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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 6, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 19
Trump triumphant, Cruz crushed in Indiana
Section One
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Trump triumphant, Cruz crushed in Indiana

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Donald Trump emerged as the all-but-certain Republican presidential nominee after he crushed the aspirations of rival Ted Cruz in the Indiana primary.

With Trump winning more than 53% of the Indiana Republican vote to his own 37%, Cruz announced on May 3 that he was done with the race for the White House.

'We left it all on the field,' Cruz told supporters after the results came in. 'But the voters chose another path. And so, with a heavy heart, but with boundless optimism for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign.'

Shortly after Cruz's announcement, Republican National Committee boss Reince Priebus tweeted that Trump is now the 'presumptive GOP nominee.'

The remaining Republican hopeful, John Kasich, who won a meager 8% of the vote in Indiana, dropped out the next day.

Republican insiders are divided on how to relate to Trump's victory. Priebus has already accommodated himself to a Trump-led national ticket, but others were not so comfortable with The Donald.

'If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed,' South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham tweeted. 'We will deserve it.'

Meanwhile John McCain's speechwriter, Mark Salter, said he would vote for Hillary Clinton before he'd vote for Trump.

'Basically, I think she's the more conservative choice and the least reckless one,' Salter told MSNBC. '[Trump's] policy views are like some drunk's rant. If he tried to do anything like he says he will, we'd have no allies, a lot more enemies, and more of them with nukes. Finally, he's unfit for the office, too, temperamentally and morally, a narcissistic bigot.'

While Trump's May 3 victory speech was conciliatory toward Cruz - the Texas senator was 'one hell of a competitor,' he said - the run-up to the Indiana vote was far less civil, with Trump making bizarre charges against Cruz's father Rafael.

In an election day interview with Fox News, Trump alleged that Rafael Cruz once associated with Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

'His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald's being - you know, shot,' Trump said.

'I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous. What is this, right prior to his being shot, and nobody even brings it up. They don't even talk about that. That was reported, and nobody talks about it.

'I mean, what was he doing - what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting? It's horrible.'

Trump was referring to a National Enquirer photo showing a group of men, including one it identified as Rafael Cruz, standing with someone who looked like Oswald. The photo was said to date from 1963 and to have been taken in New Orleans.

'Now let's be clear: This is nuts,' Ted Cruz shot back.

'This is not a reasonable position. This is just kooky. And while I'm at it, I guess I should go ahead and admit, yes, my dad killed JFK, he is secretly Elvis, and Jimmy Hoffa is buried in his backyard.'

A Cruz campaign spokesperson told the Miami Herald, which pointed out numerous flaws in the Enquirer story, that it was 'another garbage story in a tabloid full of garbage.'

Trump then issued a statement saying Cruz's 'outburst' shows he is a 'desperate candidate trying to save his failing campaign.'

'Over the last week, I have watched Lyin' Ted become more and more unhinged as he is unable to react under the pressure and stress of losing, in all cases by landslides, the last six primary elections - in fact, coming in last place in all but one of them,' he said. 'Today's ridiculous outburst only proves what I have been saying for a long time, that Ted Cruz does not have the temperament to be President of the United States.'

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