While it didn’t get much attention, relatively speaking, in advance — especially compared to other contests in this GOP primary season — what happened this past week in Colorado is on everyone’s minds and lips today.
Donald Trump and his supporters are crying foul after rival Ted Cruz walked away with all 34 available delegates from Colorado’s state GOP convention. Their convictions that something was awry have only been fueled by things like a supposedly errant tweet from the state party that was quickly deleted, sparking an investigation, and apparent mistakes (intentional or not) on at least one ballot that are floating around the Internet.
Conservative talk show icon Rush Limbaugh today waded into the controversy and didn’t mince words in expressing his view on what happened in Colorado. His main point? What happened in Colorado was “just hard work” — understanding how things work and working it to your advantage — not cheating.
Via the Rush Limbaugh Show:
Now, there’s something else about these delegate fights that have taken place over the weekend where Cruz has just skunked Trump. It isn’t even a contest. It is fascinating to watch. And, of course, the Trump people think that games are being played and that tricks are being pulled. But that’s not happening. This is just somebody who understands the system using it.
Now, what happened in Colorado is, I’m sorry to say, it’s not a trick. What happened in Colorado is right out in the open. Everybody’s known how Colorado runs its affairs. Everybody has known. Nobody just chose to look at it. It’s no secret that Colorado was gonna have a convention and they’re gonna choose their delegates before the primary. It’s not a secret. It’s just nobody leaked it. Nobody talked about it. Nobody bragged about it. So it was left to be discovered by people who didn’t know. And it turns out that people on the Trump campaign didn’t know.
Rush reminded listeners that the Colorado Republican Party canceled the party’s presidential straw poll last August — not just before Colorado’s convention, as some in the media have suggested — purposely and specifically to avoid binding its delegates to a candidate who might not survive until the convention in July.
Every business has its rules and laws, bylaws, and specific ways that you have to climb the ladder of success.
So I don’t see Ted Cruz lying and cheating his way to the convention. I see a lot of hard work. I see some people who know what they have to do, given where they are. They’re in second place in both the vote count and the delegate count. They’re serious about winning. The Cruz team is serious about winning. They have made themselves fully aware of how the process works, and they’ve been out working it for quite a while. They went into Louisiana where Trump scored a massive win but they’ve come out of there with many more delegates than, by appearances, they should have.
Ted Cruz had goals. He worked the problem ’til he got the result he wanted. What he’s demonstrating, folks, he’s demonstrating he knows how to work himself within this insider labyrinth. He knows how to navigate it. He knows how to work it. He knows how to turn it to his advantage. You have to look at this and say, “Okay, what does this tell us about Cruz, if he should become president?”
You know, being an outsider, it has benefits, but it has drawbacks, too, and knowing the rules inside out and outworking the competition is not cheating. If you happen to be more knowledgeable of how things work and are able to work it to your advantage, that’s just hard work. That isn’t cheating. I think the entire lesson, if look at the Obama campaign and the Cruz campaign, organization matters, from the grassroots on up. Obama has charisma. Trump has loads of charisma. They connect with their audiences.
But I think what happened to Trump — and I’m just wild guessing here — I think the assumption was made at some point that our lead is so massive and that our love is so great and we’re just skunking everybody… And it was probably assumed that that would translate to delegates, and maybe even assumed it would translate to massive public and inside-the-party support. But of course it doesn’t.
There’s a way you get to the top in politics. People who don’t like certain rules may call them loopholes and may say somebody’s cheating. But that’s just people using the rules as they have been written.
Why is Trump having a delegate disaster? It’s Ted Cruz. It isn’t the establishment. And I’m gonna remind you again, I don’t know how many times, but I’ll say it again. If the establishment or Cruz succeed, if Trump doesn’t get his 1,237 before the convention, it may be over, the way this is going. Because what Cruz is sewing up is delegates on the second ballot.
This is not intended as anti-Trump or pro-Cruz; rather, an attempt to provide one conservative’s perspective on what has become a very controversial process.
While it’s anyone’s guess at this point who will win the White House this November, one thing that appears a certain outcome from this election cycle is a growing awareness among voters about how our system currently works to elect our leaders — and where, perhaps, potential reform may be needed.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]