Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich are forming an alliance, uniting behind a common goal of defeating Donald Trump, according to The Wall Street Journal
Both campaigns issued statements that outlined their plans. Cruz will focus on winning delegates in Indiana, while Kasich will aim his efforts at Oregon and New Mexico.
"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 Clinton or Sanders, but having him as our nominee would set the party back a generation," the statement on Ted Cruz’s website
Cruz’s statement said his campaign would "clear the path" for Kasich in Oregon and New Mexico.
After the primaries in those three states, however, Cruz and Kasich will resume their competition. Cruz’s statement said, "In other states holding their elections for the remainder of the primary season, our campaign will continue to compete vigorously to win."
The move is a turnabout for Cruz's team, which aggressively opposed coordinating anti-Trump efforts with Kasich as recently as late last week.
Trump responded on Twitter shortly before midnight: "Wow, just announced that Lyin' Ted and Kasich are going to collude in order to keep me from getting the Republican nomination. DESPERATION!"
The arrangement applies only to Indiana, Oregon and New Mexico — three of the 15 states remaining on the Republican primary calendar — but does not address the five Northeastern states set to vote on Tuesday, where Trump is expected to add to his already overwhelming delegate lead.
Kasich and Cruz had already retreated to Indiana, which holds its primary on May 3.
Yet the shift offers increasingly desperate Trump foes a glimmer of hope in their long and frustrating fight to halt the former reality television star's unlikely rise.
Kasich’s campaign sent out a tweet that said, “We will shift our campaign’s resources West and give the Cruz campaign a clear path in Indiana.”
Kasich’s statement explained his focus on Oregion and New Mexico, saying both states are "structurally similar to the Northeast politically, where Gov. Kasich is performing well."
Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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