GOP should abandon Rule 40B in 2016
In an interview with Hugh Hewitt on his radio show, on March 31, Karl Rove said Ted Cruz misinterprets Rule 40 about who can appear on the ballot during the convention. Mr. Cruz had said on March 30 that only the candidate with eight or more state victories – the majority of the delegates in those states – has the right to appear.
Rule 40B says that in order to have your name officially placed in nomination with a speech and seconding speeches, you have to have the majority of delegates in a certain number of states. I believe it’s eight states. But it does not say that those are the only candidates that you can vote for.
However, the plain reading of Rule 40, Paragraph B, the key one, supports Cruz. The paragraph says:
(b) Each candidate for nomination for President of the United States and Vice President of the United States shall demonstrate the support of a majority of the delegates from each of eight (8) or more states, severally, prior to the presentation of the name of that candidate for nomination. Notwithstanding any other provisions of these rules or any rule of the House of Representatives, to demonstrate the support required of this paragraph a certificate evidencing the affirmative written support of the required number of permanently seated delegates from each of the eight (8) or more states shall have been submitted to the secretary of the convention not later than one (1) hour prior to the placing of the names of candidates for nomination pursuant to this rule and the established order of business.
It seems clear enough to me. You can’t appear on the ballot to be nominated without the majority of the delegates from at least eight states. Ted Cruz is right. So far, only Trump and Cruz are eligible.
However, I believe it is in the interest of the convention and the most wide open nominating process to abolish Rule 40 in its entirety, in case Cruz or Trump does not reach 1,237 after several ballots (the rest of Rule 40 permits several ballot votes). It's best for the GOP to keep all its options open, in order to get the best nominee.
It is a fact that currently, Trump and Cruz poll badly against Hillary (Kasich the moderate does better, and so did conservative Rubio, but the primary voters have said no to Rubio and are saying the same to Kasich). In light of the disconcerting showing of the two viable candidates against Hillary, if the convention has to reach out to another person who has not been a part of the entire grueling primary season, then so be it, despite Trump’s and Cruz’s hurt feelings. Trump and Cruz fatigue is setting in.
James Arlandson's website is Live as Free People, where he has posted Ten reasons not to vote for Trump, Bill Clinton nudged Trump to run in the GOP, Tough immigration questions for Ted Cruz, and Men in Black at the GOP convention.