RUSH: Delegate selection is ongoing at state party conventions, and Arizona… Here is the headline at Politico: “Trump Flops in Arizona Delegate Fight — Donald Trump’s campaign got burned again Saturday in the hunt for loyal delegates to the Republican National Convention, this time on turf where he’d recently trounced his rivals in primary elections. Trump’s campaign showed more muscle than ever in this primary, but he still walked away in defeat in Arizona.” Are you ready for this? Trump…
There were 55 delegate slots that were up for grabs in Arizona. And, again, I don’t want to have to walk through this from the top. Let me try it again, for those of you still new to the program and may not have heard this explanation. Here’s what’s happening. A state like Arizona has its primary. During the election, the delegates to the convention who are going to go and act on the votes of the people in the primary are not known.
They’re not chosen yet. The primary usually happens in those states long before the state party convention.
The state party convention then comes, which in Arizona was last week. The Arizona primary was weeks ago. At the convention they actually choose the people that are gonna be delegates to the convention, and that is an election. It is an electoral process. Some portion of the delegates are appointed because powerful positions are made available to elected officials to appoint people. Not very many, but they’re plum. They’re equivalent, I guess, to superdelegates in a sense in the Democrat Party.
But most of them are elected. Most of them are average, ordinary party people — just average, ordinary voters may be involved in party activities who want to be delegates to the convention. They go to the convention, and the list or the field of delegates is called a slate. And the slate of delegates is who goes to the convention. And the way they vote on the first ballot is determined by who won the popular vote in that state’s primary. So, Trump’s got the delegates in Arizona. But at the convention in Arizona, 40 of the 55 delegates chosen are supporters of Ted Cruz.
And the Trump people, who do not understand how this works — and I predict this is all gonna get changed by both parties. For the next presidential race, both parties are gonna change this, even though this has been in place since before the Civil War, these rules. This is how Abraham Lincoln did it. Do you know Abraham Lincoln won the Republican nomination on the fourth ballot at his convention? The same rules that Lincoln used to win the Republican convention back then are what’s going on now. They are that old. They are that traditional.
There is nothing happening here that’s not happened before. Because once you get past the first ballot, then the delegates can vote for whoever they want. And that’s why the candidates go to these conventions — or send their emissaries — to try to secure as many personal supporters in the delegate slate as they can get. In most of these state conventions, Trump hasn’t even sent anybody because he either didn’t care, didn’t know, or didn’t think it was ever gonna be necessary because he’s always thought he was gonna win this before the convention, making all this moot.
And in most years, it is. The last time any of this ever counted was 1976. We get a nominee long before the convention because the nominee wins enough delegates in the primary that there isn’t a second ballot ’cause there’s not a contested convention. But since even now it is up for grabs whether Trump actually gets 1,237, the people that are running against him hope to delay that, forestall that, forcing a second ballot, third ballot. And then hopefully they can win in a delegate floor fight. Which is exactly how Abraham Lincoln did it.
So all of you Trump people who think that the democratic process is being violated here, it really isn’t. It just… Where it breaks down is you rightly know and conclude that Trump won the popular vote in Arizona so he gets the vast majority of delegates — and on the first ballot, the delegates have to vote for him. You were getting to a point here… This could be interesting. If we do get to a contested convention, it could well be that over half of the delegates on the floor of the convention voting for Trump on the first ballot are actually Cruz supporters.
So, yes. Even though 40 of these 55 Arizona delegates are Cruz supporters, they have to vote for Trump on the first ballot. But if it goes beyond that, then they’re free to vote however they want. That’s why candidates have always gone to these conventions to try to influence who is selected as delegates. And, as I say, this whole system is as old as Abraham Lincoln’s presidency. It’s exactly how he did it. They are the rules. But because so many people are now finding out about it and can’t digest it and don’t think it’s fair, the parties are gonna change this.
I guarantee they’re gonna try in the next four years. Don’t you think? By the time we get to 2020, there will be a different way of doing this, my guess would be. Maybe not. Because this is one of the ways the party keeps control over the proceedings. Now, over the weekend there were two separate stories out there. One was in the New York Times, and I think the other was Politico. There were two stories, folks. Fascinating stories. You know what those stories were about? These stories in both New York Times and Politico are about how Cruz delegates are starting to maybe get cold feet.
Because they’re looking at Trump winning everything. He had a five-state sweep in the Northeast. Every county, he won it. They saw him sweeping everything. All eyes are on Indiana now, but these two stories made it look like that Cruz can’t count on these delegates because the closer Trump gets to 1,237 and all that momentum keeps on, the more frightened they are to stick with Cruz. That was the point of the stories. Even some of these delegates say, “Yeah.” So they’re letting it be known to some reporters that they’re not locked to Cruz, even on the second ballot — and, by the way, they aren’t.
Second ballot, they can vote for anybody that’s running. Just because Cruz has gone in there and secured 40 of the 55 Arizona delegates as his supporters, he does not control them. They can vote for Trump on the second ballot, if they want. That’s an important feature that maybe some of the Trumpsters have not been told. The delegates are not bound on any ballot after the first. So even though Cruz is getting the lion’s share of them at these recent state conventions…
Except Florida has the first three ballots are mandatory. See, that’s another anomaly. Florida has that, and that was done for… They did that, they said that, they made that rule according to things that happened years ago that they didn’t want repeated. They had no idea. If they could rescind that, they would do it, probably. But they can’t. So in Florida, the first three ballots the delegates — all 99 of them — have to vote Trump. First ballot, second ballot, third ballot. And Trump is on the trail. He’s out there.
