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Cruz Demands Trump Debate, Promises 'Major' Announcement

Image: Cruz Demands Trump Debate, Promises 'Major' Announcement

By    |   Wednesday, 27 Apr 2016 11:39 AM

Ted Cruz on Wednesday demanded a debate with Donald Trump and accused the Republican presidential front-runner of trying to avoid campaigning in Indiana by dropping into The Hoosier State "like Mick Jagger."

The demand came hours after Cruz was crushed by Trump in five primary states — mathematically ending his chances of winning the GOP nomination outright — and faced the daunting task of trying to stop the billionaire developer from sweeping next Tuesday’s Indiana primary.

"I believe the people of Indiana deserve a debate. I accepted two debate invitations in Indiana to give Hoosiers the chance to compare and make this choice. I think that is a simple act of respect to the voters," Cruz said at a press conference in Indianapolis.

The Texas senator said he plans to make a "major announcement" at 4 p.m. Wednesday, in which he is expected to name his vice presidential running mate.

While Trump is close to winning the necessary 1,237 delegates to clinch the nomination, Cruz hopes to prevent him from obtaining the magic number and push the roiling Republican race to a contested convention.

Meanwhile, Cruz continued to criticize Trump as a liberal who will be unable to beat presumed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the general election

"The people of Indiana have good sense. The people of Indiana I don't believe will say Manhattan has spoken, therefore we must get behind a New York liberal. I don't believe the people of Indiana want to do that," Cruz said, referring to Trump’s win in the New York primary earlier this month.

"I think anyone who wants to be elected president owes it to the voters to do what I'm doing here. Heidi and I are barnstorming the state. We are on a bus tour barnstorming the state to look voters in the eyes. To subject yourself to the scrutiny of Hoosiers. Donald Trump doesn't like to do that.

"He likes to parachute in like Mick Jagger. Show up at a football stadium. Give some performance, and then leave. Well, this country isn't a reality show. And if Donald Trump thinks he's too good to answer questions from the men and women of Indiana — that conveys something."

He called Trump and Clinton "flip sides of the same coin."

"Hillary made millions of dollars selling power and influence in Washington. Donald Trump made billions buying politicians like Hillary Clinton. On issue after issue, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are indistinguishable."

Cruz, whose press conference was carried live on Fox News' "America's Newsroom," added:

"For people across this country that value Midwestern common sense, that value good judgment, Indiana has an opportunity to make a decision that will impact the Republican party and impact the country.

"It's a decision of which path we should go down. Do we want to go down the path of a campaign that's based on yelling and cursing and insults or do we want to unify the campaign. Based on real policy solutions to the challenges facing this country.

"[My wife] Heidi and I are thrilled that the people of Indiana will be making that choice. We are barnstorming this state traveling across the state, and seeing tremendous support from the people on the ground."

Cruz is said to be considering former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina — who dropped out of the GOP race earlier this year — as his running mate.

Asked what he is looking for in a running mate, Cruz said the most important attribute was somebody who is "prepared to step in and fulfill the role as president."

"The commander-in-chief keeps this country safe and champions jobs, freedom and security. My number one priority as president is jobs, freedom and security. Those are the priorities the people of Indiana and the priorities of this country," he said.

Cruz also addressed his glaring faux pas when he visited a gym where part of one of his favorite movies, "Hoosiers" was filmed and referred to a basketball hoop as a "ring."

"I'm sure my former basketball coach was horrified that I called the rim a ring. I'm sure you have never stumbled over a word. In high school when I played basketball in high school, when we did something wrong the coach would have us run laps until we fell over," Cruz said.

"I think my campaign team, after I messed up the reference to "Hoosiers," I think they wanted me to run laps. But fortunately the coach wasn't there to enforce that."

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Ted Cruz on Wednesday demanded a debate with Donald Trump and accused the Republican presidential front-runner of trying to avoid campaigning in Indiana by dropping into The Hoosier State "like Mick Jagger."
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Wednesday, 27 Apr 2016 11:39 AM
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