WASHINGTON — 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.”
The Republican Party veered closer to a contested convention Tuesday after Ohio Gov. John Kasich won his home state and deprived Trump, the party’s front-runner, of its 66 delegates. That makes it more difficult for the billionaire to reach the 1,237 delegates he needs to capture the GOP prize without a floor fight.
But Trump said he should win the Republican nomination even if he doesn’t get 1,237 delegates.
“I think we’ll win before getting to the convention, but I can tell you, if we didn’t and if we’re 20 votes short or if we’re 100 short and we’re at 1,100 and somebody else is at 500 or 400, because we’re way ahead of everybody, I don’t think you can say that we don’t get it automatically,” the real estate mogul said.
Cruz said party leaders getting behind a brokered convention would be disastrous.
“I think that would be an absolute disaster. I think the people would quite rightly revolt. The way to beat Donald Trump is at the ballot box,” the Texas senator said on “New Day.”
“If it ends up happening that we get to Cleveland and nobody has 1,237 delegates, that Donald has a whole bunch of delegates and I have a whole bunch of delegates and we come in neck and neck, then it is up to delegates to decide,” he added.
Republican National Committee Communications Director Sean Spicer said Wednesday that a chance for a brokered convention still remains.
“Of course. We’re going to let the process work itself out,” he told CNN’s Carol Costello. “So from (an) RNC perspective, we’re going to continue to prepare for all contingencies including an open convention.”
But Spicer doesn’t think there will be literal riots if Trump is not allowed to be a nominee.
“I assume he’s speaking figuratively,” he said. “I think if we go into a convention, whoever gets 1,237 delegates becomes the nominee. It’s plain and simple.”
Spicer added, “I think Republicans will have a very orderly process. We’ll vote in the open. The delegates that are elected by Republican voters will go to Cleveland. If we get to a point where there needs to be more than one ballot, we’ll do it in a very orderly and transparent way.”
And Spicer dismissed the likelihood of a new candidate being introduced at a brokered convention.
“I feel confident that the nominee of the this party will be one of the remaining three individuals that is currently in the race,” he said.
Despite Kasich’s first win Tuesday night, Cruz said it makes no sense for the Ohio governor to remain in the race.
“It is mathematically impossible for John Kasich to become the nominee. At this point, he had lost 20 states before Ohio,” Cruz said. “And so if you actually want to defeat Donald Trump, there’s only one campaign that has done so over and over and over again. Nine different times all over the country, we have beaten Donald Trump.”