He’s talking about how all of this is rigged. Grab sound bite number three. This was on CNN today. Chris Cuomo was speaking with Trump. Question: “Ted Cruz says that you’re only going to be in it at the convention for one vote, if that. That he believes he’ll stop you from getting to 1,237. ‘And even if he doesn’t, look at Arizona,’ he says. ‘I went in there with my organization and we got the lion’s share of delegates. Even though the state went for Trump, these delegates are going to be with me at the convention because they want me at the GOP, not Donald Trump.’ Your response?”
TRUMP: The bosses are trying to run it. You know, it’s a rigged party. It’s a whole rigged situation. The bosses like in Arizona… The bosses… I win Arizona in a landslide. I beat Cruz so badly, it’s almost ridiculous. And then the bosses have delegates, they have delegate — a crooked delegate system where they go in and they try and get delegates so they can play games. But I tell you what: The voters wouldn’t stand for it when you win by millions of votes, and that’s what I’ve been saying: It’s a rigged system. The bosses pick whoever they want to pick. Uh, what’s the purpose of going through, uh, the primary?
RUSH: Well, look, he’s right about something here. He’s talking about “the bosses.” That’s good lingo to keep your supporters all worked up into a frenzy. But really there are no bosses here. This is just Cruz going in working these delegates. This is Cruz going in and actually getting people supporting him to run as delegates, and they do run. There are only very few who are appointed. These delegates have to win elections themselves at the state convention, and that’s what Cruz has been trying to engineer.
However, the thing that Trump is right about here is that “the bosses” — not Arizona, but “the bosses” — of the GOP do indeed, if they had a preference, there’s no doubt in my mind it would be Cruz. Now, you’re seeing stories that the establishment’s warming up to Trump. You’ll see a name here or a name there or a couple here, establishment types warming up to Trump. And they are in those instances. But overall, the GOP-E, GOP Establishment would rather there be Ted Cruz the nominee and lose the race for the White House.
They figure that there’s only one Donald Trump.
There’s not gonna be another guy like Trump coming along, but there’s all kinds of potential Ted Cruzes in the Tea Party, and they don’t want guys like Ted Cruz coming back. They just don’t. So the best thing they can do, their long-term plan in GOP Establishment — their dream now — would be for Cruz to get the nomination and then get shellacked in a landslide, and then the establishment will be able to say, “See? You conservatives, get the hell out. Just leave us alone. All you do, we lose landslides! Goldwater, Cruz, we lose in landslides! You know, you constantly tell us that our Northeastern liberal candidates like Romney and so forth lose? Well, so do you. Get the hell out!”
That’s what they want to be able to do.
RUSH: I don’t want to be misunderstood. When I say the parties are gonna change their rules, I don’t… I wasn’t clear, apparently. They’re gonna change. The problem for the parties this year is that two outsiders have exposed the way they keep control of things. The rules that are gonna change next time will make it tougher and tougher for outsiders to get anywhere. They will try. Four years from now, they’ll write some rules… Well, no. They’ll rewrite some rules next year based on what happened this year for the 2020 convention.
And the rules they write are gonna be aimed at making it tougher and tougher guys like Trump and Cruz to come along and do what they did. They’re not gonna open the system. That’s how they keep control of it. Don’t doubt me. Jan Brewer, the governor in Arizona, has been to every convention the last four or five conventions as a delegate. She lost in Arizona. It’s the first convention in four or five that she will not be a delegate at. She talked about this. She had a press conference to talk about the election irregularities at the Arizona convention.
REPORTER: The Trump button was selected more than any other button. They have stats at how many times people hit the button. But when the button was hit, Jan Brewer’s name was not selected.
BREWER: My name didn’t show up on the ballot.
REPORTER: At the same time, people pushed the Trump button more than any other button, and the Trump delegates did not win.
BREWER: And the people of Arizona got cheated. I got cheated, and the Trump delegates got cheated.
RUSH: That’s right. Jan Brewer is a Trumpster. She’s in there for Trump. She wants to go. She’s been a delegate in the Arizona convention for, I think I read, the last four or five conventions, which is 20 or 25 years — or is it every four years? Whatever, 16 to 20 years, and she got aced out. She can still go to the convention but she not gonna be a delegate on the floor. Even though there’s a lot of them, I mean, they’re prime, plum things. Now, these people talking about hitting the Trump button and votes didn’t show up?
Folks, I’m telling you what I just said before the break. It’s not a theory. I’m not guessing. This is… If the establishment could write the script here, Cruz would be the nominee. They want it demonstrated. They would… Since they think they’re gonna lose it to Hillary either way, folks. You’ve gotta understand that: They think they’re gonna lose either way; therefore, the way they’re thinking is it’s better to lose with Cruz, ’cause that would say forever, “No conservative should ever get the nomination and lose in a landslide.” They’ll be done with it. “And take the social issues with you, by the way,” they’ll say.