News & Politics

Colorado GOP Responds to Trump Boss' Charge of Cruz's 'Gestapo Tactics'

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Saturday, March 19, 2016, in Fountain Hills, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

The Colorado GOP echoed a series of voices responding to comments from the Donald Trump campaign which make him seem even more like a sore loser. Trump attacked the methods of his closest challenger Ted Cruz, who has targeted delegates to the Republican National Convention in July, and alleged that Colorado’s state convention was manipulated by the Texas senator.

Cruz won in Colorado this past weekend, when the state had its convention. Cruz attended in person, and worked hard to win the support of the state’s delegates. Trump, meanwhile, lambasted his challenger. Voices in the Colorado Republican Party responded to these attacks, even as a recent study demonstrated a numerical slant in the primary system — favoring Trump, not Cruz.

“What they’re trying to do is subvert the movement with crooked shenanigans,” Trump declared. He argued that his campaign “should have won it a long time ago…but, you know, we keep losing when we’re winning.”

Paul Manafort, Trump’s newly chosen convention manager, went even further in his own comments to NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Manafort alleged that the Cruz campaign was using a “scorched earth approach,” and that “they don’t care about the party. If they don’t get what they want, they blow it up.”

Manafort declared that Cruz is “not playing by the rules.” He compared the Texas senator’s campaign organization to the secret police in Nazi Germany. “You go to his county conventions and you see the gestapo tactics.”

The Colorado Republican Party retweeted a statement in response to such bald attacks.

Cruz may be winning the delegate game on the ground, but he didn’t invent the rules. Sean Davis, co-founder of The Federalist, had something to say on that front.

State parties are local and tend to have their own unique approaches to things. To an outsider like Manafort, the local gatherings can seem foreign, and Cruz’s organizational advantage may appear sinister, but the only ones declaring foul play are those firmly in Trump’s camp.

Manafort previously worked on White House campaigns for President Gerald Ford in 1976 and Kansas Sen. Bob Dole in 1996, so he should know that local parties often have confusing systems. The Ford campaign in 1976 did not sow up the nomination before the convention, but in the final days they courted enough delegates to win on the first ballot. Trump’s chances of winning may rest on Manafort’s ability to repeat this exact tactic.

Next Page: Trump is actually benefitting from the system.

Despite Trump’s complaints about Cruz’s work wooing delegates in Colorado, the data actually shows that Trump has benefitted from the presidential nominating contest’s unfairness. Trump leads with 756 delegates, or 45 percent of all delegates awarded so far. Yet he has only won about 37 percent of all votes in primaries thus far. According to NBC’s Ari Melber, Trump has been awarded a delegate bonus of 22 percent above his raw support from voters.

Cruz, by contrast, has only received 14 percent more delegates than his popular vote margin. The Texas senator holds 545 delegates, 32 percent of those awarded, while he has only won about 28 percent of all primary votes.

Overall, Trump has been awarded 8 percent more delegates than Cruz for the same rate of voter support.

Ironically, Trump is right on when he says, “We’ve got a corrupt system. It’s not right.” He just isn’t the one on the losing end of it, as he seems to think.