Colorado sweep by Cruz enflames Trump supporters
Trump supporters are crying “foul” over the results of Colorado’s congressional district-level selection of delegates to the Republican National Convention, where Ted Cruz supporters swept the field. Newly hired Trump campaign ground game poobah Paul Manafort even charged the Cruz campaign with using “Gestapo tactics,” visibly startling Meet the Press’s Chuck Todd:
In his first Sunday show interview since taking on an expanded role in Donald Trump's campaign, Paul Manafort was quick to raise questions about the tactics Sen. Ted Cruz' campaign is using to secure delegates.
After being asked whether threatening delegates is fair game in the hunt for the 1,237 required to secure the republican nomination, Manafort responded, "It's not my style, and it's not Donald Trump's style. … But it is Ted Cruz's style." He then called the Cruz campaign's methods "Gestapo tactics, scorched-earth tactics."
Manafort did not back up his accusations with specific incidents but said, "We're going to be filing several protests because reality is, you know, they are not playing by the rules."
The Colorado Republican Party’s Twitter account handed ammunition to the Trump camp at the conclusion of the meetings when a tweet appeared and was quickly deleted stating, "We did it. #NeverTrump."
Steve House, the Colorado GOP chairman, insisted his staff had nothing to do with the tweet and is now investigating.
"There's no way we tweeted that," House said, although he acknowledged that the state party was responsible for deleting it.
There was another blunder – or dirty trick, if you prefer:
That mistake centers around one prospective delegate, Larry Singer, who filed paperwork to run as a delegate in Colorado's 3rd congressional district. But when the election was held on Friday, Singer's name did not appear on the ballot. Somewhere along the way, someone had lost his paperwork.
House tried to remedy the problem, placing Singer on the ballot to run for one of 13 at-large delegate slots up for grabs at Saturday's statewide assembly. As one of more than 600 delegates for those slots, Singer, not surprisingly, came up short.
In that sense, he is not unlike almost every other person who filed papers to be a delegate. He is, however, unlike all the other delegate candidates in one way: he is the brother of Paul Singer, the New York City hedge fund magnate and one of the conservative movement's most coveted donors, often a 7-figure contributor and one of the funders of the conservative infrastructure that's been built in Colorado and across the country.
"This is the one guy who wants to get on who the party should recognize we need to get on because he basically pays for all this," said one local GOP operative. "He wound up being number 600 [on the ballot] and he wasn't even listed on the program because they ran out of paper."
Another disgusted Trump supporter Larry Wayne Lindsey from Douglas County had his name removed from the ballot. He posted this video after he was scratched from the ballot without his knowledge after driving to Colorado Springs for the convention.
“I’ve been a lifelong Republican all of my life. And this corrupt bunch of thieves is not even worth fighting for. I’ll find another party that believes more like I do. I’ve had it with them. But Jan Morgan you’re not going to get away with this. I’ll find somebody to listen to me. I’ll find someway to hold you accountable for this.”
Drudge, who is all in for Trump, is featuring charges of dirty tricks on his page this morning, linking at the top to a six-months-old article denouncing rules changes in the Colorado delegate selection process – rules that were clear to all candidates but acted upon by Cruz alone, apparently.
The Cruz forces have proven themselves very well organized, while Trump is playing catch-up with his ground game. The question facing voters is whether or not methodical planning and careful execution are qualities necessary in a president, and if so, which candidates promise to bring these skills to the White House. The Trump forces, meanwhile, are clearly preparing to challenge the seating of Colorado and perhaps other delegations favoring Cruz if Trump does not reach the magic 1,237 delegates pledged on the first ballot.