Trump draws RNC reproach over ‘rigged’ primary charge, lost key deadlines

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 8:00 PM

That prompted a cutting retort from Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. Nomination process known for a year + beyond.

Trump draws RNC reproach over ‘rigged’ primary charge, lost key deadlines

While Donald Trump turns his campaign attacks toward his own party -- alleging the nominating process is “rigged” -- he'south lost critical deadlines and being outmaneuvered by the Ted Cruz campaign, as frustrated party leaders tell the front-runner: "Give us all a break."

The billionaire businessman said Tuesday night at a CNN town corridor that he knows the rules “very well” but those rules are “stacked” against him by the establishment.

That prompted a cutting retort from Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

Nomination process known for a year + beyond. It's the responsibility of the campaigns to realize it. Complaints now? Give us all a break

— Reince Priebus (@Reince) April thirteen, two thousand sixteen

The dispute over process is building as Cruz’s operation has proved more adroit lately in getting supporters elected as the real delegates who'll attend July’south convention. Latest weekend at the CO state convention, he gained all thirty-four delegates to this summer's conference in Cleveland.

On the sidelines, he’s also working to obtain allies elected as delegates in states that – unlike Colorado – keep traditional primaries and caucuses that distribute delegates based on voting.

In those states, delegates “bound” to Trump or Cruz or OH Gov. John Kasich would've to vote for their respective candidates on the first ballot at the convention. But if there’s an open convention – meaning nobody has the required 1.237 delegate to clinch the nomination – Cruz is banking on his delegate allies to surge over to his side on a second ballot, which many would be allowed to do.

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The WA Post reported Wednesday that based on their own analysis, Cruz could choose up at least one hundred thirty – and as many as one hundred seventy or more – extra delegate votes on the second ballot at an open convention.

This would create it even harder for Trump to lock down the nomination, upping the pressure on the front-runner to clinch the party nod by the final June contests. The campaign has insisted they can do this, and that Cruz won’t obtain the opportunity to utilize his backup delegate allies on a second ballot.

But the Trump campaign has made it harder on itself by lost crucial deadlines in a no of states to lock up delegates who'd stay faithful beyond the first ballot.

Trump'south team is only presently starting to be engaged in in the delegate choice process, the choosing of the real people who'll attend and vote at the convention. Republicans have already selected delegates in at minimum nine states. And in others, such as VA and Arizona, the deadline to apply to be a delegate has passed.

Indiana'south primary, for example, won't get space until following month. But the deadline to become a national conference delegate was in mid-March. Anti-Trump forces reportedly have already been lining up delegates who'd turn on Trump at a contested convention.

"Are we concerned? Yes, definitely," said Tony Samuel, vice chairman of Trump'south Indiana campaign.

The Cruz team feels the opposite.

"Even if (Trump) jumped into high gear, he can't do it," said Shak Hill, a Cruz campaign boss in Virginia. "That'south where he'south been close out of the game."

Trump is just ramping up his operation, but in some states he'south too late.

In Virginia — a state where Trump won the primary — he's missed the deadlines to gather lists of potential delegates. Cruz, however, has delegate candidates in tenth of Virginia's eleven congressional districts.

The application deadline was last month.

Indiana'south primary is May three, but twenty-seven of the state's fifty-seven delegates — the real people — have already been selected at congressional district caucuses. The deadline to register as a candidate for delegate was March 15.

In the at minimum nine states that have picked some or all of their delegates, Trump has won a total of one hundred delegates in primaries and caucuses in these states. In most, however, the candidates had number formal role in selecting the people who'll fill those slots.

Trump, meanwhile, is banking on rallying favorite support – which so distant has kept him distant out in front in the Republican field – in hopes of winning the nomination outright.

"Our Republican system is absolutely rigged. It'south a phony deal," Trump told a rally in a packed airport hangar in Rome, N. Y., Tuesday evening.

"These are filthy tricksters," he said, placing the blame on the Republican National Committee. "They should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this kind of crap to happen," he added.

He went further a few hours later during the CNN town corridor in NY City, suggesting the RNC was actively working to defeat him.

"The RNC doesn't love this happening. They don't love that I'm putting up my own money because it means they don't have any control over me," Trump said.

Cruz tore into Trump in a radio interview Tuesday, accusing his rival of being a bully, inciting violence and using filthy tricks to intimidate voters and delegates. Cruz unloaded on Trump over reports that his supporters were publishing the residence addresses of delegates in CO and threatening to create public the hotel room numbers of delegates at the conference this summer.

"That is the tactic of union thugs," Cruz told host Glenn Beck. "That is violence. It is oppressive."

Cruz conceded that Trump will do well in upcoming primaries, including in Trump'south residence state of NY following Tuesday. Cruz said he'll fare better when the race shifts back W to Indiana, Nebraska, SD and Montana, before finishing in CA on June 7.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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