Ted Cruz got testy with an MSNBC reporter after her question to Mike Pence prompted the Indiana governor to admit while he's endorsed Cruz for president, he'll support Donald Trump should the billionaire developer win enough delegates to become the GOP nominee.
"We'll let the process work. I will support the Republican nominee from the president of the United States," Pence said Monday as he stood next to Cruz during an interview in Marion, Indiana, which aired on MSNBC.
"I'm proud to stand with Ted Cruz, and I'm proud to be able to campaign with him today, all across the state of Indiana."
But the query to Pence from MSNBC's Hallie Jackson didn't sit well with Cruz, who is far behind Trump in delegates and desperately needs to win Tuesday's Hoosier State primary in the hopes it will help lead to a contested GOP convention this summer.
"Hallie, let me make an interesting observation on this. So we're here with Gov. Pence, a very popular conservative governor in Indiana," Cruz began.
"Every candidate running for president tried very hard to earn his support. He endorsed me, he's campaigning with me, barnstorming the state."
When Jackson tried to interrupt, Cruz cut her off.
"Let me finish this point, Hallie. A very popular, very well-respected, very conservative governor of Indiana endorsed me, is barnstorming the state, campaigning with me. And yet, the first question you ask him is, so, tell me about Donald Trump," the Texas senator complained.
"How about, governor, why did you endorse Ted Cruz? You could have endorsed any of the candidates … Tell me why you think Ted Cruz is the best choice for president.
"I guarantee you, if we were here and a Democratic governor actually endorsed Hillary Clinton, the first question would be, governor, tell me how Hillary Clinton is fantastic. This is an illustration. Principles matter."
When Jackson asked Cruz if he had a message for delegates "who may be looking to support Donald Trump based on the mood of the country," and noting that pro-Trump protestors has confronted him, Cruz bristled:
"Listen, enough about Donald Trump! I am campaigning to earn the vote of Hoosiers across this state. You're right, there were some protesters there. There were a half a dozen protesters. I went over and communicated with them," Cruz said.
"I said, I respect your right to speak, even if you disagree with me. I'm going to protect your First Amendment rights, because I'm running to be the president of everybody, not just conservatives, not just Republicans."
Cruz also said he does not believe that Trump will get the necessary 1,237 delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot.
So when you are headed at the contested convention, the battle is who could earn the support [and that's] the reason Donald Trump is so desperate to get everyone to call this race over," Cruz said.
"The reason why so many of us echo that sediments is that Donald knows that he cannot earn the majority. If he cannot earn a majority, you cannot be the nominee because it means you cannot unite the party and you would be an incredibly weak general election candidate.
Jackson asked: "If Donald Trump gets close, 1,235 or 1,236, what does that mean?"
"Hallie, with all respect, I think the process story drives people crazy," Cruz fired back. "You know what people in this state care about? They care about their paychecks and it is stuck in the mud because the Obama administration is hammering small businesses."
As of Monday, Trump has 954 delegates, Cruz has 562 and Kasich has 153. There are 57 delegates up for grabs in Indiana.
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