Paul Manafort, who has been recently appointed to a senior position in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, accused Ted Cruz of using underhanded tactics to secure more delegates for the Republican National Convention.
If neither of the candidates in the GOP primary receives the majority amount of 1,237 delegates, a series of run-off voting is held in a contested convention—also considered a “brokered convention.”
The process starts with the first ballot, where delegates are bound to cast votes for the candidate chosen by voters, and handed down by the state.
About 95 percent of the delegates show up to the convention bound, and the other 5 percent show up “unbound.” Unbound delegates are like free agents and can vote however they feel.
If a nominee still does not have the majority of the delegates, then it’s considered a contested convention and it goes to a second round of ballots.
In the second round of voting, many delegates become “unbound” and are free to vote for whomever they prefer, instead of whom the majority of the voters in their district voted for.
Cruz has been accused of using his connections with the state party machinery to appoint delegates who would be more favorable to him if the convention is forced to go to a second round of voting.
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Manafort, a veteran campaign advisor who has worked for GOP candidates as far back as Gerald Ford, was asked whether threatening delegates was fair game.
“It’s not my style, and it’s not Donald Trump’s style. … But it is Ted Cruz’s style,” Manafort said. “You go to these county conventions, and you see the Gestapo tactics, the scorched-earth tactics.”
Manafort didn’t specify the tactics at play, but added that “We’re going to be filing several protests because reality is, you know, they are not playing by the rules.”
The Cruz campaign attributed the remark as an attempt to downplay the failure of the Trump campaign’s ability to organize in Colorado, where Cruz swept all the delegates in the state’s complex caucus system.
“It’s no surprise that Trump’s team will lash out with falsehoods when facing a loss to distract from their failure, as they have the entire time,” said Cruz campaign spokeswoman Catherine Frazier, NBC reports.
“We have earned our success by working hard to build a superior organization and are working within the process and rules that have been established—which has led now to four consecutive wins, 12 wins total.”
As of April 10, Trump has 758 delegates, Cruz has 533, and John Kasich sits on 144.