Ted Cruz Names Carly Fiorina as Running Mate

The Texas senator unveiled his pick for vice president Wednesday afternoon in Indianapolis

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz has tapped former technology executive Carly Fiorina to serve as his running mate. 

The Texas senator unveiled his pick for vice president Wednesday afternoon during a rally in Indianapolis, calling Fiorina "an extraordinary leader."

"After a great deal of consideration and prayer, if I win the nomination, I will run on a ticket with Carly Fiorina as my vice president," Cruz said to a round of applause. 

Cruz lauded Fiorina, calling her "brilliant" and "capable," referring to her start as "secretary at a small firm" before she moved up the ranks "to become the CEO of the largest technology company in the world." 

Fiorina said: "I am very proud, humbled and honored to announce that I have accepted Sen. Ted Cruz’s offer to run as his vice president."

The former Hewlett-Packard CEO and Republican presidential candidate has been a vocal supporter of Cruz. She endorsed him in early March ahead of the contested Florida primary, stoking VP speculation. Fiorina suspended her own campaign for the Republican nomination in February.

The Cruz campaign made it official, redirecting the senator's original website, TedCruz.org, to the new site, CruzCarly.com.

Cruz said he made the announcement before the Republican National Convention because the race is "far from usual."

"It is unusual to make the announcement as early as we have," he said. "But if we are to win, we must unite." 

The announcement left rival and GOP front-runner Donald Trump shaking his head, according to NBC News. 

Trump said Cruz set a "record" for being "the first presidential candidate...who's mathematically eliminated from being president who chose a vice presidential candidate.  

"So today I'm in the plane, and I see on television, they have, a new relationship has started: Cruz and Carly," Trump began, regaling an excited crowd with the latest story in the news cycle. "Cruz can't win. What's he doing picking vice presidents?" 

Cruz and Fiorina will be in California this weekend for the state's GOP convention, making for a good post-announcement optic.

Cruz is banking on an Indiana victory on May 3 to block Trump from scoring a majority of delegates before the Republican party convention this summer. Trump, coming off a sweep on Tuesday, hopes another victory in Indiana will make it nearly impossible for Cruz to play on. 

"Last night was Donald Trump's night, and today is Indiana's day," Cruz said Wednesday. "Indiana has a chance to speak, not only for Hoosiers across this state but for people across this country who value Midwestern common sense, that value good judgment." 

Cruz and another Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, announced the formation of an alliance late Sunday as a last ditch effort to thwart Trump's delegate hunt.

Under the agreement, Kasich will step back from the Indiana primary and Cruz will do the same for Kasich in Oregon and New Mexico.

Trump called the move "pathetic."

The real-estate businessman is the only Republican presidential candidate who can clinch the GOP nomination before the party's convention in June. The Republican National Committee rules require a candidate to secure a 1,237 delegates in order to become the GOP representative in the general election. Trump currently stands at 954 pledged delegates.

NBC's Rajeev Dhir contributed to this report. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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