-- With a pivotal vote in Indiana this week, Ted Cruz is vowing to "go the distance," whatever the outcome of Tuesday's primary.
"It is an incredibly important state," Cruz said of Indiana on ABC's "This Week." "We are competing hard. I hope we do well here. I can tell you I'm barnstorming the state, we're in a bus with my family, we're doing everything we can to earn the votes of the men and women in this state. We're going the distance. We're competing the entire distance.”
Cruz, trailing his main rival Donald Trump by 431 delegates, enters this week after two weeks of losses to Trump in six states. When pressed by ABC News’ Martha Raddatz about whether Indiana is a must win, Cruz would not say. While it is mathematically impossible for Cruz to clinch the 1237 delegates needed to secure the nomination before the Republican convention in July, Cruz says Trump won't get there either.
"We're going to go in into Cleveland. It is going to be a contested convention," Cruz said. "I believe at the convention, the highest total Trump gets, it will be the first ballot and that we are seeing the party unite behind our campaign."
Cruz said he is hoping the announcement of Carly Fiorina as his running mate followed by the endorsement of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will help him secure a win on Tuesday in Indiana and give his campaign momentum in other states like California.
"I was honored to receive the support of Governor Pence. He is a trusted conservative. He's someone that Hoosiers respect, and he has a remarkable record here in Indiana of leading with common sense conservative values," Cruz said on "This Week."
In Pence's endorsement of Cruz on April 29, he also spoke glowingly about Trump, saying he wanted to "commend" Trump for giving voice to those who are frustrated.
Asked if he respects Trump, Cruz would only say "I am glad Donald ran. I think he energized and excited a lot of people, but I think his views -- he is a big government liberal just like Barack Obama and just like Hillary Clinton.”
The Texas senator also hit Trump for suggesting that the U.S. should reduce military aid to Israel, and likened his position to that of the Obama administration.
"In this speech, Donald Trump once again didn't stand with Israel," Cruz said. "That's what we've seen for seven years. If you like this administration, not standing with Israel, that's what Donald Trump has said he would do."
Cruz and his running mate Fiorina have repeatedly tried to connect Trump with Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner.
"I don't think we want to nominate, have the general election be between two rich, New York, big government liberals. Instead, the way we win is we provide a clear contrast, we paint in bold colors, not pale pastels and the difference between Carly and me on the one side and Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump I think couldn't be clearer," Cruz said.