This is about narratives. Primarily Cruz, but Kasich as well, are convinced that they had to do something to change the narrative. The narrative is that Trump’s already won this. That narrative is beginning to settle in. In many people’s estimation, the narrative has set in. Trump’s win in New York, even though it was expected, was voluminous. It was bigger than everybody thought. This has created in the media this narrative that now Trump is inevitable. And that means that it is over.
Isn’t it interesting, by the way, when we discuss news, we don’t discuss news anymore, we discuss narratives. And you know what a narrative is. A narrative is simply a story that somebody wants to tell and a story that somebody wants to tell that can dominate as though it is the news. That’s why I say there isn’t any news anymore; there’s simply the advancement of agendas.
Now, in this case, we have these Northeastern primaries coming up, and it is expected here that Trump is going to continue to do well and that Cruz and Kasich are not, and that’s gonna further add to the narrative that Trump has it locked up. Where Trump still might run into trouble is out west. Washington state, California, and until this, you know, Indiana was something that was possibly up for grabs.
So what is happening here is that Cruz and Kasich are — I don’t want to say hail Mary, but they may think of it that way as a last-ditch effort to stop the narrative, to change the narrative that Trump has this wrapped up and that it’s all but over and inevitable because neither Kasich nor Cruz can get to 1,237 before the convention. Their only hope is to see to it that Trump doesn’t get to 1,237.
So I think it’s really no more complicated than that. It’s not about intricate delegate math, although it might be, but you don’t need add up numbers here to figure out what’s going on. This is strictly about trying to change the tone of the news, and there’s little offshoots of this that are fascinating, too. I know some people that were shocked today that Cruz decided to team up with Kasich. If Cruz is gonna team up with anybody, team up with Trump. You know, they both occupy the outsider position here in the campaign, they both staked out that position, and if you’re gonna have any teaming up, team up that way, ice Kasich out, and then make it officially over.
But that’s not what happened. So it’s the way this thing is falling out. And I don’t know that there’s anything really that’s going to change this. We’ll see if this has the desired effect from the Cruz and Kasich standpoint.
Do you remember the delegate, the RNC delegate that we have quoted in the past on this program, a guy by the name of Curly Haugland is how it’s spelled, H-a-u-g-l-a-n-d. And Curly is the guy that we quoted some weeks ago now as saying (paraphrasing), “You know, you people in the news media, you don’t understand how this works. The voters don’t choose the nominee; we delegates do that. The voters have nothing to do with it.”
And it kind of snuck in under the radar out there. I mean, he didn’t walk it back. It didn’t cause a lot of controversy. It was just there. And some people paid attention to it, but not much. Well, little Curly is back. Now, this actually is dated April 22nd, so this goes back to Friday when I was out. It’s on CNBC; “Donald Trump may be the only Republican presidential candidate who can realistically hit the magic 1,237 number for the majority of delegates, but according to a senior Republican National Committee official that does not mean he will become the GOP presidential nominee.
“Curly Haugland, a longstanding RNC official and an unbound delegate from North Dakota who will be on the convention rules committee in July, told CNBC that attaining 1,237 during the primaries does not secure the nomination.”
Did this come up Friday, Mr. Snerdley? Oh, good. Okay. Here’s Curly. “Even if Trump reaches the magic number of 1,237 the media and RNC are touting, that does not mean Trump is automatically the nominee,” Haugland said. “The votes earned during the primary process are only estimates and are not legal convention votes. The only official votes to nominate a candidate are those that are cast from the convention floor.”
Now, this makes perfect sense. Obviously nobody’s counting delegates yet but when you count the pledged delegates and the delegates that must vote the way they must vote on the first ballot, that’s of course where the 1,237 comes in play. What Curly’s saying is, hey, we run this show, and we can massage this, and we can do whatever we want to do here with this delegate count, first ballot, second ballot.
“Haugland explained the primary number is really an estimate. That’s because the eligibility of some delegates in how they are voted in could be questioned and their status may not be considered valid.” Well, let’s pull that back and see what he’s talking about. Let’s just take Florida, for example, because Trump won it all and we’re dealing with a solid number, 99 delegates. Ninety-nine delegates are pledged to Trump on each of the first three ballots in Florida. What little Curly is saying here, “You know, we might decide to challenge 50 or 10 or two or 20 of those delegates. We might try to say that they’re not legal. We might try to say that they don’t meet the threshold. We might try to say that their votes don’t count because of some vagary.”
When he starts talking about the eligibility of some delegates, how they are voted in, he’s saying maybe they were not selected legally, maybe they weren’t appointed legally. I mean, this guy is essentially shouting from the rooftops to anybody that wants to listen: “You all think you’re choosing what’s happening here, but you’re not; we are.” What he’s really talking about here is that the credentials committee can decide to take away the credentials from some states’ delegates, and give them to another group.
And, by the way, that happened in 2012. The credentials committee took away the credentials from Maine’s delegates because they suspected them of actually being Rand Paul supporters, even though Romney had won the Maine primary. Do you remember that? (interruption) Would I make it up? (interruption) “Yeah, you said.” Yeah, yeah, yeah!” Now that I mentioned that you vaguely remember this.
