Sen. Ted Cruz holds a rally in Charleston, S.C., Feb. 19, 2016. 
Photo by Mark Peterson/Redux for MSNBC

Cruz defends Fiorina’s business record amid Carrier controversy

Updated

On “Fox News Sunday,” Texas Senator Ted Cruz defended Carly Fiorina’s business record amid ongoing controversy about outsourced jobs in Indiana.

Cruz discussed his intent to bring manufacturing jobs to the United States and touted his choice of the former Hewlett-Packard CEO as his running mate. Upon the mention of Fiorina, host Chris Wallace pressed Cruz about her record on outsourcing.

MSNBC Live, 4/28/16, 11:40 AM ET

Cruz on Fiorina being a ‘desperate’ pick

GOP candidate Ted Cruz responds to the comments that picking Carly Fiorina as his running mate was a “desperate” move.
Wallace cited a Politifact report from September 2010, which was written at the time of Fiorina’s ultimately unsuccessful bid to represent California in the Senate. The issue of outsourcing was focal point of the race against incumbent Barbara Boxer, in which Fiorina’s tenure at the technology company was heavily criticized by her opponent.

“Outsourcing is a big issue in Indiana, I don’t have to tell you, because the company that controls Carrier air conditioning has announced they’re going to shift 2,100 jobs from Indiana to Mexico,” Wallace said. ”But Fiorina has a record as head of Hewlett-Packard laying off 30,000 people and outsourcing many of those jobs to India and China.”

Carrier announced in February it would begin to eliminate 1,400 jobs in Indianapolis next year. In addition, another subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation is cutting 700 jobs in northeastern Indiana.

RELATED: Trump leads Cruz by 15 points in crucial Indiana race

“Will the Cruz-Fiorina team do the same thing to Indiana that she did to Hewlett-Packard?” Wallace asked Cruz.

Cruz pushed back on the question.

The presidential campaign: Ted Cruz
The Texas senator was first to announce his bid back in March, and has since been carefully laying the groundwork for a come-from-behind primary victory.

“Carly has an incredible business record and an incredible personal story,” Cruz said. “Carly started off as a secretary and she rose the corporate ladder, became CEO of the largest technology company in the world… she was the first female CEO of a Fortune 20 company in history and she helped HP become the largest technology company in the world, achieved remarkable success. Many of those jobs by the way were transferred from one state to another within the United States.”

The Texas lawmaker then said that when it came to bringing jobs to the United States, there could not be a “clearer contrast” between the Cruz-Fiorina ticket and Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. 

The business mogul has said he will impose tariffs on Carrier if it moves to Mexico. 

“It is a travesty that Carrier is pulling jobs out of Indiana, moving them to Mexico,” Cruz said before blaming the policies of the Obama administration. “What is Donald Trump’s response to that? It is he says he’s going to punish Carrier, he’s going to use the power of the federal government to punish them… that’s the response of big government liberals. That we’re going to enact policies that kill jobs and then when businesses flee, we’re going to use the power of government to punish them.”

RELATED: Candidates respond to Indiana’s outsourcing, economic hardships 

Cruz’s statements come ahead of the Hoosier State primary on May 3, a contest that could have serious consequences for the vitality of his campaign.

Trump holds a 15-point lead over Cruz in Indiana, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist pollTrump has the support of 49 percent of likely Republican primary voters. Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich follow with 34 percent and 13 percent respectively.

Carly Fiorina, Indiana and Ted Cruz

Cruz defends Fiorina's business record amid Carrier controversy

Updated