Trump blasts ‘rigged’ rules on picking Republican delegates

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Apr 13, 2016 09:47 IST
Trump has 743 bound delegates to 545 for Cruz, according to an Associated Press count, in the battle for the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination on the first ballot and avoid a messy floor fight at the Republican National Convention from July 18-21. (AFP)

After running a campaign high on insults, bluster and some baloney, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has displayed an unusual side of himself lately, a whiner, complainer.

Or that’s how Ted Cruz, his closet rival for the ticket, is seeking to portray him. “Donald has been yelling and screaming. A lot of whining. I’m sure some cursing. And some late-night fevered tweeting,” Cruz told supporters in California on Monday.

Trump has indeed been complaining a lot. First about Colorado state, which he lost comprehensively to Cruz on Monday, having been caught completely unprepared for the state’s unique nominating process that went on for two months.

Accusing Cruz of “buying” votes in Colorado, Trump told Fox News on Monday, “I’m an outsider, and I came into the system...but the system is rigged, it’s crooked.”

Colorado chose not to hold caucuses or primary this year, and elected delegates for the convention through a series of meetings. Cruz campaigned there, but Trump did not.

Despite the defeat in Colorado, Trump holds a 743-545 lead over Cruz in delegate count, and is on course to handily winning the New York primary on April 19, according to polls.

Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner on the Democratic side, is also poised to take New York, say polls, widening her 1,287-1,037 lead over Bernie Sanders — their threshold is 2,382.

The war of words has been getting testier in both races in the run-up to the crucial primary, specially so on the Republican side, with Trump realizing that winning New York won’t be enough.

All estimates show that the flashy real estate tycoon is likely to fall short of the threshold of 1,237 delegates to win the nomination by the end of the nominating process in June.

Therefore in all probability, the Republican nominee will be chosen at the party’s national convention in Cleveland, Ohio in July, by delegates through one or more rounds of votes.

While Cruz has prepared assiduously for it — thus his attention to detail and Colorado — Trump chose to whine and gripe about the delegate system, questioning its fairness.

He has argued that the nomination should be given to him for winning the maximum delegates even if the aggregate fell short of the threshold. The party doesn’t agree, of course.

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