Ted Cruz Announces Carly Fiorina as His Vice Presidential Pick

updated 04/27/2016 AT 05:05 PM EDT

originally published 04/27/2016 AT 02:50 PM EDT

No delegate lead? No problem.

Ted Cruz is behind in the delegate count in the race for the Republican presidential nomination – but that's not stopping him from selecting a running mate.

On Wednesday, Cruz announced that former Hewlett-Packard CEO and former 2016 Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina would be his running mate – if he receives the Republican nomination.

Vetting vice presidential picks is something "any responsible candidate for president" should do, Cruz said at a rally, and went to say that he valued an understanding and experience dealing with national security, job creation, and good judgment in a vice president.



"Over and over again, Carly has shattered glass ceilings," he said, calling his potential VP a woman of "extraordinary intelligence" and "deep principle."

"Carly knows, from running one of the 20 biggest countries in America, where jobs come from," he said.

After a lengthy introduction, Cruz welcomed Fiorina to the stage.

She began with a call to action for her fellow Republicans: "This is a fight for the soul of our party and the future of our nation," she said. Fiorina went on to discuss Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and the supposed similarities between them.

"They're not going to challenge the system," she added. "They are the system."

There has been murmurings that Cruz's campaign has been vetting choices for his vice presidential pick since last week, which campaign staffers themselves confirmed. From the get-go, Fiorina was the most-talked about of his picks.

"He is vetting a number of solid candidates, and certainly Ms. Fiorina is absolutely one of them," Chad Sweet, Cruz's campaign chairperson, told CNN. "She's one of the most talented business leaders of modern times."

It seems that Cruz hasn't been deterred by the numbers in making his announcement. After losing every state in Tuesday's Acela Primary (in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Delaware and Connecticut), he's trailing Donald Trump by nearly 400 delegates. At this point, he's mathematically eliminated from getting the needed number of delegates (1,237) to clinch the Republican nomination.

Cruz addressed this improbability, alluding to the possibility of a contested convention this summer.

"I'm not getting to 1,237 delegates, and Donald J. Trump is not getting to 1,237 delegates," he said.

What You Need to Know About a Contested GOP Convention



The upcoming California primary (scheduled for June 7) could be a reason for the announcement's timing: Fiorina lives in the state and previously ran for the United States Senate in the state. She's also set to speak at this weekend's California Republican Party convention, just hours after Ted Cruz himself.

Fiorina's own campaign started gaining traction after a strong showing at the first Republican debate back in August, bumping her up in the polls. Ultimately, she suspended her own campaign after a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary – she came in seventh.

At the time of her campaign suspension, she said, "While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them."
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