RNC Chairman Reince Priebus added to the chaos in the Republican Party by making it clear that the GOP would love nothing more than to steal their nomination away from Donald Trump.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, let’s take some of the mystery away right now. You heard Mr. Trump on this idea that if he got really close to the 1,237 but didn’t get there, his supporters would be very angry, said he didn’t want them to riot but they’re going to be very angry and the Republican Party would lose if he were then denied the nomination.
The simple yes or no question, is it fair if he goes in without 1,237 but with a plurality for the convention to deny him the nomination?
PRIEBUS: Well, plurality is a minority and a minority doesn’t choose for the majority. So you have to have a majority of the delegates in order to be the nominee. There’s nothing magical about the number. It’s 50 percent plus one. So no one’s disenfranchised.
In fact, they’re enfranchised by receiving bound delegates based on the outcome of the elections. And so that’s all it is. And so you have to have a majority in order to be the nominee of our party. It’s no different than when I became chairman of the party. I won on the seventh ballot, George, hardly a landslide. But I was never behind. But no one called me the winner on the second, third, fourth or fifth ballot. I had to get to a majority.
Most state chairmen out there across the country go through this same process on the floor of conventions. So that’s why to us it seems natural that you’d have to have a majority of your party.
So yes, that’s the person I want to be the nominee. There’s nothing wrong with that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Can you guarantee that the nominee will be one of the three candidates in the race right now?
PRIEBUS: Well, I mean, I think it would be highly unlikely if it’s not. You know, that — I can tell you that. I think it would somewhat very unusual. But you know, I can’t 100 percent guarantee that. But I can’t imagine right now sitting here believing it would be anyone but the three remaining candidates.
Here is what we learned from the Priebus interview. 1). It is 1,237 delegates or bust for Trump. A majority is not going to be good enough to get the nomination. 2). Priebus won’t guarantee that the Party would bring in a candidate who is not currently running if no one has won a majority of the delegates. 3). The Republican Party does not want Donald Trump to be their nominee.
The Republican convention in Cleveland could be absolute chaos. Trump is arguing that close should be good enough to give him the nomination even if he doesn’t reach the magic number. The RNC is making it clear that they would rather have anybody but Trump at the top of the ticket, and they won’t be doing the frontrunner any favors.
Perhaps, never in modern political history has a political party seemed so unhappy with their own frontrunner. The Republican convention will be governed by a different set of rules than in 2012. The door is wide open for the RNC to ignore what Trump has done in the primaries and hand the nomination to someone else.
The RNC doesn’t want Donald Trump, and if given half a chance, there is no doubt that they will make sure that he is not the 2016 Republican presidential nominee.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association