Report: Rubio trying to keep his delegates from Trump
© Getty Images

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTrump appears to confirm deal on Chinese firm ZTE Hillicon Valley: Experts worry North Korea will retaliate with hacks over summit | FBI works to disrupt Russian botnet | Trump officials look to quell anger over ZTE | Obama makes case for tighter regs on tech Putting pressure on Trump, House passes bill barring government from doing business with ZTE MORE (R-Fla.) is lobbying his delegates to back him on the first ballot at the GOP convention in hopes of denying Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump and Kim fight PR war as summit talks collapse Trump appears to confirm deal on Chinese firm ZTE Judge rejects Manafort's attempt to throw out some charges MORE the nomination, a new report says.

The Washington Examiner reported Tuesday that Rubio mailed the Alaska Republican Party a letter about keeping delegates he won in its caucuses last month.

“The decision to suspend my campaign for president of the United States is not intended to release any national convention delegates bound to me as a result of the 2016 delegate selection process that took place in your state,” he wrote in the letter, obtained by the Examiner.

ADVERTISEMENT
“It is my desire at this time that the delegates allocated to me by your rules remain bound to vote for me on at least the nominating ballot at the national convention.”

Rubio suspended his White House run earlier this month after finishing second in Florida’s GOP presidential primary.

The remaining GOP candidates, Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP senators introduce Trump's plan to claw back billion in spending Pro-Trump super PAC raises .5 million in 6 weeks Trump has exposed Democratic hypocrisy on prison reform MORE (Texas) and Gov. John Kasich (Ohio), are both trying to prevent front-runner Trump from getting the nomination. Having Rubio keep his delegates together would help efforts to deny Trump the nomination on the first ballot. 

“Of course, he’s no longer a candidate and wants to give voters a chance to stop Trump,” Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos told the Examiner in an email.

Alaska GOP Chairman Peter Goldberg on Monday authorized Rubio’s request to send the letter after consulting with Republican National Committee lawyers.

“We treated the Marco Rubio campaign in the same manner we treated all other campaigns that suspended,” he said in a statement.

If Rubio had not asked his five delegates to back him on the convention's first ballot, Cruz and Trump would have had an equal number of delegates from Alaska. But now, Trump loses three delegates, while Cruz loses two, giving the Texas senator a 13-12 edge in the state.

Overall, Trump leads the remaining Republican presidential field with 736 delegates, according to the latest RealClearPolitics delegate count.

Cruz ranks second with 463 delegates, while Rubio is third with 171 delegates, and Kasich is last with 143 delegates, despite remaining in the race.

At least 1,237 delegates are necessary to secure the GOP presidential mantle at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next summer.