Former President Donald Trump wants backroom deals to secure the GOP nomination in a manner reminiscent of the 19th and early 20th centuries when parties chose their nominees through such methods. Trump is the self-proclaimed master of “The Art of the Deal” and has been putting his skills to good use.
The New York Times notes that caucuses and elections are only the first step toward the party nomination.
Trump stands confident and buoyed by polls showing he has a supermajority of the GOP electorate behind him to strongarm his way to the nomination. According to the Real Clear Politics Average Trump enjoys around 58% support from the GOP electorate and leads his nearest rival by 45 points.
The former president came of age during the 1970s and 1980s when machine politics was the New York way.
“I don’t think they play fair,” James Uthmeier, DeSantis’s campaign manager, told The New York Times.
Former Trump DHS Official Complains of Rigging
Former Trump DHS official Ken Cuccinelli, who founded the pro-DeSantis Never Back Down PAC, told The New York Times that Trump’s political machine has rigged the GOP nominating process wherever it can.
“They’ve rigged it anywhere they thought they could pull it off,” Cuccinelli told The New York Times.
His super PAC was ousted from participation in the Nevada Caucus. Trump is the best when it comes to glad-handing and delving retribution against those who cross him. Never Back Down was boxed out of sending speakers to advocate on behalf of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
In 2016, Sen. Ted Cruz’s better-organized campaign managed to take delegates through backroom deals from Trump even though Trump had won them at the ballot box. Eight years later, Trump has built a political machine that owes him unswerving loyalty.
It is doing exactly what Trump criticized former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of doing to Bernie Sanders.
Trump Doing What He Needs to Win
“This is the kind of stuff that’s not talked about in the news,” Scott Golden, the chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, who briefly spoke privately with Trump when the former president visited his state this spring. “This is important stuff. It is ultimately about making sure your person is the nominee.”
Cuccinelli finds irony in Trump’s constant complaining about how everything is rigged against him. He notes that Trump is not above doing the same with his opponents and rigging the system against them when he has the cards.
“No one has tried to rig the rules like Donald Trump has been doing here at least in a very long time,” Cuccinelli said. “And no one has ever done it who, in other circumstances, complains about the rules being rigged.”
Trump also succeeded in getting party rules changed in California to his benefit. The pro-Trump California party rules change ended the practice of awarding delegates by each of the state’s 52 congressional districts.
“Republican officials in the state, whose primary was moved up to Super Tuesday by Democrats in the Legislature, adopted a set of rules over the objection of DeSantis allies that will award all 169 of its delegates to any candidate who tops 50 percent of the vote statewide — a threshold only Mr. Trump is currently anywhere near,” the New York Times said.
Trump Rule Changes Help Him Win While Under Litigation
The rule changes help Trump get out of potential campaign conflicts with his looming criminal and civil trials.
“It gives him an advantage that a front-runner has never had before to absolutely wrap it up by Super Tuesday,” California GOP lawyer and expert on delegates Ben Ginsberg said of Mr. Trump.
Trump’s political supporters say all is fair in love and war. This is not any different.
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.