Trump lashes out at ‘rigged, disgusting, dirty’ primary system
Donald Trump on Monday railed against the GOP primary process, claiming Sen. Ted Cruz is stealing the election from him through a “rigged, disgusting, dirty system.”
Speaking in upstate New York at a rally that was interrupted multiple times by protesters, Trump fumed over the weekend’s results from the Colorado state convention that saw a delegate sweep by Cruz.
Trump pointed to the media bullpen at the Times Union Center in Albany and blamed the press for refusing to point out what he described as an injustice in the Republican primary contest.
“The media itself is so dishonest,” Trump said. “Honestly, I do wonder. I’m millions of votes ahead, which they don’t even mention, they don’t even talk about. They talk about delegates. And I’m hundreds of delegates ahead but the system is rigged, folks. It’s a rigged, disgusting dirty system. It’s a dirty system and only a nonpolitician would say it.”
Trump has won more states than Cruz and has built up a healthy lead in delegates who will be pledged to him on the first ballot at the GOP convention in Cleveland in July.
But the Cruz campaign has a far stronger organization, and has been getting delegates elected to the convention that could support the Texas senator if Trump fails to reach the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination outright.
Cruz’s organizational advantage showed on Saturday in Colorado, where the state party forewent a primary or caucus and instead opted to hold a convention where grass-roots activists elect the delegates directly.
The Trump campaign didn’t even compete there, and Cruz ended up taking all 34 delegates up for grabs.
The result has been decried by Trump supporters, who have accused Cruz of stealing the election from Colorado Republicans they say have been robbed of their vote.
The controversy escalated after the state party sent out a tweet with the hashtag #NeverTrump. The state party says the tweet was not authorized and that it’s investigating the situation.
“It’s a fix because we thought we were having an election and a number of months ago they decided to do you know what — they said we’ll do it by delegate,” Trump said.
“Oh isn’t that nice. And the delegates were all there all waiting and the head guy tweeted out something by mistake and then they withdrew it, something to the effect of ‘Never Trump’ — because if I go to the voters of Colorado, we win Colorado. So it’s a crooked, crooked system.”
Trump has 743 delegates to Cruz’s 545. But if Trump fails to reach 1,237, many believe Cruz’s organizational advantage could hand him the nomination after the first vote at the convention.
For instance, Trump won the Louisiana primary, but Cruz might take home more delegates by virtue of picking-off members of Marco Rubio’s haul, as well as the five from the state that will go to the convention unbound.
Trump has threatened to sue there.
“I end up winning Louisiana and then when everything is done I find out I get less delegates than this guy that got his ass kicked,” Trump said in reference to Cruz. “Give me a break. It’s disgusting. It’s a sick system. Maybe in addition to winning we’ll clean up the system so that in future years we can have a fair contest. We might be able to clean up this dirty rotten disgusting system.”