In the end, the partnership between U.S. presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz and John Kasich proved no match for the self-dubbed political outsider whose charge to the 2016 Republican nomination they insist they still hope to derail. Indeed Donald Trump’s primary clean sweep Tuesday in five northeastern states merely exposed an alliance that had started to show cracks shortly after it was announced.
If nothing else, the sentiment behind Cruz and Kasich’s decision to join forces to thwart Trump before November’s election seemed built to last. After their most recent trouncing, Texas Sen. Cruz and ex-Ohio Gov. Kasich seemed keener than ever to stop Trump, with Kasich planning to skip the Indiana primary in order to help out Cruz and Cruz pledging to return the favor in Oregon.
So Cruz’s introduction Wednesday of Carly Fiorina as his running mate should have, in theory, met with approval from Kasich, that is if the goal is indeed to check Trump’s momentum by any means necessary. Not only did the news muffle some of the thunder from Trump’s first foreign-policy speech; it also shifted the narrative away from Cruz’s dismal performance Tuesday and offered Republican women voters disenchanted with Trump an unexpected choice ahead of crucial contests in Indiana and California — Fiorina’s adopted home state.
At least, that was the plan. But a pro-Kasich PAC found this a good time to remind voters of all the times Fiorina criticized Cruz when she was still seeking the top spot on the ticket — including questioning whether he is constitutionally eligible to run for president since he was born in Canada
Should Trump get the nomination and lose the election (as many pundits predict), the G.O.P. could well point a finger at this week’s teamwork, or lack thereof.