Trump Complains Primary Rigged Despite His Lead
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump lashed out at what he called the party’s “rigged” delegate selection rules on Monday after rival Ted Cruz swept all of Colorado’s 34 delegates over the weekend.
The New York billionaire, who has been outmaneuvered by Cruz in a series of recent state meetings to select national convention delegates, said the process was set up to protect party insiders and shut out insurgent candidates.
“The system is rigged, it’s crooked.”
Trump said on Fox News on Monday, alleging the Colorado convention results showed voters were being denied a voice in the process.
“There was no voting. I didn’t go out there to make a speech or anything, there’s no voting. The people out there are going crazy, in the Denver area and Colorado itself, and they’re going absolutely crazy because they weren’t given a vote. This was given by politicians – it’s a crooked deal.”
Again at a rally in Rome, NY, he accused party leaders of maneuvering to cut his supporters out of the process:
“Our Republican system is absolutely rigged. It’s a phony deal,” “They wanted to keep people out. This is a dirty trick.”
Trump has 743 bound delegates to 545 for Cruz, according to an Associated Press count, in the battle for the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination on the first ballot and avoid a messy floor fight at the Republican National Convention from July 18-21.
But both are at risk of not acquiring enough delegates for a first-ballot victory, leaving many free to switch their votes on later ballots.
That has set off a fierce scramble by Republican candidates to get their supporters chosen as convention delegates and brought new scrutiny to the selection rules, which vary by state.
Trump, who has brought in veteran strategist Paul Manafort to lead his delegate-gathering efforts, complained about Cruz’s recent success at local and state party meetings where activists pick the actual delegates who will attend the national convention.
Trump accused Cruz, a U.S. senator from Texas, of trying to steal delegates in South Carolina. Trump won the state primary in February, but Cruz supporters got four of the first six delegate slots filled at congressional district meetings on Saturday, according to local media.
Cruz also succeeded at getting more of his supporters chosen as delegates in Iowa, where he won the caucuses in January, and at last week’s state convention in North Dakota.
We are unable to locate the chapter in “Art of the Deal” where it instructs you how to whine after you lose.
Trump being surprised about the nomination process, that has currently given him the lead, is an example of how unfamiliar with the process he knows and how unprepared he is.
To put it in more general terms; How Trump is complaining about the nomination process is analogous to listening to someone completely unfamiliar with baseball who is watching a game for the first time:
- “Why did that guy run to a base when the batter didn’t hit that ball! It’s called stealing? That’s not fair!”
- “I thought there was only four fouls! That guy got more! This game is rigged!”
- “Well if that fielder made an error he should get another try. It’s only fair.”
Perhaps a video like this could help him.
Trump has a pattern of claiming fraud when an election does not go his way, like when he claimed voter fraud after losing Iowa. And his critics say this kind of misdirection is his specialty. By blaming the process rather than his own inadequacies as a manager, Mr. Trump is trying to shift focus after Senator Ted Cruz of Texas outmaneuvered him in delegate contests in states like Colorado, North Dakota and Iowa, losses that could end up denying Mr. Trump the nomination.
Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus has spent the past few days pushing back over Twitter.
Nomination process known for a year + beyond. It's the responsibility of the campaigns to understand it. Complaints now? Give us all a break
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) April 13, 2016
However there might be a tactical reason for Trump’s attacks on the Republican primary process. Every time Donald Trump attacks the establishment he strengthens his position as an “outsider” candidate, which plays to his supporters. So there is no downside in the primary for attacking the nomination process to a group largely unaware of how it works.
Fox News Interview