Republican front-runner Donald Trump said Tuesday the Republican National Committee delegate rules are “stacked against” him, and criticized the delegate allocation process in Colorado.
“I know the rules very well, but I know that it’s stacked against me and by the establishment,” Trump said at a CNN town hall Tuesday night. “I fully understand it. We had people out there and they weren’t heard.”
The New York businessman railed against Colorado’s complex primary process this year, in which some voters and party insiders selected delegates to represent them at the convention, but did not vote for a candidate. Colorado opted for that system in order to prevent all of the delegates from being bound to the results of a state-wide straw poll.
The process, which began March 1, ended Saturday and resulted in Cruz winning all 34 of the state’s delegates. Thirty of these delegates are pledged to Cruz and the other four are unpledged party officials who have promised to support the Texas senator but are not bound, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Ahead of his CNN appearance Tuesday, Trump called the nominating process “rigged” and said it was run by “crooked politicians” at a rally in New York, Fox News reports.
“Our Republican system is absolutely rigged,” Trump said. “It’s a phony deal.”
In August, the Colorado Republican Party decided to cancel its presidential straw poll after the national party changed its rules to bind delegates to the caucus winner, a move that critics like Trump have argued favors establishment candidates by taking the choice from voters and instead allowing activists and party insiders to choose the delegates.
“They changed the rules a number of months ago,” Trump said Tuesday. “You know why they changed the rules? Because they saw how I was doing and they didn’t like it.”
When CNN’s Anderson Cooper suggested he could have had a better ground game in the state, Trump said it wouldn’t have made a difference because of the rule change last year in Colorado’s allocation of delegates. The new process favored candidates, such as Cruz, with a strong ground game.
RNC chairman Reince Priebus responded to Trump’s charges Tuesday night, tweeting, “Nomination process known for a year + beyond. It’s the responsibility of the campaigns to understand it. Complaints now? Give us all a break.”
Nomination process known for a year + beyond. It’s the responsibility of the campaigns to understand it. Complaints now? Give us all a break
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) April 13, 2016
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