Trump lashes out at Republicans over White House contest

Billionaire brands presidential nominating process ‘a scam’ and ‘a disgrace’

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has raised more hackles about the party's nominating process, saying that the party's leaders do not want him to be their candidate in November's election.

The billionaire (69) lashed out verbally at Republican national committee chairman Reince Priebus in an interview with US political news outlet The Hill, saying that he "should be ashamed of himself" over the nominee-picking system, calling it "a scam" and "a disgrace".

Floor fight

Mr Trump leads in state primaries and caucuses held so far, amassing 743 pledged delegates who will vote for him at the party’s national convention in July. His rival, Texas senator

Ted Cruz


, has 545.

The odds of the businessman reaching the majority of 1,237 pledged delegates to clinch the nomination in the first ballot at the Cleveland convention have declined as Mr Cruz has leveraged a more effective ground organisation to collect more delegates at state party conventions.

This means that the nomination will likely be decided in a “floor fight” for delegates in second or later ballots in Cleveland when most delegates are free to vote for whomever they want after the first ballot.


Cruz (45), a first-term senator, won all of Colorado’s 34 delegates heading to the national convention at party meetings without a state-wide vote and is poised to win all 26 delegates in


this weekend.

His supporters are examining how to sweep the delegates in Arkansas, a state Trump won, when they are picked next month.

“I know the rules very well, but I know it’s stacked against me by the establishment,” Mr Trump said in a “town-hall” interview on CNN on Tuesday night ahead of New York’s crucial primary next Tuesday.

The Republican Party’s central command has dismissed the property developer’s gripes, saying that he knew the selection rules beforehand.

Mr Trump has said that the rules were changed “a number of months ago” because they were unhappy that he was faring so well in the polls.

“Nomination process known for a year and beyond,” Mr Priebus tweeted on Tuesday.

“It’s the responsibility of the campaigns to understand it. Complaints now? Give us all a break.”

The Washington Post reported, based on an analysis of delegates, that should Mr Trump fail to reach the majority by the end of the round of state primaries and caucuses on June 7th, Mr Cruz should have enough delegates to block him on a second ballot in a convention fight.


The Texan has said he thinks the chances of a contested convention are “very high” and he would have “an enormous advantage” in Cleveland.

Mr Trump leads the third candidate in the race, Ohio governor John Kasich (63), in New York by an average of 32 points, according to RealClearPolitics, the political news website that tracks most polls.

Democratic favourite Hillary Clinton (68) has an average 13-point advantage in the Empire State over Vermont senator Bernie Sanders (74), who needs landslide victories in the remaining state contests to overcome her comfortable lead and block her from winning the party's nomination.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is News Editor of The Irish Times