Cruz, Kasich strategies align with goal of beating Trump

In an extraordinary move, Donald Trump's Republican rivals late Sunday announced plans to co-ordinate primary strategies in upcoming states to deprive the GOP front-runner of the delegates needed to win the Republican nomination.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — In an extraordinary move, Donald Trump’s Republican rivals late Sunday announced plans to co-ordinate primary strategies in upcoming states to deprive the GOP front-runner of the delegates needed to win the Republican nomination.

Ted Cruz and John Kasich issued near-simultaneous statements outlining an agreement that may be unprecedented in modern American politics. The Kasich campaign will give Cruz “a clear path in Indiana.” In return, the Cruz campaign will “clear the path” for Kasich in Oregon and New Mexico.

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

Added Kasich’s chief strategist, John Weaver, “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.”

The arrangement marks a sharp reversal for Cruz’s team, which aggressively opposed the idea of a co-ordinated anti-Trump effort as recently as late last week. Yet it underscores a bleak reality for the billionaire businessman’s Republican foes: Time is running out to stop him.

The announcement came less than 48 hours before voting begins across five Northeastern states where the New York billionaire is poised to add to his already overwhelming delegate lead. Trump campaigned Sunday in Maryland, which will vote on Tuesday along with Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Speaking to several thousand people in an airplane hangar in Hagerstown, Maryland, Sunday evening, Trump stressed repeatedly that he expects to win the 1,237 delegates needed in the first round of voting to stave off a contested convention.

“I only care about the first. We’re not going for the second and third and fourth and fifth,” said Trump.

Even before the plan was announced, Cruz all but abandoned the Northeastern states in favour of Indiana, which holds its primary on May 3. Both Cruz and Kasich had cast the state as a critical turning point. Under the terms of the new agreement, however, Kasich will allow Cruz take on Trump without interference.

As recently as three days ago Kasich’s campaign announced investments in Indiana, including the opening of two offices and the creation of a campaign leadership team. And he had planned to campaign there Tuesday, with a town hall and gathering in Indianapolis to watch the results of Tuesday’s primaries.

Those events have been cancelled.

As Kasich backs out of Indiana, Cruz promised to not compete in primary contests in Oregon on May 17 and New Mexico on June 7.

“We will focus our time and resources in New Mexico and Oregon, both areas that are structurally similar to the Northeast politically, where Gov. Kasich is performing well,” Weaver said.

Like Cruz’s campaign, Kasich’s campaign encouraged allied super PACs and other outside groups to “honour the commitments.”

Trump did not immediately respond to the agreement. He has repeatedly denounced the GOP’s presidential nominating system as “rigged.”

There was far less drama on the Democratic side Sunday.

Underdog Bernie Sanders rallied thousands of voters in two New England states, seeking momentum even as he offered mixed signals on how hard he would push his differences with front-runner Hillary Clinton.

The Vermont senator largely steered clear of Clinton at a Rhode Island park, but hours later ramped up his critique before more than 14,000 supporters in New Haven, Connecticut. Sanders reiterated his call for Clinton to release transcripts of lucrative Wall Street speeches she delivered after leaving the State Department in early 2013.

“This campaign, unlike Secretary Clinton’s, has not raised $15 million from Wall Street and millions more from other special interests,” he said as the crowd booed at the mention of Clinton’s name. “This candidate has not given speeches behind closed doors on Wall Street for $225,000 a speech.”

Clinton eyed victories in four or five of Tuesday’s contests, which would all but cripple Sanders’ White House bid.

The former secretary of state went to two Philadelphia church services attended largely by African-Americans ahead of the primary in Pennsylvania, Tuesday’s top delegate prize. She declined to attack her Democratic rival by name in the morning appearance and a subsequent stop in Bridgeport, Connecticut, focusing on the GOP candidates.

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz downplayed tensions between Sanders and Clinton, whose rivalry has become increasingly nasty in recent weeks.

“Regardless of the intensity of what’s played out here … we are going to be unified,” she declared.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Rebels goalie Chase Coward tries to find a loose puck during WHL action at the Centrium earlier this season. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Changes on the horizon for Red Deer Rebels next season

New coach, roster adjustments among top priorities for Sutter this offseason

Renovations and construction have begun at Red Deer Dream Centre. (Photo contributed)
Renovations underway at Red Deer Dream Centre

Christian-based addictions treatment centre

Red Deer County's municipal planning commission gave approval for a new directional sign for a business located near Elnora.
(Image from Red Deer County)
Red Deer County garden centre and winery gets sign approved

Delidais Estate Winery and DA Gardens is located near Elnora

(Advocate file photo)
Red Deer County approves home-based hair salon

Salon would be located in rural residential area just west of Innisfail

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Here is a list of latest COVID-19 restrictions in effect in Alberta

New mandatory health restrictions are now in effect in Alberta. Additional restrictions… Continue reading

Labour Minister Harry Bains arrives at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, June 26, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. pledges to introduce permanent paid sick leave program in January

B.C. pledges to introduce permanent paid sick leave program in January

In this June 8, 2017, file photo, fresh nuts, bolts and fittings are ready to be added to the east leg of the pipeline near St. Ignace, Mich., as Enbridge prepares to test the east and west sides of the Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac in Mackinaw City, Mich. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Dale G Young/Detroit News via AP, File
‘Massive and potentially permanent disruption’: Canada’s bleak view of Line 5 closure

‘Massive and potentially permanent disruption’: Canada’s bleak view of Line 5 closure

A Suncor logo is shown at the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Thursday, May 2, 2019.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Oilsands producer Suncor and utility Atco to pursue ‘world-class’ hydrogen project

Oilsands producer Suncor and utility Atco to pursue ‘world-class’ hydrogen project

A street sign along Bay Street in Toronto's financial district is shown on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
North American stock markets rally to pare early losses over inflation concerns

North American stock markets rally to pare early losses over inflation concerns

This photo provided by World Food Prize shows Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted.  On Tuesday, May 11, 2021, Thilsted was named this year's recipient of the $250,000 World Food Prize, which was created by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Norman Borlaug in 1986 to recognize researchers who have improved the quality and availability of food. (Finn Thilsted/World Food Prize via AP)
World Food Prize goes to nutrition expert for fish research

World Food Prize goes to nutrition expert for fish research

FILE - Norman Lloyd, executive producer of Hollywood Theater, a series of high-class dramatic shows seen on affiliated stations on the Public Broadcasting Service, poses for a photo on Dec. 26, 1974, in Los Angeles. Lloyd, the distinguished stage and screen actor known for his role as a kindly doctor on TV's "St. Elsewhere," has died at 106. Manager Marion Rosenberg said the actor died Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at his home in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/George Brich, File)
‘Saboteur,’ ‘St. Elsewhere’ star Norman Lloyd dies at 106

‘Saboteur,’ ‘St. Elsewhere’ star Norman Lloyd dies at 106

A Palestinian man inspects the rubble of a partially destroyed residential building after it was hit by Israeli missile strikes, at the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, early Tuesday, May. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Israel, Hamas trade deadly fire as confrontation escalates

Israel, Hamas trade deadly fire as confrontation escalates

Heidi Illingworth, federal ombudsman for victims of crime, takes part in an interview at her office in Ottawa on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Watchdog worries federal benefit for parents of missing, murdered kids going unused

OTTAWA — The federal ombudsman for victims of crime says she remains… Continue reading

Most Read