Cruz, Kasich Close Ranks Against Trump

Cruz, Kasich Close Ranks Against TrumpCruz, Kasich Close Ranks Against Trump

Donald Trump’s two rivals for the Republican party’s presidential nomination have announced they will now coordinate strategies against him.

Ted Cruz will cut campaigning in the Oregon and New Mexico primaries to help John Kasich, while the latter will give Cruz a “clear path” in Indiana.

Trump said his rivals were “totally desperate” and “mathematically dead”. He has a clear lead in delegates but may still fall short of the 1,237 needed to win outright, BBC reported. If he does not reach the target, the vote will go to a contested convention where a different nominee may emerge through negotiations among party figures.

Donald Trump currently has 845 delegates, Cruz 559 and Kasich 148. Cruz and Kasich announced their move in near-simultaneous statements.

Cruz’s campaign manager, Jeff Roe, said: “Having Donald Trump at the top of the ticket in November would be a sure disaster for Republicans. Not only would Trump get blown out by [Hillary] Clinton or [Bernie] Sanders, but having him as our nominee would set the party back a generation.”

John Weaver, Kasich’s strategist, said in a statement released on the Team Kasich site: “Our goal is to have an open convention in Cleveland where we are confident a candidate capable of uniting the party and winning in November will emerge as the nominee.”

Trump’s first reaction was to tweet, condemning his rivals as “totally desperate”. In a later statement, he said it was “sad that two grown politicians have to collude”.

“Collusion is often illegal in many other industries and yet these two Washington insiders have had to revert to collusion in order to stay alive,” he said.

Trump’s campaign has featured controversial comments and policies, including calling some Mexicans rapists, vowing to bar Muslims from entering the US and pledging to build a wall on the US-Mexican border.

However, Trump did last week promise to change his image, in a closed-door meeting with Republican party leaders.