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Thread: Donald Trump, Losing Ground, Tries to Blame the System

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Donald Trump, Losing Ground, Tries to Blame the System

    Donald Trump, Losing Ground, Tries to Blame the System


    Donald J. Trump spoke in Albany on Monday.CreditNathaniel Brooks for The New York Times

    WASHINGTON — Donald J. Trump and his allies are engaged in an aggressive effort to undermine the Republican nominating process by framing it as rigged and corrupt, hoping to compensate for organizational deficiencies that have left Mr. Trump with an increasingly precarious path to the nomination.

    Their message: The election is being stolen from him.

    On Tuesday, Mr. Trump berated the politicians he said were trying to stop his nomination and denounced the Republican Party, which he cast as complicit in the theft.

    “Our Republican system is absolutely rigged. It’s a phony deal,” he said, accusing party leaders of maneuvering to cut his supporters out of the process. “They wanted to keep people out. This is a dirty trick.”

    His charges built on comments in the last few days by associates, senior advisers and Mr. Trump himself, seeking to cast a shadow of illegitimacy over the local and state contests to select delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July.

    By blaming the process rather than his own inadequacies as a manager, Mr. Trump is trying to shift focus after Senator Ted Cruz of Texas outmaneuvered him in delegate contests in states like Colorado, North Dakota and Iowa, losses that could end up denying Mr. Trump the nomination.

    Asked about the appearance of disorganization, Mr. Trump said in an interview, “You have to remember I’m leading.” He added, “I’m more than 200 delegates ahead, so over all, I’m doing very well.”

    But in what sounded like a wink-wink aside, he said, “Don’t forget, I only complain about the ones where we have difficulty.”

    The new approach is a tacit admission that Mr. Trump’s campaign, which has been so reliant on national news coverage and mass communication via Twitter, has not been able to compete in the often intimate and personal game that is delegate courtship.

    His effort to sow doubt about the system plays into the suspicions and anxieties that many of his most ardent backers have about a political process they believe has intentionally disenfranchised them. And it allows Mr. Trump to divert attention from his recent losses in delegate races occurring all over the country.

    Mr. Trump has a pattern of claiming fraud when an election does not go his way. And his critics say this kind of misdirection is his specialty.

    “If Trump can’t win something, he’ll always say it’s someone else’s fault,” said Stuart Stevens, a Republican strategist who has advised several presidential candidates, most recently Mitt Romney in 2012. “Donald Trump is a place you go to settle scores,” he added, noting Mr. Trump’s tendency to play on grievances, whether political, economic or racial.

    “And that’s what he’s selling. ‘You’ve been cheated here, you’ve been cheated there,’ ” Mr. Stevens said. “ ‘I’ll get yours.’ ”

    After losing the Iowa caucuses, Mr. Trump insisted that Mr. Cruz had prevailed by duping Ben Carson supporters into voting for him afterspreading a false rumor that Mr. Carson was dropping out of the race. “Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it!” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter at the time.

    Mr. Trump’s complaints also reflect the difficult math he seems likely to face at the convention.

    Each delegate denied pushes him further away from winning the nomination on the first ballot, after which most delegates would be free to vote for someone else. And after the most recent rounds of voting, Mr. Cruz is poised to have many loyal supporters who would stand with him on a second ballot or beyond.

    Supporters gathered Tuesday at Griffiss International Airport in Rome, N.Y. In response to recent setbacks, Mr. Trump has begun to say that Republican leaders are trying to cut his voters out of the nominating process.CreditNathaniel Brooks for The New York Times

    The Trump campaign has, by its own admission, fallen perilously behind in the delegate effort, narrowing Mr. Trump’s road to the nomination with each contest.

    The outlook in the coming weeks is not much better. Even if Mr. Trump prevails in high-profile battles like next week’s New York primary, there are growing signs that he is not well equipped to succeed in the lower-profile skirmishes for delegates.

    There, Mr. Cruz has an advantage. His campaign recently hired Ken Cuccinelli, a conservative former attorney general of Virginia and a veteran of the state’s internecine Republican battles, to oversee its effort to send pro-Cruz delegates to Cleveland.

    The process for choosing delegates can be convoluted and arcane. Even if one candidate wins a state, the delegates who are supposed to vote for him at the convention might privately support one of his opponents, and could do so formally after the first ballot. In some states, like Colorado, delegates selected at a district caucus then vote for separate delegates to the national convention. Because the approach varies by state, campaigns must be well versed in each set of rules.

    In an interview, Mr. Cuccinelli noted that 28 states or districts will select delegates this weekend. “We’ll have them all covered,” he said by phone from the Cruz campaign’s Houston headquarters, where he spends much of his time.

