Indianapolis: Donald Trump on Wednesday became the presumptive Republican presidential nominee after a decisive win in Indiana that forced his rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich to quit the race and the controversial billionaire was poised to clash with Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in the November polls.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Pics/GettyImages
Clinton, however, suffered an upset defeat at the hands of Bernie Sanders in Indiana but the outcome was unlikely to slow the 68-year-old former secretary of state’s march to the Democratic nomination.
By becoming the presumptive nominee, Trump, who joined politics only last year, has scripted history as he is now on course to be the first standard-bearer of the party since Dwight D Eisenhower, a five-star general and the commander of Allied Forces in Europe during World War II, who had not served in an elected office. “I am honoured to be the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party. It is time to unite our party and defeat Hillary Clinton,” the 69-year-old real estate tycoon, unpopular with many in his own party, said in a message to his supporters after winning the Indiana primary.
Cruz tried everything to pull off a last-ditch win in Indiana, including the unusual move of selecting Carly Fiorina as his running mate even though he was not the nominee. He also forged a pact with John Kasich, who too bowed out of the Republican presidential race on Wednesday after a defeat in Indiana, that would allow him to focus on Indiana while the Ohio governor would devote his time to later states. But none of the moves worked, it noted.
Cruz, who has engaged in a nasty war of words with Trump, announced his decision to drop out of the race.
“Tonight, I am sorry to say it appears that the path has been foreclosed...the voters chose another path. So with a heavy heart, with boundless optimism for the future of the nation, we are suspending our campaign. I am not suspending our fight to liberty...our movement would continue,” Cruz said in Indianapolis after his crushing defeat.
Meanwhile, Clinton suffered a setback in Indiana, where Sanders defeated her in a close fight with the victory margin being five percentage points. However, Clinton is much ahead of Sanders in delegate count, thus giving her a near presumptive nominee status.
The confidence of the Clinton campaign was visible as it launched an attack on Trump. “Throughout this campaign, Donald Trump has demonstrated that he’s too divisive and lacks the temperament to lead our nation and the free world. With so much at stake, Donald Trump is simply too big of a risk,” John Podesta, chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, said.
Putting up a fight
Sanders, however, has refused to give up.
“We are in this campaign to win and we’re going to fight until the last vote is cast. There is nothing I would like more than to take on and defeat Donald Trump, someone who must never become president of this country,” Sanders told his supporters in New Albany in Indiana.
China asks US to be objective
China on Wednesday urged people in the United States to take a rational and objective view of the relationship between the two countries, after Republican front-runner Donald Trump became the party’s presumptive presidential nominee. Trump has proposed that tariffs on imported Chinese goods be increased to up to 45% and asserted that China had waged “economic war” against the United States, taking American jobs.
The number of delegates Trump won
The number of delegates Hillary won