Washington: Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich have said they will coordinate with each other in an effort to stop frontrunner Donald Trump from becoming the party nominee which the real estate tycoon dismissed as an act of "desperation".
Texas senator Cruz and Ohio governor Kasich issued statements that they would not compete with each other in several states to try and stop Trump from securing the necessary 1,237 delegates before the Cleveland convention in July which they hope would make it a contested convention and thus open up their paths to the White House.
"To ensure that we nominate a Republican who can unify the Republican Party and win in November, our campaign will focus its time and resources in Indiana and in turn clear the path for Governor Kasich to compete in Oregon and New Mexico, and we would hope that allies of both campaigns would follow our lead," Cruz's campaign manager Jeff Roe said in a statement.
Kasich's campaign also issued a similar statement.
"Due to the fact that the Indiana primary is winner- takes-all statewide and by congressional district, keeping Trump from winning a plurality in Indiana is critical to keeping him under 1,237 bound delegates before Cleveland," said John Weaver, chief strategist for 'Kasich for America'.
"We are very comfortable with our delegate position in Indiana already, and given the current dynamics of the primary there, we will shift our campaign's resources west and give the Cruz campaign a clear path in Indiana," he said.
"In turn, we will focus our time and resources in New Mexico and Oregon, both areas that are structurally similar to the Northeast politically, where Governor Kasich is performing well," Weaver said.
As of yesterday Trump had 845 delegates to Cruz's 559.
However both Cruz and Kasich's campaigns asserted it is only they who are best suitable to get the party's nomination.
"Donald Trump doesn't have the support of a majority of Republicans ? not even close, but he currently does have almost half the delegates because he's benefited from the existing primary system. Our goal is to have an open convention in Cleveland, where we are confident a candidate capable of uniting the party and winning in November will emerge as the nominee," Weaver said.
"Having Donald Trump at the top of the ticket in November would be a sure disaster for Republicans. Not only would Trump get blown out by Clinton or Sanders, but having him as our nominee would set the party back a generation," Roe said.
Trump reacted tweeting "Wow, just announced that Lyin' Ted and Kasich are going to collude in order to keep me from getting the Republican nomination. DESPERATION!," Trump said.
"Lyin' Ted and Kasich are mathematically dead and totally desperate. Their donors & special interest groups are not happy with them. Sad!," he tweeted.