The Donald Trump campaign is accusing the Ted Cruz campaign of staging a coordinated “attack” in Georgia that led to pro-Trump delegate candidates being challenged and deposed in every corner of the state, which Trump had won resoundingly in the primary.
“Private backroom nominations committees producing ‘recommended’ slates, county delegations voting in blocs, floor motions made targeting our supporters,” Trump national delegate director Brian Jack claimed, in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News. “This is the machine politics we read about in school, not the grassroots activism our campaign encourages.”
Trump supporters walked out of the district convention in Buford Saturday after a Cruz-Marco Rubio alliance bumped all of the potential Trump delegates off that district’s slate. But the chaos in Buford happened everywhere at Saturday’s district conventions, with Cruz supporters isolating and targeting pro-Trump delegate candidates in order to reverse Georgia’s votes on a potential second ballot at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July.
“Within an hour I knew this had happened all over the state of Georgia,” Thomas Deen, senior data analyst for the Trump campaign in Georgia, told Breitbart News. “I am aware of instances in all fourteen of our congressional districts.”
“I was speaking to someone in our third district and he said that they actually re-did the committee and replaced the committee with Cruz members and then passed motions to replace the Trump delegates with Cruz delegates,” Deen said.
“This is not an isolated incident. I spoke to Jeanie Seaver, the grassroots coordinator [on the Trump campaign]. She was kicked off being a delegate and replaced with an 18-year old kid right out of high school because he was a Cruz supporter and there was nothing she could do because the committee was just banging their gavels” shutting down dissent, Deen said.
“This was an attack. We’re not going to take it lying down.”
Breitbart News has obtained an email that Ted Cruz sent out to his supporters on the eve of the district conventions telling them to talk to the “Cruz team” at their respective convention sites to figure out their strategy for voting for Cruz delegates.
Our campaign was honored to have the support over 300,000 Georgians in the Georgia Primary on March 1st. If you supported our campaign, we humbly thank you. If you supported another candidate, I invite you to unite behind our campaign because we are the only campaign that can defeat Hillary Clinton and reignite the promise of America.
The presidential primary was just the first step in choosing the Republican nominee. This Saturday, Georgians in the 9th congressional district will take the next step by electing three delegates and three alternate delegates to the Republican National Convention.
Here’s the information about your convention:
Date: Saturday, April 16, 2016
Registration: 9:00am, Convention: 10:00am
Dillard House Convention Center
768 Franklin Street
Dillard, GA 30537
I urge you to vote for Cruz supporters at the district convention who will be strong voices for Georgia at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Please see our Cruz team at the convention for more information.
Disappointed would-be Trump delegate Diane Putnam, 68, has worked in the Republican Party in Georgia since the 1970’s. Still active in her local party, she campaigned for Reagan in the ’80s, was an advance woman for George Bush’s trip to Dalton, Georgia in 1992, and helped to elect former Governor Sonny Perdue. But her Trump support cost her a trip to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, even though she comes from a district where Trump beat Cruz two-to-one in bound delegates on the first ballot.
“The two most important things were the interview and the application to the committee with a political resume. I went into the interview so excited and came out feeling so good about it. I enjoyed talking about my experiences and how rewarding it had been to be a participant over the years,” Putnam told Breitbart News.
“Today at the district convention, that’s when the committees announced their slates. When they came out to make their announcement they said the number one slot goes to Diane Putnam. Then from the floor there was a challenge and the challenge was for me.
“She had to give a two-minute speech, and I had to give a two-minute speech … then the floor voted by raising hands. I lost by 15 or 16 votes … Well, I lost, and I lost to a Cruz challenger, and I was the only Trump delegate on the slate, so I was the one chosen to be contested.”
“They just wanted to eliminate any Trump delegate that would continue to vote for Trump. Now the slate is 2 for Cruz and one for Kasich.”
“I was told by every member of the nominating committee, they came up to me afterward and hugged me and were very sorrowful and regretful. Each of them told me that I was the only one that had a unanimous vote from the committee. They all wanted me and there was no question about me getting on the slot. They all told me they were so sorry that had happened.”
There were other examples from around the state.
“Once again, the Cruz campaign showed that they prefer the decision of who is the Republican Nominee be placed with Republican Party insiders, instead of the millions of voters that go to the polls and vote in the Republican Primary,” pro-Trump delegate nominee Debbie Dooley, who was deposed Saturday, told Breitbart News. “They demonstrated they are more than willing to overturn elections in order to elect Ted Cruz president. In Georgia, the Cruz campaign systematically worked to disenfranchise the 502,000 Georgians that cast their vote for Donald Trump on March 1st.”
“How can they override the hundreds of thousands of Georgia voters? It was … outlandish and asinine,” Thomas Deen of Trump’s Georgia campaign said. “That whole scenario was played out in all of our districts.”
“It was all pre-scripted, choreographed,” Deen said, referring specifically to Cruz people overthrowing committee members. “It doesn’t happen that fast, that’s a process that could take a whole entire day, with all the rules and ceremony. They just flew through it. It showed so clearly how the Cruz supporters were working with the established GOP committees. They put so much effort into it to make sure that this happened.”
“It left a very bad taste in my mouth,” Deen said. “I was livid.”
Despite Saturday’s events, Trump campaign is optimistic heading into New York.
“It’s important to remember that Mr. Donald J. Trump did not lose any delegates today. All of Georgia’s delegates are bound to presidential candidates for at least one ballot,” Trump national delegate director Brian Jack said. “As for the selection of delegates, we did better than most expected in Georgia, earning a majority of supporters within our delegate slots.”
“Based on the outcome of today, we’re optimistic about our prospects at the State Convention in June, where we will ensure the people of Georgia’s voice and choice for president are heard, by sending supporters of Donald J. Trump to the Republican National Convention.”