald Trump said it was premature for him to name a running mate, and John Kasich’s campaign, which said it has started vetting candidates for his running mate, was silent on Cruz’s pick, and had nothing to say about his pick for VP.
During her time in the GOP debates and on the campaign trail, Carly Fiorina became the embodiment of the anti-Hillary candidate as she attacked Mrs. Clinton without mercy.
Portraying herself as the steely eyed corporate CEO, Fiorina wasn’t afraid to dig her heels into fellow Republican Gov. Kasich. In her new role as Sen. Cruz’s potential veep, Mrs. Fiorina defended Cruz staying in the race to demonstrate he can beat Trump. She wasn’t as kind on Kasich staying the race since he’s only won one state, his home turf of Ohio.
Asked about Kasich, who has lost 46 states and won just his home state of Ohio, the controversial former Hewlett Packard CEO said, “He [Kasich] didn’t get the memo. When you can’t win, you need to get out.”
Mr. Kasich, now 63-years old and term-limited in Ohio, only has 153 delegates compared to 987 for Trump and 562 for Cruz. To win the Republican nomination, 1,237 delegates are needed.
When her campaign was active, Carly Fiorina ran as an outsider, not a career politician. She has never held elected office although she tried but failed running for senator from California. Controversy has dogged her since her tenure running Hewlett-Packard, where her legacy is that of a “jet-setting CEO who oversaw the firing of 30,000 workers, the shifting of jobs overseas and a sharp drop in stock price before being fired and receiving a $21 million golden parachute.” Painting herself as a political outsider, Fiorina has railed against a “permanent political class,” the AP reported.
After Sen. Cruz announced Fiorina as his VP pick, California Senator Barbara Boxer, who beat Fiorina in 2010, said, “The best way to describe that ticket is mean and meaner. He [Cruz] wants to throw people out of the country and she threw thousands of jobs out of the country. Perfect match.”
Meanwhile, late night comedian Seth Meyers said what Trump, Cruz and now Fiorina are probably thinking. “John Kasich is polling high in the state of denial.”