Is the GOP establishment planning to force a brokered convention should current front-runner Donald Trump show up in Cleveland without the necessary delegates for a first ballot victory? Or will the RNC attempt to push Trump aside even if he does have enough delegates because they fear an overwhelming loss should Trump be the GOP standard-bearer?
Those were the questions before Republican strategist Karl Rove last night when he appeared on the Fox News show “The O’Reilly Factor.” Guest host Eric Bolling asked Rove:
“If Donald Trump has a plurality of delegates, but not a majority, will you get behind the guy?”
Here’s Rove’s somewhat convoluted reply:
“The rules in the party have always said that the nominee of the Republican Party is chosen by a majority of the delegates at the convention.
“That is the rule that Donald Trump will have to live with. We’ve had six Republican nominees who were not the leaders on the first ballot, and we may for the first time since 1940 see that happen again this year.”
Translation: The party can do any damn thing they want to at the convention, and Trump can bite them if he doesn’t like it.
Bolling, ever willing to cheerlead for whatever nutjob happens to be in first place, then declared:
“Karl, you and I both know that there have been meetings between high-level Republicans and the RNC in Washington DC talking about ‘how can the rules be changed so the establishment can get the candidate they want.'”
But Rove dismissed Bolling’s assertions as “paranoia” and then added:
“That’s not what the stories that I read said.”
Make no mistake: If the GOP fears Trump is an existential threat to their survival, they will dump him overboard and nominate whoever they want to. Right now they’re just trying to calculate how they do it, when they do it, and how they deal with the fallout when it happens.
Here’s the interview with Rove from last night: