Washington (CNN)Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Thursday downplayed the idea of an alliance between himself and Ohio Gov. John Kasich to prevent Republican front-runner Donald Trump from locking up the nomination.
“I recognize that the media is all eager to talk about an alliance. There is no alliance. Kasich and I made a determination where to focus our energies. Where to focus our assets, where to focus our resources,” he said at a news conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
The Cruz and Kasich campaigns issued statements Sunday saying they will divide their efforts in upcoming contests with Cruz focusing on Indiana and Kasich devoting his efforts to Oregon and New Mexico.
The eleventh-hour bid by Cruz and Kasich to deny Trump the Republican nomination by dividing upcoming contests took election observers by surprise and came after both Cruz and Kasich were mathematically eliminated from winning the nomination on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention. Trump is the only GOP presidential candidate with a realistic shot at securing the 1,237 delegates he needs to clinch the nomination.
Kasich also downplayed the partnership earlier this week.
“I don’t see this as any big deal,” Kasich said at at a Philadelphia diner. “Other than the fact that I’m not going to spend resources in Indiana, he’s not going to spend them in other places. So what? What’s the big deal?”
Cruz said he and Kasich disagree on some things but they are on the same page with their belief that making Trump the Republican Party nominee is a mistake.
“Donald Trump may be the only person on earth that Hillary Clinton can beat,” he said.
Cruz is campaigning in Indiana ahead of the state’s Tuesday primary hoping to win the support of Republicans there who don’t want Trump as the GOP nominee.
“John Kasich made the decision in his own political self interest to withdraw from Indiana and compete elsewhere. And that was a perfectly reasonable decision,” Cruz said. “Listen, I would make a very explicit outreach to the people of Indiana who are supporting John Kasich if you don’t want to see Hillary Clinton as president, if you don’t want to see Donald Trump as the nominee which makes certain Hillary Clinton is the president, then I ask for your support.”