MIAMI — Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) said Wednesday that Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich can't gather enough delegates to beat fellow Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and should do the math for their chances going forward.
"At this point, I think both Marco Rubio and John Kasich are gonna have to look at the race and assess their prospects. It is a simple question of math. Whether or not one can get to 1,237 votes," Cruz said, naming the number of delegates a candidate needs to secure the nomination at the Republican National Convention in July.
"And if a candidate does not have a path to the nomination, then it is time for that candidate to prayerfully reflect with their family whether there is a path forward for them. And if there is not, then it is up to each of the candidates to make that decision," he said.
Cruz's campaign has long spoken of the need to amass as many delegates as possible — in the summer, it sent a representative to Guam, where the campaign secured the support of the governor. Cruz's father, Rafael, and a campaign aide went to the U.S. Virgin Islands to hunt for delegates, and the candidate went to far-afield places, such as Wyoming.
The strategy didn't work out well in the South, which Cruz wanted to be a delegate bonanza and Trump ended up capturing. Cruz is now second to Trump in the delegate count, and is arguing that to beat the businessman, Republicans must unite behind Cruz.
"It is now clear as we’ve got some 361 delegates that there are only two candidates that have a credible path to the nomination, a credible path to 1,237 delegates, and that is Donald Trump, who is 100 delegates ahead of me, and myself," Cruz said.
The Texas Republican is as much a strategist as a candidate — he often delves into the nitty gritty parts of campaigning, delegate allocation and fundraising numbers. It has long been a way for the campaign to project to voters that it has a path and plan to secure the nomination. Now Cruz is using the raw numbers to make his point that he is the only candidate who can mathematically beat Trump.
Cruz campaigned Wednesday in Florida, where Trump is far ahead in the polls, and rolled out a big endorsement: former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina. Kasich is ahead in his home state of Ohio, which also has a large trove of delegates.
Fiorina continued to make one of the main points Cruz has made since the voting started in Iowa on Feb. 1: that he is the only candidate who has continually beaten Trump. Cruz notched a victory in Idaho on Tuesday and grabbed big wins in Kansas and Maine on Saturday.
Cruz didn't mention Rubio by name in front of a few hundred people at Miami Dade College but threw a major dig at Trump, who trotted out Trump steaks and Trump wine at a news conference in Palm Beach, Fla., on Tuesday night.
"I don't have any steaks to sell you. I don't have any wine. I don't have any cleaning products," Cruz said.
Cruz said his campaign will continue to "beat Donald going forward and beat Hillary Clinton for the general election."