Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Republican presidential hopeful was asked by show host George Stephanopoulos what might happen if he was denied the Republican presidential nomination by virtue of a contested convention.
Trump had previously suggested there might be riots if he was denied. Although he did not say there would be riots this time, he said there would be a lot of unhappy people and added he would tell his supporters not to riot.
Partial transcript as follows:
STEPHANOPOULOS: We showed that blocking right at the top of the broadcast.
But let me — let me move on, because this comes on the heels of you saying this week there could be riots in Cleveland if you entered the Republican Convention with more delegates than anyone else but didn’t end up with the nomination.
John Kasich called that outrageous. Speaker Paul Ryan has called you out on it, as well.
Did you go too far there?
And if you don’t have the 1,237 delegates going into Cleveland, why should you be guaranteed the nomination?
TRUMP: Well, I think if I’m a few short and I have, you know, 1,200 or if I have 1,100 and somebody else is at 300 or 400 or 500, which is very likely going to be the case, and if I’m a little bit short — and one of the reasons was we had so many candidates. I mean we started off with 17 candidates. And it came down to, you know, finally, it’s down to three, frankly.
But, you know, there are so many candidates, so it’s very hard to get over that number. It’s very unfair, in a we are — but because of the fact that there’s so many candidates and so many candidates are grabbing delegates.
Now, here’s what I say, because — and now they’re out. And now they’re out.
So I think I will get over that number. I think I may get over that number fairly easily. Arizona was unbelievable yesterday. Utah, frankly, was unbelievable the day before. I think we will get over that number. There’s tremendous spirit about make America great again. I mean that’s the whole thing. We’re going to make America great again…
STEPHANOPOULOS: But if you don’t…
TRUMP: — I will say this…
STEPHANOPOULOS: — there’s nothing unfair about having…
TRUMP: — George…
STEPHANOPOULOS: — a multi-ballot convention…
TRUMP: — I think…
STEPHANOPOULOS: — is there?
TRUMP: — the biggest story in all of politics are the millions of people that are coming out to vote for me, in all fairness, for the Republican Party. They’re up 75 percent, 72 percent, 102 percent, different states in the primaries. And it’s the single biggest story worldwide in politics, is what’s happening, the millions and millions of people that are going out to vote for me.
Now I will say this, the Democrats are down 35 percent, whereas the Republicans are up over 70 percent. And in some cases, much more than that.
So I say this. If you’re going to disenfranchise all of those people, some of whom have never voted before and they’re 50 years old and older, but if you’re going to disenfranchise all of those people, Independents, Democrats — you know, we have a lot of Democrats coming over. We have a lot of Independents coming over…
STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s OK for them to riot?
TRUMP: — and we do have some people that have — we do have some people that have never voted before.
I don’t know what — I didn’t say — I — all I can say is this, I don’t know what’s going to happen. But I will say this, you’re going to have a lot of very unhappy people. And I think, frankly, for the Republicans to disenfranchise all those people, because if that happens, they’re not voting and the Republicans lose. If they — if the Republicans embrace these great people that are showing up, the Republicans are going to have a massive victory. It’s not going to be a Mitt Romney slaughter, because he was such a bad candidate.
The Republicans are going to have a massive victory in November. I can tell you that, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But will you tell your — will you tell your supporters not to riot if you lose the convention fair and square?
TRUMP: Well, I would certainly tell them that, but, you know, look, these people are — are fervent. They are really — they want to see positive things happen for our country. And I would certainly say that. I don’t want to see riots. I don’t want to see problems.
But, you know, you have — you have millions of people who we’re talking about, George, millions of additional people have gone. You know, I’ve gotten more than two million votes more than anybody else. Two million votes more than anybody else. And these are millions of — and that’s why I’m leading by so much…
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