US Election 2016

US election: The lowlights and highlights of the Cruz campaign

A worker for Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, removes the campaign sign from the podium following primary night campaign event in Indianapolis, Tuesday, May 3, 2016 Image copyright AP
Image caption And it's goodbye from him: The signs for the Cruz campaign are removed in Indianapolis after he withdrew

After a crushing defeat in Indiana's primary, Texas Senator Ted Cruz has pulled out of the Republican race for the presidency, all but securing Donald Trump the nomination.

After launching his candidacy in March 2015, he lasted far longer than most others, despite splitting opinion within the party.

It was a run that saw him clinch a number of states, but that was also known for some painfully awkward moments.

Here are some of the highlights and lowlights of his race for the White House.

Lowlight: Punching his own wife in the face

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Media captionJust after the announcement of the end of his campaign Ted Cruz accidentally struck his wife Heidi

Not just punching, but elbowing. This came right at the end of his campaign, as he went to hug his father on stage in Indiana. It provided further evidence that Mr Cruz's co-ordination is not, perhaps, his strong suit (see also: last week's awkward handshake with his vice-presidential pick Carly Fiorina).

Highlight: 29 October debate

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Media captionDonald Trump and Ben Carson kept a low profile, as Gary O'Donoghue reports

During the third Republican debate in October, Mr Cruz took aim at the media for the level of questioning candidates had faced. At one point, he had the audience eating out of his hand and came across as the voice of reason.

"The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don't trust the media," he said. "This is not a cage match. You look at the questions - Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson, can you do math? John Kasich, will you insult two people over here? Marco Rubio, why don't you resign? Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen? How about talking about the substantive issues?"

Lowlight: When his wife had to deny he was a serial killer

Because the internet is the internet, a myth built up over the past few months that Mr Cruz is the Zodiac Killer, the unidentified murderer who struck California in the 1960s and early 70s.

The rumour led to a booming industry in 'Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer' memorabilia, memes aplenty - and saw Heidi Cruz asked a question about the rumour by a journalist last week.

(She needn't have answered: the Zodiac Killer first struck in 1968; Ted Cruz was born in 1970).

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Media captionJohn Boehner told an audience at Stanford University that Ted Cruz 'is Lucifer in the flesh'

The former speaker of the House, John Boehner, raised the stakes last week - he did not say Mr Cruz was the Zodiac Killer, but instead called him "Lucifer in the flesh".

Lowlight: When his daughter flinched at his kiss

It's only 13 seconds of footage captured on the Iowa campaign trail by a BBC Newsnight team in February. But, in those 13 seconds, young Caroline Cruz flicks her finger at her father's face to push him away, he grabs her around the waist, kisses her on the cheek, is met by a flinch and cries of "Oww!" and then glances at the camera, his eyes saying: "You didn't just get that on film, did you?"

Highlight: When he shone in Trump's absence

When Mr Trump decided to boycott a Fox News debate ahead of the Iowa caucus in late January, Mr Cruz took the opportunity to undermine Mr Trump, his mannerisms and his mocking of fellow candidate Ben Carson.

Highlight: The wins

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Media captionTed Cruz: "Wisconsin has lit a candle guiding the way forward"

There was a point when, even if Mr Cruz did not quite have the wind in his sails, he did well enough to make life a bit more uncomfortable for Donald Trump.

He came top of the pile in 10 primaries or caucuses, sweeping Mr Trump aside in Idaho and, last month, in Wisconsin. At that point, Republican Party leaders were rallying around the Texas senator in hopes of wounding Mr Trump. Not bad for someone who so divided the party at the start of his campaign.

A month later, and how things have changed.

Lowlight: When the star of his favourite film attacked him

Image copyright Act III Productions
Image caption Inigo Montoya does not endorse Ted Cruz

This must have hurt. Mr Cruz is a huge fan of the fantasy film The Princess Bride, and has been known to quote whole sections of the film verbatim.

But Mandy Patinkin, who played the swashbuckling, revenge-thirsty Inigo Montoya in the 1987 comedy, does not approve.

After writing in Time magazine that it was "amusing and kind of stunning" that Mr Cruz was a fan, he went on to say: "Every character in that movie is looking to be loved. I'm sure Ted Cruz wants to be loved. I know Donald Trump does. Everyone wants it. But we mustn't look for love by spreading hate."

Lowlight: The uncomfortable family videos

Image copyright YouTube/@TedCruzForSenate
Image caption There is a LOT of hugging in the footage

Under US election rules, candidates are not allowed to work with Super PACs (political action committees) who support them.

With this in mind, hours of raw footage was posted on YouTube that could then be converted by Mr Cruz's supporters to make a campaign video.

The 15 hours of raw footage showed him rehearsing his family into saying nice things in front of the camera, coaxing his mother into saying something she was uncomfortable with, making his daughters say grace three times until they get it right for the camera, and getting visibly irritated at interruptions.

A journalist with Politico watched all 15 hours of the footage so you don't have to.