Cruz: Voters Will Walk if RNC Steals Nomination

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From the moment Donald Trump began surging in the polls, Republican insiders have been floating the idea of a contested convention in Ohio. And over the last couple of weeks, those ideas have grown louder and more public. In an interview with Matt Lauer, 2012 nominee and outspoken Trump critic Mitt Romney actually endorsed the possibility of delegates siding with Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, or John Kasich in a second round of voting. And if Trump doesn’t manage to shore up 1,275 delegates by the time July rolls around, the party could indeed put that plan into action.

Thankfully, at least one of the candidates recognizes what a disaster that strategy would be. At the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, Cruz laid out his thoughts on a brokered convention that thwarts the will of the people.

“Any time you hear someone talking about a brokered convention, it is the Washington establishment in a fevered frenzy, they are really frustrated because all their chosen candidates, their golden children, the voters keep rejecting,” Cruz said. “So they seize on this plan of a brokered convention, and the D.C. power brokers will drop someone in who is exactly to the liking of the Washington establishment. If that would happen, we would have a manifest revolt on our hands all across this country.”

Cruz, of course, has plenty of room to oppose the strategy; the Republican establishment may be even less willing to coalesce around him than they are Trump. For Cruz to win the nomination, he knows he’s going to have to actually win. Rubio, meanwhile (and to a lesser extent, Kasich), has every reason to suspect that delegates would convert to him after being released from their first-round obligations. In fact, a contested convention may be his only shot at winning at this point.

Either way, Cruz is absolutely right. As much as some of the anti-Trump party leaders have argued that there is nothing shady or undemocratic about giving the nomination to someone other than the candidate with the highest number of delegates, voters aren’t going to be mollified by a book of regulations. And that goes double for voters who have been drawn into politics for the first time by Trump’s unique campaign.

The handwringing in recent weeks has gotten so ridiculous that you almost have to wonder if Republicans have any interest in winning back the White House. They’ve been given a golden opportunity here, and they are missing the boat in a big way. They’ve attacked Donald Trump in a way that they’ve never gone after Democrats. And in the process, they have shown their blatant contempt for the voters.