- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

There’s already a handy name for the newly minted Cruz/Fiorina 2016 campaign combo. Just call it the “conservative-outsider unity ticket,” suggests Mark Meckler, who co-founded the Tea Party Patriots in 2009 and continues his role as a grass-roots activist. Sen. Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina will certainly benefit from some extra political theater and swagger — as did Sen. John McCain and Sarah Palin when they ran for the White House eight years ago. There is helpful buzz to be had.

Ted Cruz’s choice of a successful business leader and outsider Carly Fiorina as his running mate has the potential to electrify the conservative grass roots and build critical momentum behind his campaign,” says Jenny Beth Martin, the other co-founder of the aforementioned Patriots, who also continues as a standard bearer for fiscal responsibility and traditional American tenets.

“As a presidential candidate, Carly ran as a conservative and has proven she can defend our values. As a woman who has survived cancer and stood by her daughter as she battled addiction, Carly understands the problems Americans face in their own lives every day and will be an effective advocate for Ted’s agenda to repeal Obamacare, secure our borders and end our $19 trillion debt,” Mrs. Martin continues.

Ted and Carly can directly challenge Hillary Clinton and the liberal she selects to be her running mate,” Mrs. Martin adds. “Cruz and Fiorina are a formidable team whose shared vision for new direction for the country will inspire millions and provide a stark contrast with Hillary’s call for another four years of President Obama’s failed policies.”

GETTING CLOSER

Which Republican presidential hopeful can take on Hillary Clinton? From a survey of 834 likely U.S. voters released Wednesday by veteran pollster John Zogby: In a Clinton and Gov. John Kasich matchup, 44 percent of all likely U.S. voters choose Mrs. Clinton, 41 percent Mr. Kasich and 15 percent are not sure.


SEE ALSO: Donald Trump’s unorthodoxy radically alters course GOP charted


In a Clinton and Donald Trump matchup, 47 percent likely voters choose Mrs. Clinton, 40 percent Mr. Trump and 14 percent are not sure. In a Clinton and Sen. Ted Cruz matchup, 46 percent of likely voters choose Mrs. Clinton, 37 percent Mr. Trump and 17 percent are not sure.

HILLARY CLINTON’S NIGHTMARES

Sen. Ted Cruz had a eureka moment when it came to choosingCarly Fiorina as his running mate, and it was not too long ago. Mr. Cruz paid close attention to the candidate after she suspended her presidential campaign in early February, then reorganized it as a vehicle to elect “conservative outsiders” willing take on the GOP establishment — fundraising apparatus intact. “I know about outsider candidates, because I’ve been one,” Mrs. Fiorina said at the time.

Mr. Cruz noticed. After endorsing her former rival, Mrs. Fiorina joined him on the campaign trail.

“And how about Carly? Isn’t she fantastic? Such an incredible business leader. Rose to the pinnacle of business. She’s strong. She’s inspirational, and let me tell you, that woman gives Hillary Clinton nightmares. I can just picture Hillary thinking about Carly and tossing and turning and tossing and turning in her jail cell,” the candidate told a rally in Wisconsin exactly one month ago.

On Monday, a Cruz aide confirmed to CNN that Mrs. Fiorina was on “the short list” as a vice presidential running mate. By Wednesday a new campaign motto emerged: “Cruz/Fiorina ‘16: Together we will win,” with three campaign events in Indiana to follow on Thursday.

VOTERS: SYSTEM IS ‘RIGGED’

Looks like the majority of likely voters agree with Donald Trump: 51 percent say the primary system is ‘rigged’ against some candidates, according to a Reuters poll released Wednesday. Another 71 percent would prefer to pick their party’s nominee with a direct vote while two-thirds want to see the whole process changed.

“The results echo complaints from Republican front-runner Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Sen. Bernard Sanders that the system is stacked against them in favor of candidates with close ties to their parties — a critique that has triggered a nationwide debate over whether the process is fair,” noted Reuters analyst Charles Mostoller.

There is confusion as well. The poll also revealed that 27 percent of likely voters did not understand how the primary process works; 44 percent did not understand why delegates were involved in the first place. Nearly half said they would also prefer a single primary day in which all states held their nominating contests together — as opposed to the current system of spreading them out for months. The poll of 1,582 likely U.S. voters was conducted April 21-26.

CYBER AFTERMATH

Promising news about the state of the federal “cloud” and other cyber concerns from Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware and keynote speaker at a standing room only gathering in the nation’s capital on Tuesday that included 500 senior IT experts from the public and private sector, and Tony Scott — whose title is actually “Chief Information Officer of the United States.” The group parsed out everything from USDA drones to border patrols, mounted on horseback but armed with computer tablets.

So how are things?

“We are in the midst of a renaissance on security — never before have we been so focused on cybersecurity, with buy-in from government leadership and stakeholders to make sure we are mitigating risk and securing data wherever it resides,” Mr. Gelsinger tells Inside the Beltway in the aftermath of the summit. “Discussion about the Cloud has gone from ‘huh, what?’ to a ‘yes, how?’ It is truly an exciting time as I can see how the technology leaders in our government are encouraging innovation and thinking ahead to meet the needs of its citizens.”

POLL DU JOUR

54 percent of Americans disapprove of Obamacare; 89 percent of Republicans, 58 percent of independents and 19 percent of Democrats agree.

44 percent overall approve; 9 percent of Republicans, 39 percent of independents and 78 percent of Democrats agree.

44 percent say the health care law has had a “mostly negative” effect on the nation; 72 percent of Republicans, 48 percent of independents and 16 percent of Democrats agree.

39 percent overall say the law’s effect is “mostly positive”; 10 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of independents and 66 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 2,008 U.S. adults conducted April 12-19 and released Wednesday.

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