Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump warned “bad things would happen” if he wins the most delegates ahead of the convention in July, but is denied the nomination.
“I think you’d have riots,” Trump told CNN about losing the nomination in a contested convention. “I think you’d have riots.”
“I think bad things would happen,” he added. “I really do. I believe that. I wouldn’t lead it, but I think bad things would happen.”
If no candidate wins a majority of delegates ahead of the Republican National Convention in July, the nominee will be determined in a contested convention. While Trump has the best chance of hitting that number — 1,237 — there’s also a decent chance that Republican Sen. Ted Cruz will beat him to it or earn enough delegates to force a contested convention and then swoop in for the nomination.
If Trump is just 20 or 100 delegates short of securing the nomination, it would be perfectly within the rules for Cruz or another candidate to challenge him for the nomination at the convention. But Trump argued he should be the nominee if he’s leading in delegates.
“What is your plan to bring people together there and get many, as you know, who don’t want you to get this nomination to change your minds?” CNN’s Chris Matthews asked Trump.
“I think we’ll win before getting to the convention,” Trump said. “But I can tell you, if we didn’t, and if we’re 20 votes short or if we’re a hundred short and we’re at 1,100, and somebody else is at 500 or 400 — cause we’re way ahead of everybody — I don’t think you can say that we don’t get it automatically.”
Cruz is likely to win a sizable number of delegates, so that exact scenario is unlikely, although Trump and his supporters might not be dissuaded from a conviction anything short of giving him the nomination is foul play by the establishment.
“I’m representing a tremendous, many many millions of people, in many cases first time voters,” he told Matthews. “These are people that haven’t voted, because they never believed in the system. They didn’t like candidates, etc. etc. That are 40 and 50 and 60 years old, and they’ve never voted before.”
“Many, many of those people, many Democrats, many Independents, coming. That’s what the big story is really, Chris, I mean that’s what the big story is. How many people are voting in these primaries. The numbers are astronomical.”
“Now if you disenfranchise those people, and you say well I’m sorry, but you’re a hundred vote short, even though the next one is 500 votes short, I think you would have problems like you’ve never seen before.”
Cruz said recently he’s focused on winning the nomination outright, and that a contested convention is a “pipe-dream of the Washington establishment,” so they can “snatch the nomination from the people.”
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