    Mr. Cuccinelli said he had only recently detected evidence that Mr. Trump’s staff was engaged in the shadow campaign to elect favorable delegates at state and local conventions.

    “We are very blessed that our opponent had no idea what he was doing on this until about a month ago,” Mr. Cuccinelli said. “A media-only campaign has its advantages, but it also has its very severe disadvantages.” Mr. Trump’s newly hiredchief delegate strategist, Paul J. Manafort, did not respond to an interview request.

    By taking the battle for delegate selection seriously only at this relatively late date, Mr. Trump may have crippled his hopes to win a multiballot convention. That is because in many states, the deadline for individuals to run for delegate has already come and gone.

    In 10 of Virginia’s 11 congressional districts, for example, the deadline has passed to run for one of the three delegate slots available to each district. And as the elections in which those 33 delegates will be chosen unfold in the coming weeks, the Cruz campaign plans to have a presence.

    Arkansas is another case in point. The deadline to apply to be a candidate for delegate was in February. And since the list of applicants became available early last month, Cruz volunteers in each of the state’s 75 counties have been vetting it for people they believe will be most loyal to him at the convention. Arkansas delegates are required to vote for the candidate they are pledged to based on primary results for only one ballot. After that, it is their choice.

    “If Senator Cruz is going to be president, then we need to make sure we have people who are loyal to Ted Cruz who are going to Cleveland as delegates,” said Bob Ballinger, a Republican state representative and the Cruz campaign’s Arkansas chairman. The goal, Mr. Ballinger added, is to find people “who are willing to go down and will stick with him through a second or third vote if it comes down to that.”

    This effort has already dealt Mr. Trump serious setbacks. In Colorado on Saturday, Mr. Cruz’s organizational muscle helped him capture all 34 delegates at stake.

    And in Iowa, which also chose delegates over the weekend, Mr. Cruz’s success could go a long way in helping him if the convention gets to a second ballot. Though Iowa binds its delegates on the first ballot for candidates based on the proportion of the vote they received in the statewide caucuses Feb. 2, they are free to vote as they please after that.

    Cruz supporters in Iowa were elected to 11 of the 12 delegate slots that were filled over the weekend and secured five of eight spots on a commission that will nominate another delegate slate.

    Jeff Kaufmann, the chairman of the Iowa Republican Party, said it was clear that the Cruz campaign was outworking its rivals.

    “Organization still matters,” he said.


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  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Donald Trump: Rules 'stacked against me'

    By MJ Lee, CNN Politics Reporter
    Updated 11:22 PM ET, Tue April 12, 2016

    New York (CNN)Donald Trump said Tuesday night that the political system is "stacked against me," and accused the Republican Party of conspiring to stop him from clinching the party's nomination.

    At a special CNN town hall in New York City ahead of next Tuesday's crucial New York primary, Trump said: "I know the rules very well, but I know it's stacked against me by the establishment."
    His comments elicited a tough response from Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who tweeted: "Nomination process known for a year + beyond. It's the responsibility of the campaigns to understand it. Complaints now? Give us all a break."
    The feud between Trump and rival Ted Cruz engulfed the RNC Tuesday night, after the GOP presidential front-runner at CNN's town hall blasted "unfair" results in Colorado. He was swept there in the delegate hunt by Cruz at a party convention this weekend. A similar outcome emerged from Louisiana, where he won the primary but Cruz is seeking to sway delegates.
    Those developments, Trump said, were the result of establishment Republicans working against his campaign.

    "They changed the rules a number of months ago," Trump told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "You know why they changed the rules? Because they saw how I was doing and they didn't like it."

    Trump, saying the Republican Party is "100%" controlled by the Republican National Committee, said he believes the RNC is rooting against him.

    READ: Trump touts wrong evangelical leader as supporter

    "No, I don't think so," Trump said, responding to a question from Cooper on whether he believes the RNC does not want him to get the GOP nomination.

    'Give us a break'

    Without mentioning Trump by name, Priebus' tweet Tuesday night sent a clear message about how he felt about the front-runner's complaints.

    It also further escalates an ongoing feud between the GOP front-runner and Priebus. In an interview with The Hill earlier in the day, Trump called the GOP's nominating process a "scam."
    "It's a disgrace for the party. And Reince Priebus should be ashamed of himself," Trump had said. "He should be ashamed of himself because he knows what's going on."

    Softer side

    In the rare family appearance, Trump's wife, Melania, and children -- Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr. and Tiffany -- shared the spotlight with the Republican presidential front-runner at Tuesday's town hall, answering questions from New York voters in the audience.
    Ivanka Trump called politics "a vicious industry," and said she and her siblings are committed to supporting their father.
    "We know what he could bring to the country so we're just happy to support him," she said.

