The Note: Cruz, Carly Come Together

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NOTABLES

--CRUZ PICKS CARLY: Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz announced yesterday Carly Fiorina as his running mate after "a great deal of consideration and prayer." Cruz praised Fiorina as a “woman of extraordinary intelligence” and “a woman of deep principle.” “Carly respects the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and she understands the threats facing America,” Cruz said. “She understands this is a dangerous world and in naming her as my vice presidential nominee, I am also telling you that she is someone you can be confident in.” ABC’s JONATHAN KARL, BEN GITTLESON, JESSICA HOPPER and VERONICA STRACQUALURSI have more: http://abcn.ws/26uUszH

--ANALYSIS -- ABC’s RICK KLEIN: He’s pulled the goalie, flung the Hail Mary, started chucking a flurry of threes toward the good old basketball ring. Ted Cruz now has permanent company on the campaign trail – permanent so long as his campaign lasts. Choosing Carly Fiorina as his running mate is being cast as a desperate move, and it is. But at least it’s a move while he’s still playing the game. Combined with the odd alliance he formed with John Kasich, Cruz has sought to rest the entirety of his campaign on Indiana for a very good reason: a Donald Trump win there makes Trump’s path to the nomination a near-certainty. The move is bold, and a little weird. But it’s a low-risk, high-reward scenario that acknowledges the reality of the next week and beyond. Fiorina sang a few notes in getting introduced, though her best tunes are aimed at both Trump and Hillary Clinton. Faced with the prospect of losing quietly or loudly, Cruz chose the latter – and to not be lonely. If he wins Indiana, choosing Fiorina will cast a new light on Cruz’s campaign and candidacy. If not, there’s more time to practice and-of-game strategy later.

--FLASHBACK -- BEFORE CARLY FIORINA WAS A CRUZ FAN: Fiorina, the former Republican presidential candidate and Hewlett-Packard CEO wasn’t always such a fan of the Texas senator. When Fiorina was still competing with Cruz for the Republican nomination, she said Cruz is just “like any other politician” and will say whatever his audience wants to hear to get elected. Republican front-runner Donald Trump tweeted a clip of the interview after news leaked that Cruz was choosing Fiorina as he would-be running mate. ABC’s JORDYN PHELPS has more: http://abcn.ws/1Txat0X

--TRUMP SLAMS FIORINA PICK: Donald Trump mocked rival Ted Cruz’s announcement that Carly Fiorina would be his running mate, should the Texas senator be the Republican nominee, during a rally at the Indiana State Fairground in Indianapolis last night, ABC’s CANDACE SMITH reports. “First of all, you have to look -- Cruz can’t win," Trump told his supporters. "What’s he doing picking vice presidents? He can't win." Trump added, "He’s mathematically eliminated, it’s like if you’re playing in the World Series and your team loses a game...He’s mathematically eliminated. He has set a record, though. He is the first presidential candidate in the history of this country who’s mathematically eliminated from becoming president who chose a vice presidential candidate.” http://abcn.ws/1TxCGov

 

NEXT WEEK LOOK-AHEAD -- WHY INDIANA COULD MAKE OR BREAK TRUMP’S PATH TO THE NOMINATION. Donald Trump has made some major delegate strides in across the Northeast over the last two weeks. But what does he need to do from here to hit the magic number of 1,237 delegates on the first ballot at the convention this summer? His path to the nomination may come down to Indiana next Tuesday, according to an ABC News analysis of the delegate count and future allocation rules. If Trump wants to become the presumptive nominee by hitting 1,237 bound delegates before Cleveland, he will almost certainly need to win Indiana. If he loses Indiana, he still has a viable path to 1,237 delegates on the first ballot with a broad win in California plus unbound delegates. ABC’s RYAN STRUYK looks at why Indiana could tip the scales for Trump in the fight for the GOP bid. http://abcn.ws/1UhPwt5

 

YESTERDAY ON THE TRAIL with ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI and PAOLA CHAVEZ

TRUMP OUTLINES ‘AMERICA FIRST’ FOREIGN POLICY. Donald Trump said Wednesday that American citizens and their safety will be the main priority when it comes to his foreign policy decisions. "America first will be the major and overriding theme" of his foreign policy should he become president, Trump said at a speech in Washington, D.C., ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY and JOHN SANTUCCI report. "It's time to shake the rust off of America's foreign policy," Trump said, adding that his policy will be "one that replaces randomness with purpose." http://abcn.ws/1TwRuDG

