Ted CruzTed CruzSenate feels pressure for summer healthcare vote Lobbying World GOP skeptical of Trump plan for paid parental leave MORE poured cold water on the calls to stop GOP presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpIn the politics of healthcare reform, past is prologue Comey friend: If I were Trump, I would be scared How Trump plans to remake the lower courts MORE during a brokered convention, warning that there could be hell to pay with the grass roots if they believe their will is being disregarded.  

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"Any time you hear someone talking about a brokered convention, it is the Washington establishment in a fevered frenzy, they are really frustrated because all their chosen candidates, their golden children, the voters keep rejecting," Cruz said Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
 
"So they seize on this plan of a brokered convention, and the D.C. power brokers will drop someone in who is exactly to the liking of the Washington establishment. If that would happen, we would have a manifest revolt on our hands all across this country."
 
In Cruz's mind, there's one way to beat Donald Trump: "with the voters."
 
With Trump leading the GOP race after a strong Super Tuesday, many Republicans are clamoring about the potential of splitting the field to prevent Trump from coming into the convention with a majority of delegates.
 
That could force delegates electing the nominee at the party's national convention to take a second vote, when most are no longer bound to a particular candidate.
 
The enthusiasm was stoked by a surprise speech by 2012 nominee Mitt Romney, who bashed Trump as a danger to the party and outlined a potential pathway to forcing the contested convention. 
 
"If the other candidates can find common ground, I believe we can nominate a person who can win the general election and who will represent the values and policies of conservatism," Romney said. 
 
"Given the current delegate selection process, this means that I would vote for Marco RubioMarco RubioRubio: 'All options should be on table' if Flynn refuses new subpoenas Rubio ‘not optimistic’ on Middle East peace DHS extends protected status for Haitians for six months MORE in Florida, for John Kasich in Ohio, and for Ted Cruz or whichever one of the other two contenders has the best chance of beating Mr. Trump in a given state."
 
While Cruz said he wasn't yet on board with the idea of a contested convention, he told the CPAC audience that Romney's remarks reflect the concerns of a majority of Republicans.