PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The presidential campaigns of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich say they are launching collaborative strategies to deprive Donald Trump the delegates needed to win the Republican nomination.
Both campaigns released statements Sunday saying that Cruz will focus his campaign resources on winning enough delegates in Indiana, while Kasich will focus his efforts on western states, including Oregon and New Mexico.
“To ensure that we nominate a Republican who can unify the Republican Party and win in November, our campaign will focus its time and resources in Indiana and in turn clear the path for Gov. Kasich to compete in Oregon and New Mexico, and we would hope that allies of both campaigns would follow our lead,” Cruz’s campaign said.
“We are very comfortable with our delegate position in Indiana already, and given the current dynamics of the primary there, we will shift our campaign’s resources West and give the Cruz campaign a clear path in Indiana,” Kasich’s campaign said.
Trump needs 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination. If he falls short, the Republican convention in July will evolve into a rare contested convention.
In a tweeted response, Trump said the move was “desperation” and said in a statement “these two Washington insiders have had to revert to collusion in order to stay alive.”
Trump has repeatedly denounced the system, saying he should win the nomination even if he falls slightly short of the majority, something officials with the Republican National Committee have ruled out.
The Cruz-Kasich pact doesn’t affect the five states that vote Tuesday.
Trump is expected to rack up more wins Tuesday, including delegate-rich Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton spoke at a rally in Delaware Tuesday where she took shots at the Republican candidates, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported.
“They want to slash taxes on the wealthy more than they ever have been. I wanna raise taxes on the wealthy,” she said.
And Sen. Bernie Sanders was in Hartford, Connecticut, ahead of the primary.
“When I talk about a political revolution it’s not a complicated process. It means that we need to involve millions of people in the political process at the grassroots level,” he said.
Sanders said he’s staying in the race until the end, but has begun pushing Clinton more overtly to adopt his agenda. If Clinton wins big on Tuesday, it would be nearly impossible for Sanders to catch up.
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