4 THINGS TRUMP GOT WRONG IN HIS SPEECH: It was only the second time since the summer that Donald Trump has used a teleprompter. But writing down his thoughts ahead of time didn't make them more accurate. Trump's speech, billed as his major foreign policy rollout, was riddled with errors and contradictions. Here are four things he got wrong, courtesy of ABC’s JUSTIN FISHEL: http://abcn.ws/1TeEmR3

NOTED: TRUMP ISN’T THE FIRST AMERICAN POLITICIAN TO PUT ‘AMERICA FIRST’. Trump's foreign policy speech was the first time that the Republican presidential front-runner clearly declared his foreign policy priorities, and he summarized them as keeping "America First." ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY notes, he isn't the first person to do so. "America First" has been the name of at least two political groups in the past century, both of which focused their platforms on non-interventionist foreign policies. http://abcn.ws/1NUGuvq

SANDERS’ CAMPAIGN LAYING OFF HUNDREDS OF STAFFERS. Bernie Sanders' campaign is laying off hundreds of staff members. Sanders campaign spokesman Michael Briggs told reporters Wednesday that, "as a result of the process moving forward with only ten states to go, we need fewer people in place to do the work [than] we needed when there were 50 states to go. And so the campaign is doing some right-sizing to deal with the practicability that we have fewer states left to go." ABC’s MARYALICE PARKS has more. http://abcn.ws/1SBNAHg

NOTED: HOW BERNIE SANDERS’ STRATEGY WILL EVOLVE GOING FORWARD. Sanders stood unwavering and a little audacious at his first rally in Indiana Wednesday. Despite losing an additional four states on the east coast the night before, which rendered his chances of winning the nomination nearly mathematically impossible, the senator said he believed he would still win the majority of the pledged delegates and was staying in the race to win it,  ABC’s MARYALICE PARKS writes. “So that there is no confusion, we are in this campaign to win and become the Democratic nominee,” he said speaking to a packed room at Purdue University. In a statement released overnight after the final results landed, Sanders notably did not say whether he still believed he could make up Hillary Clinton's lead in pledged delegates, which some interpreted as a near concession on his part. http://abcn.ws/1VT0Cql

DESPITE TRUMP CLAIMS, CLINTON EARNING MORE WOMEN VOTERS. In the latest string of primaries, Donald Trump's assertions that women don't like Hillary Clinton has been proven wrong. Clinton received a higher percentage of the vote among female Democrats than Trump received among female Republicans on Tuesday night, ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY reports. Those results were tallied after Trump credited Clinton's sex as the reason for her success. “If Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she would get five percent of the vote," he said at his victory party Tuesday. http://abcn.ws/1VSzyre

 

POWERHOUSE POLITICS PODCAST: ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl and ABC News Political Director Rick Klein discuss why Ted Cruz chose to name Carly Fiorina as his running mate and if it will make a difference in the presidential race.  Then, part two of Jon’s fascinating interview with one of the most powerful and controversial people in politics, billionaire Charles Koch. Finally, Ken Cuccinelli supervises the Cruz campaigns delegate operation.  He takes us inside their strategy to acquire delegates. LISTEN: abcn.ws/powerhousepolitics

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

 

TRUMP TRIPS OVER PRONOUNCING TANZANIA, INTERNET HAS A GOOD LAUGH. One of the moments from Trump's foreign policy speech that attracted the most attention wasn't intentional. ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY notes, people watching Trump's speech quickly turned to social media to joke about how the GOP front-runner mispronounced "Tanzania." This isn't the first time that a presidential hopeful has had a slip of the tongue when it comes to pronunciation. http://abcn.ws/1TwXso6

 

WHO’S TWEETING?

@PatrickSvitek: Cruz's Ron Nehring on CNN: Trump's speech today was kinda like if you put 100 bumper stickers in a bucket, shook it up and poured it out.

@RichardHaass: .@realDonaldTrump to left of Sec Clinton on mil intervention-ironic as candidate Bill Clinton was to right of GHWB on mil action in Balkans

@ShaneGoldmacher: So so telling: Cruz doesn't even get own story for picking VP in the NYT but shares an atmospherics one with Bernie

@MichaelCBender: Talked to 10 Republicans at Kasich's fundraiser in Indianapolis this week. Just one said he'd vote for Cruz

@DonGonyea: Soooo... The Diner in Indy where I'm having breakfast is playing side 4 of the Beatles White Album. Unexpected. But I approve. @nprpolitics