Ted Cruz on Wednesday said he was not discouraged by his massive loss in Tuesday’s New York primary.
The Texas senator said in a press conference that it came as no surprise the Manhattan billionaire won his home state.
“I recognise that last night was a good night for Donald,” Cruz told reporters. “It also surprised nobody. Donald won his home state. Everyone knew Donald was going to win his home state.”
“We are on a path to” winning the GOP nomination, Cruz continued, despite his third-place finish in the Empire State.
“Donald is on a path to losing the nomination. All of his bluster, all of his bravado, is designed to hide that simple fact,” Cruz offered.
Cruz said his recent string of victories in contests in Utah, Wyoming, and Wisconsin, in addition to his sweeps of delegate slates in Colorado and North Dakota, prove that the slip up in New York isn’t a reflection on the senator’s momentum. He predicted the GOP race would go to a contested convention in July.
“No one is able to reach 1,237,” he said, referring to the number of delegates a Republican candidate needs to win the nomination. “I’m not going to reach 1,237 and Donald’s not going to reach 1,237.”
Trump highlighted Cruz’s mathematical elimination from the 1,237 level Wednesday.
“Ted Cruz is mathematically out of winning the race. Now all he can do is be a spoiler, never a nice thing to do. I will beat Hillary!” Trump tweeted.
But Cruz suggested both candidates will be arriving at the Cleveland convention this July with “a ton of delegates.” And he insisted that he would have a huge advantage in swaying delegates to join his camp on the convention floor.
Cruz also said he has no plans to drop out of the race, unless he sees no path to victory. He also conceded that Trump will probably win additional states during Tuesday’s Northeastern and mid-Atlantic contests. That day features matchups in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and Rhode Island, all states that are favourable to Trump.
“But then the race goes out back West,” he said. “That’s a real problem for Donald.”
He added Trump has a “real problem winning west of the Mississippi River” and that Western state contests create an “ominous storm-cloud for the Trump campaign.”
Asked about the looming specter of Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who finished second in New York and is likely to finish second in many states that vote next Tuesday, Cruz said Kasich has “no path” and might be “auditioning to be Trump’s vice president.”
Kasich’s account tweeted earlier Wednesday that, with Cruz now also being eliminated mathematically from hitting the 1,237 number before the July convention, he would make a better nominee than Cruz:
Cruz chastised Trump for “whining” about the delegate-selection process, adding that, although more Republicans voted in Wisconsin, the total delegates secured by Cruz were dwarfed by Trump’s haul in New York. He also added that New York votes “counted so much more” than Republican votes in another state he won — Texas.
Believing that another debate — the first that would be held since mid-March — would do him justice, Cruz also called out Trump for supposedly refusing to debate.
“Why is it that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders respect the voters more than Donald Trump?” he said. “They held a debate.”
He added: “She’s more willing to appear in a debate than Donald Trump.”