Cruz: 'Nobody is getting 1,237'

Story highlights

  • Ted Cruz sought to dampen Donald Trump's momentum after his New York rout
  • The Texas senator said nobody would get the 1,237 delegates necessary

Washington (CNN)Ted Cruz on Wednesday sought to dampen any momentum that could come from Donald Trump's rout in New York, arguing the billionaire was no likelier to win their party's presidential nomination than he was.

The Texas senator appeared more certain than ever that the Republican primary was headed toward a contested convention, expressing confidence that no candidate -- including himself -- would win the 1,237 delegates needed for a first-ballot clinch.
    It's an argument Cruz took personally to party elites in Florida later Wednesday, when he pitched himself to members of the Republican National Committee. GOP rival John Kasich is also expected to brief RNC members.
    "We are headed to a contested convention. At this point, nobody is getting 1,237," Cruz told Philadelphia radio host Chris Stigall on Wednesday morning. "Donald is going to talk all the time about other folks not getting to 1,237. He's not getting there, either."
    Cruz reiterated his belief that the GOP is heading toward a contested convention while speaking with CNN's Sunlen Serfaty in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Wednesday morning.
    "The reason Donald's so scared is the last three weeks -- and in particular, the win in Wisconsin -- put the nail in the coffin and made clear Donald doesn't get to 1,237," he said.
    Trump, however, had no such reservations while speaking shortly after his New York win Tuesday night. In a victory speech in the lobby of Trump Tower, Trump said Cruz was "just about mathematically eliminated."
    "We don't have much of a race anymore," Trump boomed. "We're going to go into the convention, I think, as the winner."
    Cruz conceded that Trump had enjoyed "a good night" in New York, where Trump won about 90 delegates in a stronger-than-expected showing. But the Texas senator, who solidly trails Trump in the delegate count, pushed back on the idea that the contours of the race had somehow changed, repeatedly expressed frustration Wednesday with how Trump's victory was being portrayed in the press.
    "Now let me tell you what Donald and the media want to convince everyone: That Pennsylvania is a suburb of Manhattan," Cruz said Wednesday in Hershey. "Manhattan has spoken and Pennsylvania will quietly file into obedience. You know what, I got a lot more faith in the people of Pennsylvania."
    Hours later, Cruz arrived in Hollywood, Florida to mingle with RNC members. HIs campaign manager, Jeff Roe, told reporters there that Cruz's campaign had $9 million on hand as of April 1.
    He needs all the money he can get. Cruz conceded to reporters there that Trump was likely to have a good week next Tuesday in a quintet of states that neighbor New York, but indicated his eyes were fixed on states further down the line, such as California, which he deemed "the big enchilada."
    "Donald is a niche candidate," he said, pointing to his strength outside of the northeast in upcoming contests in Indiana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Montana. "Donald has had great difficulty winning west of the Mississippi River."