After three weeks of setbacks that culminated in a decisive defeat in the Indiana primaries, Texas Senator Ted Cruz ’92 announced the end of his presidential bid Tuesday evening.
“From the beginning, I have said that I will continue on as long as there is a viable path to victory,” he told supporters at an event in Indiana, “Tonight, I am sorry to say, it appears that path has been closed.”
Cruz’s withdrawal positions businessman Donald Trump as the possible Republican nominee. Trump garnered 1,053 delegates as of Tuesday night, just shy of the 1,237 total delegates needed to gain the nomination, according to CNN.
Paul Draper ’18, president of Princeton College Republicans and the director of the New Jersey chapter of Millennials for Cruz, said that it is extremely disappointing and disheartening to see the Senator walk away from the race.
“Tonight is a big hit to my political vision for the country,” Draper said, “Senator Cruz would’ve been a great nominee and President.”
Draper further said that both Cruz’s and Trump’s campaigns had recognized Indiana as a strategically critical state. Senator Cruz had significantly drummed up campaigning efforts leading up to the primary, Draper said. He explained that there was more canvassing and fundraising in the past week than before.
“There were indicative factors that [Indiana] was the ‘be all or end all’ [state],” Draper said.
Draper, a former intern at Cruz’s congressional office, further described the Texas Senator as an outstanding public servant who truly embraces conservative principles.
“[Cruz] was my introduction to politics, and I am extremely proud of his campaign in improving national discourse about important sociopolitical issues,” Draper said.
Draper noted that he was present when Cruz publicly criticized Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as an example of standing up to "the Washington cartel." His actions, Draper said, set him apart from Trump, someone on the opposite side of the spectrum who lacks a strong policy background, he said.
Draper further noted that members of College Republicans are divided in their support for Trump. Furthermore, Draper stated that he is at the moment uncertain about whether he will cast a vote for Trump in the general election.
Professor of Jurisprudence Robert George, whoauthored an endorsement for Cruz earlier this spring, said that with Cruz's withdrawal from the race, it is now clear that voters will be choosing in November between Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“For many Americans, including myself, these are dreadful alternatives. We regard neither of these individuals as fit –morally or otherwise –to be president,” he said.
The two presumptive nominees have told appalling lies to advance or protect their political interests, George said.
“A number of people have written to me this evening asking, 'Which should we support?' I answer: If you believe that Ted Cruz's dad was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, then vote for Trump. If you believe that the murders of Ambassador Stevens and the others at Benghazi were committed by a mob inflamed by a movie trailer, then vote for Clinton,” he said.
Walker Davis '17, co-founder of Princeton against Cruz, said that he is happy to see that Ted Cruz found some dignity in this defeat, even though he had to throw Carly Fiorina down with him.
Some University alumni expressed concerns in light of the suspension announcement.
“As I follow the election, including how the now-presumptive GOP nominee has fared, I am reminded of James Madison 1771's warning in Federalist No. 10 against faction,” Zhan Okuda-Lim ’15 said.
“Madison warned '[A faction is] a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community,'" he explained.
In a Facebook post, Tim Hwang ’14, stated that a presidential candidate is much more than the person running for office, for they are a representation of millions who believe in and vindicate the dangerous ideas and statements made by the candidate.
“The racism, the bigotry, the violence, and the anti-immigrant sentiment portrayed in the GOP nomination fight is an embarrassment to our country no matter which party you belong to,” Hwang said.
Looking ahead, Draper said that he believes Cruz will remain in the realm of public service as a Texas Senator.
“He has really invigorated the Republican party. He is a fighter, someone who takes on challenges. He will continue to stand up for the values he has stood up for. I think he’ll be back,” Draper said.