As GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s feud with the Republican National Committee heats up over their primary rules being unfair to him, one committee member is suggesting that Trump might be able to clinch the nomination with less than the 1,237 necessary. Georgia lawyer Randy Evans, who is a Republican National Committee Rules Committee member spoke to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” on Wednesday morning, April 13, 2016, where he said 1,100 delegates might be enough for Trump to secure the nomination. The comments come as Trump complains about the “unfair” and “corrupt” nominating process that has been making it difficult for him to clinch the magic number of delegates.
Evans spoke to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” saying, “If Donald Trump exceeds 1,100 votes, he will become the nominee, even though he may not have 1,237.” Evans went even further saying if Trump gets over 1,000 delegates there is a possibility he could still be nominated. Evans explained, “Then in the middle there’s that gray area between 1,000 and 1,100, and that’s where the unbound delegates or the delegates that have been released by other candidates come into play to see if there are enough of those to get either [Ted] Cruz or Trump over the finish line.”
RNC spokesman Michael Short contradicted Evans in a tweet afterwards, saying, “You need 1237. Period. No ands, ifs or buts.” Evans was forced to clarify his remarks, saying only if Trump were close he would be able to garner the support of unbound delegates, but the magic number of 1,237 delegates is not flexible.
So far, the large GOP field has narrowed down to frontrunner Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. The GOP establishment has been doing anything possible to block Trump from the nomination. Most of the establishment and party leaders are lining up and now supporting Trump’s primary opponent Texas Senator Ted Cruz hoping to force a contested convention.
Trump is now in a personal war with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus for the nominating process and the way the party leaders have been against him. Speaking at a CNN town hall in New York City, Trump criticized the party, saying, “I know the rules very well, but I know it’s stacked against me by the establishment.” Trump also called the results from the Colorado GOP convention “unfair.”
Trump has been angry at the nominating system and RNC since his dramatic loss at the Colorado Republican Party convention on Saturday, April 9 at the hands of the party’s leaders. On Sunday, April 10, Trump called the system “crooked” or “corrupt” numerous times during a Rochester, New York campaign rally. Trump was shut out in Colorado while Texas Senator Ted Cruz swept up all the delegates. Trump is facing a similar problem in Louisiana, after winning the primary Cruz is persuading the delegates to support him at the convention.
Priebus responded harshly admonishing the frontrunner on Twitter, writing, “Nomination process known for a year + beyond. It’s the responsibility of the campaigns to understand it. Complaints now? Give us all a break.” On Wednesday, April 13, Priebus gave a more elaborate answer to the GOP frontrunner’s complaints, “I have to respond when the party I’m chairman of is being attacked. It’s just not true.” The GOP Chairman believes, “This is going to blow over. I believe this is some frustration that has bubbled up.” Adding, “The rules are not being changed.”
Trump gave an exclusive interview to The Hill before the CNN town hall at Trump Tower, where he blamed Priebus. Trump said, “It’s a disgrace for the party. And Reince Priebus should be ashamed of himself. He should be ashamed of himself because he knows what’s going on.” Trump believes the people should be voting, “I would have won Colorado. It’s not democracy. … It’s such a sad thing that the Republican Party has come to this.” Continuing, Trump gave his solution to the problem, “The Republican system is unfair, unjust, and they should create a fair system based on votes – not a system like they have now that is based on politics as usual.”
The opposition to Trump has been successful; Cruz has been racking primary wins recently by wide margins, because of the party’s support and grabbing up delegates. Cruz has proved a formidable threat with the backing of conservative and evangelical leaders and voters, but he could never win enough delegates in the remaining contests and could only win the nomination at a contested convention. His campaign has been working to secure delegates including all 34 from Colorado.
Cruz and the GOP establishment’s anti-Trump campaign and the “Never Trump movement” are making it harder for the embattled frontrunner. According to the Associated Press’ latest count, Trump has 743 delegates while, Cruz has 532 delegates, still a 200 plus delegates deficit; 1237 delegates are needed to clinch the nomination. Trump would need to win 64 percent of the rest of the available delegates up for grabs to secure the nomination outright before the convention.