Colorado’s top Republican Party boss has admitted his state’s voting system is flawed but hit back at Donald Trump for blasting it as a ‘dirty system’ and a ‘total fix.’
Steve House aired his views on the controversy in a letter to an angry GOP activist furious after the state’s delegates were all awarded to Ted Cruz.
The controversial and complicated appointment system saw a small circle of party activists choose a slate of 34 delegates – all Cruz loyalists – rather than throwing the process open to a general vote among GOP members.
House admitted he ‘doesn’t like’ the appointment system but said it is in no way ‘manipulated or underhanded.’
In a spirited exchange, he also said the party shouldn’t shy away from doing whatever is necessary to win the White House, adding that Republicans should ‘go ahead and burn the party down if that’s what it takes.’
‘What happened over the weekend was simple and had no manipulation or underhanded process in it. The Cruz campaign worked harder than anyone else over a longer period of time, using the process that we have to create a victory for him’, House said in the letter.
‘I will support whoever wins without hesitation but blaming other people when you don’t get what you want is only relevant if you did the work honestly and someone manipulated the process. That didn’t happen here.
‘I think people are upset right now because they either don’t like the process or don’t understand it. I am one of the people who doesn’t like it…. We should have a presidential primary here but the legislature eliminated it in 2002 because it costs to much and that is a limited government move. Up until this year no one cared.’
Trump’s camp blasted the result that pushes the GOP further in the direction of a contested national convention.
‘The system is rigged. It’s crooked,’ Trump declared Monday on ‘Fox & Friends.’
‘This was a political hack deal, like so much of our country. This is what our country’s all about I guess.’
‘There was no voting. I didn’t go out there to make a speech or anything,’ Trump complained.
‘The people out there are going crazy, in the Denver area and Colorado itself, and they’re going absolutely crazy because they weren’t given a vote. This was given by politicians – it’s a crooked deal.’
Trump has 743 ‘bound’ delegates committed to voting for him on the first ballot during the July Republican National Convention, compared with 545 for Cruz, according to an Associated Press count.
It takes 1,237 delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot and avoid a messy floor fight when the convention is held in Cleveland, Ohio.
Both GOP leaders are at risk of not acquiring enough delegates for a first-ballot victory, leaving many free to switch their votes on later ballots.