- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Following similar comments from Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Sen. Ted Cruz said Tuesday he’s not asking his supporters to vote for anybody else as part of a recently-brokered deal with Mr. Kasich in several upcoming GOP presidential primary states.

“We’re not urging voters to vote for anybody else,” Mr. Cruz said on Glenn Beck’s radio program. “That’s not anything I’ve done.”

“Now listen, I’ll make a very direct appeal to John Kasich’s supporters in the state of Indiana that I would ask for your support,” Mr. Cruz said. “That if you don’t want to see Hillary Clinton as the president, if you don’t want to see Donald Trump as the nominee, which ensures that Hillary becomes president … I ask for your support because I’m the only candidate who can beat Trump in Indiana, and if we stand together we will beat him.”

Under the deal, Mr. Kasich is supposed to clear the way for Mr. Cruz to campaign in Indiana, and Mr. Cruz is to let Mr. Kasich contend in Oregon and New Mexico.

“I trust the voters to figure out who to vote for,” Mr. Cruz said. “So I’m not asking my supporters to vote for anybody else.”

Asked on Monday who his supporters should vote for in Indiana, Mr. Kasich said they “ought to vote for me.” In an appearance on NBC’s “Today” program Tuesday, Mr. Kasich said he doesn’t tell voters what to do.

Recent polling on Indiana, which votes next week, has shown GOP front-runner Donald Trump with leads of between 5 and 8 points over Mr. Cruz, with Mr. Kasich in third place.

Though there wasn’t a formally-announced alliance ahead of the winner-take-all Ohio and Florida primaries on March 15, the campaign of Sen. Marco Rubio openly acknowledged that Mr. Kasich was likely the only candidate who could beat Mr. Trump in Ohio.

“If a voter in Ohio is motivated by stopping Donald Trump and comes to the conclusion that John Kasich is the only one who can beat him there, then I expect that’s the decision they’ll make,” Mr. Rubio said ahead of the contests.

But Mr. Kasich didn’t return the favor for Mr. Rubio in Florida, where polls had shown the Florida senator running second to Mr. Trump.

“I think that’s kind of nuts — that’s something that a politician would do. I’m not going to tell my voters, go vote for somebody else,” Mr. Kasich said at an MSNBC town hall in March.

Mr. Kasich ended up winning his home state to pick up his only win of the GOP presidential primary contest thus far. Mr. Trump, meanwhile, defeated Mr. Rubio in Florida by close to 20 points, effectively knocking the Florida senator out of the race.

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