Ted Cruz launched a Hail Mary pass Wednesday when he announced the selection of Carly Fiorina as his running-mate should he win the GOP nomination. Fresh off a five-state defeat, Cruz is looking for any edge to prolong his fight against Donald Trump as many in the GOP are growing resigned to the front-runner’s nomination. The effort to shake-up the race by selecting a VP before winning the nomination is a tactic last used—unsuccessfully—by Ronald Reagan in 1976, but Cruz, who needs wins in Indiana and California, hopes it’ll be enough to force a contested convention. The move gives a higher profile to one of the campaign’s top surrogates, while leaning on Fiorina’s appeal to GOP women and to her former state of California, where she ran for the Senate office in 2010. Fiorina is also a potent critic of Clinton and Trump—which she deployed skillfully on Wednesday.
Trump delivered his long-awaited foreign policy speech Wednesday in Washington, hewing to traditional GOP themes about American strength mixed with a call for a radical reorientation in the U.S. approach to the world. In what he described as an “America First” policy, Trump called for allies to pay for the protection they receive from the U.S., while envisioning friendship between the U.S. and Russia and China. He called for dramatically increasing the size of the U.S. military, even as he promised to reduce the deficit and scale back the military’s role in the world. Heavy on criticism and vision, the speech was silent on policy specifics—or any “hows”—as Trump called for a new era of “unpredictability” in U.S. foreign policy.
Meet the man running Hillary Clinton‘s campaign. The end near, Bernie Sanders begins laying off staff. And new lows in FEC dysfunction.
Here are your must-reads:
Ted Cruz Selects Carly Fiorina as Vice Presidential Pick
The unusual move comes at a crucial moment [TIME]
Donald Trump Offers Vague Vision for an Alternative Foreign Policy
His first major speech on global affairs lacked specifics on how he would improve things, TIME’s Mark Thompson writes
Trump’s ‘Woman’s Card’ Comment Escalates the Campaign’s Gender Wars
A preview of the general election [Washington Post]
Meet the Man Behind Hillary Clinton’s Campaign
TIME’s Jay Newton-Small on the commanding presence in Clinton’s orbit
Paul Ryan Asks Millennials to Give GOP a Chance
The Speaker continues his non-campaign [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
President Obama Weighs His Economic Legacy
His theory on why Americans still feel left behind [New York Times]
“She is playing the woman’s card. Everything she says is about the woman’s card.” — Donald Trump to NBC’s Today Show on Hillary Clinton Thursday
“He does not represent me and he does not represent my party.” — Carly Fiorina on being names as Ted Cruz’s running-mate-in-waiting
Bits and Bites
U.S. Trade Bank Faces New Hurdle in Congress [Wall Street Journal]
Recidivism Watch: Trump’s Eight Repeated Falsehoods in 16 Hours [Washington Post]
F.E.C. Tries to Bridge a Gap Between ‘A’ and ‘The’ [New York Times]