By Abby Livingston, The Texas Tribune, texastribune.org
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has added former GOP presidential rival Carly Fiorina to his list of endorsements.
In a surprise move Wednesday morning, Cruz introduced the former Hewlett-Packard CEO onstage during a rally on the Miami Dade College campus.
“We’re not going to beat Donald Trump by having leaders ‘tsk tsk’ over our voters,” she said. “We’re going to have to beat him at the ballot box.”
“The only guy who can beat Donald Trump is Ted Cruz,” she added.
Cruz is in the state for Thursday night’s GOP debate and to campaign for the Sunshine State’s Tuesday primary. Cruz is not expected to pick up any delegates in that race, because it is a winner-take-all allocation and he lags behind Trump and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in state polling.
But the Cruz campaign’s aim is to mitigate Rubio’s performance in his home state to force him out of the race. For many weeks, GOP establishment hopes have been vested in Rubio. But he has put in one disappointing finish after another in recent weeks.
Fiorina, who spent the 2012 campaign cycle as a leader within the National Republican Senatorial Committee, adopted Cruz’s anti-establishment rhetoric in her remarks Wednesday. She quoted his characterization of Washington as the “D.C. cartel.”
Her endorsement could signal further endorsements from establishment circles.
The former business executive dropped out of the campaign in February after the New Hampshire primary. She had briefly burst into the top tier after challenging Trump at a September debate for mocking her physical appearance.
“There are some people in our party who say Donald Trump wouldn’t be so bad,” she said. “Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are two sides of the same coin. They’re not going to reform they system. They are the system.”
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