Sen. Ted Cruz speculated on CBS’s Face the Nation that if he wins the nomination on a late ballot at a contested convention in Cleveland, “Donald [Trump] may do everything he can to encourage riots.”
Host John Dickerson asked Cruz on CBS’s Sunday morning program whether he is able to “overthrow” Trump at the Republican National nominating convention in Cleveland. “In a situation of delegates over people, won’t that lead to riots?”
Cruz called the use of the word “overthrow” a “loaded spin word” after stating, “No, it won’t, although Donald may do everything he can to encourage riots.”
— CBS News Politics (@CBSPolitics) May 1, 2016
In mid-March, Trump said, “I think we’ll win before getting to the convention, but I can tell you, if we didn’t and if we’re 20 votes short or if we’re 100 short and we’re at 1,100 and somebody else is at 500 or 400, because we’re way ahead of everybody, I don’t think you can say that we don’t get it automatically. I think it would be — I think you’d have riots. I think you’d have riots.”
Cruz has repeatedly made statements such as “the people would quite rightly revolt” if the establishment tries to parachute in a “white knight” establishment candidate. However, he declared that such an event “ain’t gonna happen” during an April town hall event in Madison, Wisconsin.
Cruz was also asked: “Your theory about how you’ll get the nomination relies on you going to an open convention and overthrowing the delegate lead that Donald Trump has. In order for that to happen, you can’t do that without the help of the Washington establishment that you’ve just been talking about.”
“The test is to win a majority,” Cruz responded. The Texas senator has repeatedly referred to contested conventions where the frontrunner did not win the nomination. Gerald Ford and Abraham Lincoln are among those that have won such nominations.
“I’ll use a football analogy. If you’re on the 30 yard line, it’s not a touchdown. Donald right now is on the 30 yard line and he wants everybody to say, ‘hey, the game is over,’ because, you know, ‘I’m past the 50.’ So what? He cannot win a majority.”
Cruz emphasized that both he and Trump will come into a contested convention with “a bunch of delegates.”
Trump has hammered away at his vote and delegate leads over Cruz.
Cruz was further asked whether he denies that he is the establishment’s preferred candidate. He responded with comments from former House Speaker John Boehner, who called him “Lucifer in the flesh” and said that he is texting and golfing buddies with Trump. Cruz also went after Trump senior campaign aide Paul Manafort for his history in politics.
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