To say that things got quite testy yesterday when Sean Hannity interviewed Ted Cruz is understatement. Things heated up quickly when Hannity asked Sen. Cruz “people are telling me, that they find this whole process confusing… What actually happened in Georgia this weekend? … It is really important, people would like to know how this works. It is a process question. It’s an integrity of the election question. And everybody’s asking me this question. So, I want; I’m giving you an opportunity to explain it.”
When Hannity said that it’s “an integrity of the election question,” Hannity hinted that Sen. Cruz’s campaign wasn’t playing by the rules. That’s a low blow from Hannity. There’s nothing that indicates that Sen.Cruz is doing anything except playing by the rules. As Sen. Cruz repeatedly said, the only people complaining about Sen. Cruz’s delegate selection strategy are Trump supporters. Political reporters aren’t asking that type of question.
That’s because political reporters have read the rules. That’s why they understand the rules. That’s why they aren’t asking questions about Sen. Cruz’s strategy. Not satisfied with Sen. Cruz’s answer, Hannity followed up with this:
Senator, why do you this? Every single time you… No,you’ve got to stop. Every time I have you on the air, and I ask a legitimate question, you try to throw this in my face. I’m getting sick of it.
Saying that it’s a “legitimate question” doesn’t mean it’s a “legitimate question.” Hannity should be able to explain this to his listeners, viewers and people that follow him on social media with ease. For that matter, it’s a question anyone who’s participated in the process could explain. This isn’t that complicated … with the exception of West Virginia.
Trump spent most of last week whining about voter-less elections. This was as intentional as it was deceitful. The only reason why delegate selection is important is because Trump hasn’t expanded his support beyond his fever swamp conspiracy theory supporters.
Had Trump not been exposed as a man unable to discuss policy beyond spouting platitudes, Trump might’ve wrapped up a first ballot nomination last night. Had Trump not said so many mean-spirited things about so many people, Trump might’ve wrapped up a first ballot nomination last night.
Sen. Cruz didn’t settle for getting lectured by Hannity. Here’s his reply:
Now, there is a second component, beyond the elections, which is the individual delegates are elected by the people. Donald Trump’s campaign does not know how to organize on the grassroots. And so, when the delegates are elected, conservative activists, real conservative activists show up, and they elect delegates, and we are winning those elections over and over and over again. The Donald Trump campaign doesn’t know what they’re doing. They don’t show up.
In Colorado, the Donald Trump team was handing out flyers asking their supporters to vote for a slate of delegates, they included Cruz delegates on their slate. They just — they didn’t even know how type up a piece of paper without getting it wrong. In Washington state, when Washington state elected their delegates, three days before the election, the Donald Trump campaign, in a panic, realized Washington state was getting ready to elect their delegates.
They sent out an emergency email to their Washington supporters, but they screwed up, and sent it to their Washington, DC supporters, instead of their Washington state supporters. I cannot help that the Donald Trump campaign does not seem capable of running a lemonade stand. Elections are won by voters and grassroots activists showing up and voting for the candidate they support.
In states that had open primaries, a substantial portion of Trump’s voters weren’t Republicans. They were independents and Democrats. When Republicans pick the people who will attend the national convention, they don’t pick outsiders, which is what independents and Democrats would be at GOP state convention.
The simplest explanation for the difference is this: Winning a primary determines who many delegates will vote for the winner on the first ballot. It doesn’t determine which activists will cast those votes on the first ballot at the national convention.
In fact, this isn’t complicated. It’s Delegate Selection 101.