    Tiffany Trump, the daughter of Trump and his second wife Marla Maples, said: "Whenever my father puts his heart and soul into something, he goes full force."
    As soon as Trump announced his campaign, she added, "All of us knew, you know, here we go."
    She also said the quality she most admires in her father is his work ethic.
    RELATED: Trump rages against the machine
    "His hard work ethic is truly inspiring. Whenever I'm at school studying these long hours ... It just makes me want to continue to work harder and improve myself and keep on pushing to my limit," she said.
    Eric Trump said his father was perhaps his "best friend in the entire world."
    "He's been the greatest father in the world. He's an amazing deal maker," he said.
    Trump's treatment of women

    Responding to criticism Trump has received on the way he has spoken about women, Ivanka said her father's respect for women was evident in how he raised her and her sister, Tiffany.

    "It's a testament to the fact that he believes in inspiring women, in empowering women," she said.
    She added that her father instilled in her the belief that she has "the potential to accomplish exactly what her brothers could."
    "To me, his actions speak louder than words spoken by other politicians," Ivanka said.
    Tiffany said her father has "just had faith in me."
    "He wants us to do the best, and he has the utmost faith that we can accomplish whatever set our minds to just as well as men, if not better," she said.
    Melania Trump added that her husband treats men and women equally.
    "He treats everyone equally, so if you're a woman and they attack him, he will attack back no matter who they are," she said. "We are all human. He encourages everybody, you're a man or a woman."

    Acting 'presidential'

    Trump's family members said they have privately pleaded with Trump at times to tone down his rhetoric and sound more "presidential" in the public spotlight.
    Asked by an audience member whether he speaks to his family in the same manner he speaks to his GOP rivals at the presidential debates, Trump joked: "I think I'm much nicer to them."
    The businessman said his family is constantly asking him to be "nicer" at the debates -- a piece of advice that he said he has had trouble following.

    "They're always saying be nicer on the debates," Trump said. "They're coming at me from all these different angles -- how can I be nice? I can't do that."
    Ivanka Trump said watching her father run for president has taught her how difficult it is for politicians to avoid getting into battles. Though she has asked her father to hold back sometimes, she says she now also understands his instincts to hit hard.
    "It's like a cage match. They're jumping on him, hitting him from the left, hitting him from the right," she said. "I don't think you can be particularly laid back and make it through this experience."


    Trump and his family also discussed the candidate's prolific use of social media -- particularly Twitter. Trump has been criticized on multiple occasions during the 2016 campaign for tweeting or retweeting inflammatory things.
    "It kind of makes him the person he is," Eric Trump said, calling his father "authentic." "I think that's actually what makes him the great candidate that he is."
    Trump said he believes Twitter is a "powerful" forum, even as he acknowledged that some of his retweets have gotten him in trouble.
    "There is some genius there," he said. "You have to find the right genius. It is a powerful thing."
    As president, he added, he would use Twitter "very little."
    His wife, Melania, said she's learned that it is futile to try to pull him back on social media.
    "I say, OK, do whatever you want," she said. "He's an adult. He knows the consequences."

    New York primary

    The town hall comes ahead of New York's Republican primary next Tuesday. Trump, who was born in Queens and now resides in the famous Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, is expected to easily win the state's contest next week, where 95 delegates are at stake.

    Trump has 54% of support among likely New York GOP primary voters, according to a recent Fox News poll. GOP rivals Ohio Gov. John Kasich trails with 22% and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has just 15% support.
    Tuesday's event with the Trump clan is the second of three consecutive family town halls CNN is hosting this week.
    On Monday night, Kasich took the stage with his wife, Karen, and two daughters, Emma and Reese. The family discussed everything from how the daughters deal with political attacks on their father, to Kasich's quirky habits to how the governor believes a potential contested convention this summer would play out.
    Wednesday's CNN town hall will feature Cruz and his wife, Heidi.

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  5. #5
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    Regardless of Trumps positions, I don't think I have ever seen a political party do as much to stop one of its own candidates from being nominated as a direct result of voter favor. What the party fails to realize is they are not allowing the process to occur naturally. Their interference can result in a break from the party in the end for election purposes and no matter what, without Trumps supporters it would be very unlikely for any GOP nominee to win a general election. The 1237 is a fixed position that has not changed, but all of the meandering around it by the rule makers and pandering allowed by the party to the delegates render the process itself questionable if the bosses don't like where it is headed.
    Judy likes this.

  6. #6
    Administrator ALIPAC's Avatar
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    The New York Times is so pathetic and so overtly biased just like the Washington Post. They are hitting Trump like some kind of billionaire backed super pac!

    Judy likes this.
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