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Political Headlines

Cruz faces uphill battle to catch Trump

| Wednesday, March 23, 2016, 9:54 p.m.

WAUWATOSA, Wis. — While Ted Cruz decried “gutter politics” against him, former Republican presidential contenders gave him a boost Wednesday, casting the Texas senator as the party's last best chance to stop Donald Trump.

In advance of Wisconsin's April 5 primary, Gov. Scott Walker, who dropped out of the race in the fall, declared that only Cruz can catch Trump as time runs short in the primary season. And former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush gave Cruz his endorsement.

Cruz slammed Trump during an appearance in the front-runner's hometown for making a vague threat on Twitter the night before to “spill the beans” on Cruz's wife.

“Gutter politics,” Cruz said. Trump's warning that he would disclose something about Heidi Cruz came in response to an ad by an outside political group that featured a provocative photo of Trump's wife, Melania, when she was a model and before they were married. Trump misidentified the Cruz campaign as the source of the ad.

The Republican infighting came the day after Cruz scored a win in Utah and Trump claimed Arizona. Despite modest signs of strength, the first-term Texas senator needs a near miracle to catch the billionaire businessman.

The day-after delegate math laid bare the challenge: Cruz needs to win 83 percent of the remaining delegates to overtake the front-runner. Further complicating Cruz's path, Ohio Gov. John Kasich vowed to stay in the race at least until the next primary.

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