After last night’s round of primaries, Donald Trump is openly considering himself the nominee, even though he has to win around two thirds of the remaining delegates in order to clinch the nomination before the RNC in August. John Kasich and Ted Cruz may have no intention of dropping out (though Kasich, at least, is mathematically eliminated from contention, neading more than 80% of the remaining delegates to make a go of it), but Donald Trump is more than ready for his coronation, and he stand ready to demand it.
This morning, Trump called for Cruz to drop out – not happening – as John Boehner suggested a brokered or contested convention could result in a Paul Ryan nomination. And although there’s one Fox News debate left to go in the primary cycle, Trump doesn’t plan on attending. He’ll speak to AIPAC instead.
“I thought the last debate on CNN was the last debate — that was going to be it,” he said. “And I’m doing a major speech in front of a very important group of people, I think it’s 8- or 9,000 people that night, and it was scheduled awhile ago, and nobody told me there were going to be more debates.”
Mr. Trump is scheduled to speak at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference, which is taking place March 20-22.
“I think we’ve had enough debates,” he said. “How many times can the same people ask you the same question? So I was very surprised when I heard that Fox called for a debate. Nobody told me about it, and I won’t be there, no.”
Kasich has already noted that if Trump won’t be there, he won’t be there.
This is probably a smart move for Trump: aside from the PR advantage he gains by refusing to play the GOP’s game, debates, especially against Cruz who is a master at the craft, have only hurt him. Without explicit policy positions and with his decidedly un-conservative background, Trump simply can’t go toe-to-toe with the GOP’s best. So, in true Trump fashion, he simply won’t, though his speech to AIPAC may not be much more successful, particularly considering that many of Trump’s social media supporters (and in-person supporters, for that matter), are skeptical of America’s alliance with Israel.
So what happens now? Trump is destined to have a difficult time as the primaries move out west, where Cruz has the upper hand. There are a few states left for Trump, but Cruz is looking to pick up delegates quickly and by the truckload, and Marco Rubio, who dropped out last night, may want to give his small portion of delegates to Cruz, thus making him a more viable contender. The fight is far from over. But as I said, that’s not really what Trump is peddling. He’s ready for the GOP to fall in line behind him, and while that’s not going to happen, Trump has no intention of making their opposition easier, or less dangerous. This morning, as he made the rest of the announcements, the man who insists he does not encourage violence with his rhetoric, threatened that the Cleveland convention would descend into chaos if his will is not honored.
Donald Trump and Ted Cruz warned fellow Republicans Wednesday of dire consequences if the GOP establishment attempts to have a brokered convention this summer.
“I think you’d have riots. I think you’d have riots,” Trump said Wednesday on CNN’s “New Day.” “I’m representing a tremendous many, many millions of people.”
He may have no choice but to weather a contested convention. We shall see. In the meantime, I’ll be ordering some riot gear, I guess, so that I can cover them accordingly.