Republican frontrunner Donald Trump responded angrily on Monday to an announcement by his GOP rivals that Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich were coordinating efforts.
Cruz and Kasich, who lack any path to a first-ballot victory at the Republican National Convention in July, announced on Sunday that their campaigns would be working together to deny Trump the necessary 1,237 delegates to secure the party’s nomination outright.
As it now stands, if Trump comes up short of 1,237 delegates, he will be unable to secure a first-ballot victory, leading to a chaotic contested convention. It is important to mention, however, that the Republican National Convention’s rules are provisional until the Rules Committee votes to finalize the process. If Trump is close to a majority of delegates, he may be able to convince the committee to lower the bar for winning the nomination.
Both Cruz and Kasich are counting on Trump failing to either win 1,237 delegates or alter the party’s nomination rules, leading to a contested convention. As delegates become unbound on successive ballots, the odds of either winning the nomination are likely to grow.
Trump initially responded with a flurry of angry tweets lambasting Cruz and Trump as “mathematically dead and totally desperate."
“Lyin’ Ted Cruz and 1 for 38 Kasich are unable to beat me on their own so they have to team up (collusion) in a two on one. Shows weakness!”
Later Trump released a formal statement condemning the Cruz-Kasich alliance.
“It is sad that two grown politicians have to collude against one person who has only been a politician for ten months in order to try and stop that person from getting the Republican nomination.”
Trump compared the move to price-fixing conspiracies among corporations and used the alliance as yet another punching bag in what he claims is a “rigged game."
“Collusion is often illegal in many other industries and yet these two Washington insiders have had to revert to collusion in order to stay alive. They are mathematically dead and this act only shows, as puppets of donors and special interests."
“Because of me, everyone now sees that the Republican primary system is totally rigged.”