HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Ted Cruz was in the midst of a pitch to a dozen members of the Republican National Committee when the Massachusetts Party chairwoman cut him off.
“How,” pressed Kirsten Hughes, “are you going to appeal to moderates?”
She hasn’t been the only party leader to push for answers from the GOP’s 2016 contenders this week. Cruz, John Kasich and Donald Trump’s political team have spent two days humbling themselves before the 168 members of the RNC — all delegates to what could be the first contested national convention in a generation — trying to sell the party elite on the merits of their candidacies.
The three-day, beachside meeting has amounted to a dry run of the kind of aggressive delegate hunting that would define an open convention this summer in Cleveland — and it saw some sharp elbows thrown between the Cruz and Kasich teams.
Kasich backer Matt Borges, the chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, ripped Cruz’s argument that he could win in November.
“I heard him say two different times, ‘Poll after poll after poll shows me beating Hillary Clinton in the fall.’ No they don’t! They actually show the opposite. I think it’s one of these things where I think he feels like if he just says it enough times, it’ll be true,” Borges said.
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