If elected president of the United States, Ted Cruz says he intends to challenge the establishment in Washington with his conservative values. Former Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina says that's just the type of leader we need in the White House.
"As president, I know Ted will reform Washington," Fiorina said at a rally for Cruz at Faith Assembly Church in Orlando, Florida, Friday. "And when you challenge the status quo—as I know he will—you make enemies. People say you are known by the company you keep. Well, Ted is known by the enemies he has made. And those enemies simply want to retain the status quo."
Cruz is campaigning in Florida ahead of Tuesday's all-important primary. As a winner-take-all proposition, the Florida Republican Primary holds 99 delegates for the winner. As of Friday, Trump leads with 459, followed by Cruz with 360, Marco Rubio with 152 and John Kasich with 54.
A total of 1,237 votes are needed for the nomination for president. There are 1,432 delegates still available.
The rally, moderated by Fox News' Sean Hannity, brought together more than 2,000 ardent Cruz supporters at the Assembly of God church.
A candidate like Cruz, with his faith in Christ and his conservative values, has given hope to voters like Ann Bourke of The Villages, Florida.
"His faith is the reason he is in the position he is," Bourke said. "I believe that God has raised him up because he knows Ted will not compromise his values and integrity. The thing about Ted Cruz is that he is the same 100 percent of the time. He is who he says he is, and that's what you get."
Susan Kelley, also from The Villages, says she'll back Cruz simply for his conservative values.
"He's got guts," Kelley said. "He will stand up and face the fire when no one else will."
If the Washington establishment has its way, it will create a brokered Republican National Convention, a situation in which no single candidate has secured a majority of delegates through the primaries and caucuses. If this happens on the first ballot at the convention, the nomination is decided through a process of alternating political horse trading (superdelegate vote trading) and additional re-votes.
In this instance, all regular delegates are "released" and are able to switch their allegiance to a different candidate before the next round of balloting.
After Florida, primaries in Ohio, Illinois and Missouri loom large.
Cruz said there is a good way to avoid all of chaos—beat Trump outright.
"It's simple. We'll just have to get to the necessary 1,237 votes and win it," Cruz said. "All of this talk about a brokered convention is the Washington establishment's last gasp effort to divide the party. From the beginning, there has been an effort to help prevent me or Donald (Trump) from getting the nomination. The people have spoken otherwise."
During the rally, Cruz adamantly reiterated his plan, if elected, to immediately tackle two crucial issues.
"We need to repeal every word of Obamacare, because it's taken a toll on the American people long enough," he said. "Obamacare is a disaster. It's the biggest job killer the country has.
"We also need to establish a flat tax and abolish the IRS. You put in the flat tax and the power base of the lobbyist goes away. Republican leaders have been too captive to the lobbyists for too long."
Hannity asked Cruz if indeed he is elected how firm his promises would be.
"I have been criticized for many things, but being overly flexible isn't one of them," Cruz said. "You don't compromise on principle, and you don't compromise the Constitution. This is my solemn pledge to the American people."
When asked if Fiorina was on his short list for vice presidential running mates, Cruz didn't answer the question, but simply extolled Fiorina's virtues as a leader.
"Carly is extraordinary," Cruz said. "She was the CEO of a Fortune 50 company and did a wonderful job of leading it. Another thing I really like about her is that she stands up and fights for conservative values."
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