In 2012, the credentials committee at the Republican National Convention took away the credentials from Maine’s delegates because they suspected them of actually being Rand Paul supporters who had snuck in there, even though Romney had won the Maine primary. So their credentials were given to Maine delegates. Curly said, “Remember every state has a different delegate allocation process. Delegates are picked up in state contests that can be winner take all, open primaries, and remember there are seven states that allow the candidates to pick their own delegates. Until those delegate challenges are settled, there is no 1,237.”
Now, he said that he expected the delegates won in winner-take-all states to be most likely challenged, too. So here’s the point. The establishment is not just going to roll over no matter what Trump gets going into this. Don’t misread what I’m saying. I’m not saying… It’s risky for me getting into this ’cause Curly’s kind of out there on his own, but you have to know that the establishment’s going to do everything they can here. I mean, they are. We’ve heard that they’re panicking, and they are. And they’re gonna pull out all the stops.
And it’s really getting bloody out there. Then we get Charles Koch and his own version of Operation Chaos. Charles Koch is upset that he can’t find any Republican worth supporting.
RUSH: I kind of thought there might have been some derailing of the Trump train last week. It turned out not to be the case. But I really thought that Trump’s comments that he’s cool with boys in the girls’ bathroom and vice-versa — and, by the way, by the way, Mr. Snerdley, I ask you: Do you think Trump walks this back? You remember the comments that he’s okay with girls in the boys’ bathroom, and vice-versa?
I said, “Do you think he walks it back?” and you said, “No way,” and he did. I told you he’d walk ’em back, and he walked ’em back by saying, “You know what? It’s a state issue. Let’s leave it up to the states.” Because he came out made it sound like it’s no big deal and I had some people say, “Rush, you’re forgetting your own advice. You’re forgetting your own observations. This is Trump strategically appealing to left wingers as he attempts to expand his base. You know, girls in the boys’ bathroom and vice-versa is a big deal to them; so he’s not gonna come out and criticize it.”
And I said, “Yeah, but this has a chance to backfire,” and I thought it might. But it didn’t. And then when he came out and said he wanted to raise taxes on the rich, I thought, “That’s gonna cost him blowback,” and it didn’t. And then when he really made the point that he’s gonna bring all these illegals back legally, the illegals are gonna come legally, I thought, “Three different chances there that Trump might have not destroyed the…
Don’t misunderstand. It’s maybe given people pause, but that didn’t happen. The Trump train rolls on, and so they have the momentum kept on. The narrative is established. Here’s what I think has happened here. Again, just to explain this accord between Cruz and Kasich. Trump has gotten a boost, or has benefited from three things recently: That New York win — although everybody knew it was going to happen. The fact that he hit 60% and won that bigger than anybody thought, that creates momentum.
That’s a big, big plus. And I think Trump has succeeded… I can tell by the people who have called this program. As you know, late last week I spent a lot of time thanking various callers for helping me to learn things. And Trump has succeeded in convincing his voters that Cruz is disenfranchising them by interfering with the process out there and stealing delegates, even though it isn’t happening. Trump’s supporters think it’s happening.
Trump has been able to convince his supporters that it’s happening, and that creates a negative for Cruz. “Cruz: Anti-democratic process! Cruz: disenfranchising voters!” The third thing is this… Well, you add those two together and you get this inevitability or it’s over, and that’s what I think they’re trying to fight now. The effort here to beat that back is what he says is going on. Here’s Kasich today. We have time to get this? Yeah, Kasich. Here he is in Philadelphia today. A reporter says, “Your collaboration with Senator Cruz smacks of desperation, sir.”
KASICH: No, I’m not desperate. Are you? Are you desperate? ‘Cause I’m not. Okay, people are yelling at me. I’m not gonna answer the question. Have a little bit of civility when you do your job. My team met with the Cruz people and they made a recommendation. I don’t have, you know, like Daddy Warbucks behind me giving me all this money. I have to be careful about my resources. I don’t see this as any big deal, other than the fact that I’m not gonna spend resources in Indiana; he’s not gonna spend ’em in other places. So what? What’s the big deal?
RUSH: And we’ll be back and explain it in a minute.
RUSH: No, no. Don’t misunderstand. I don’t think it’s over. I just… (interruption) No, no, no, no, no. If the Trump people thought it was over, they wouldn’t be going through this business of trying to remake Trump, turn him into presidential whatever it is they say they’re doing. If this were over, if they really thought it was over, the Trump campaign profile would be entirely different and it would be focused almost exclusively on Hillary, and there wouldn’t be a lot of this ongoing effort, public effort to remake Trump’s persona, his image, whatever “making him presidential” is.
But it’s clear that they’re trying to capitalize on this narrative. You know, narratives are powerful things. They lead to self-fulfilling prophecies in many ways, and that’s what the Trump people are trying to capitalize on. It’s what the Cruz and Kasich people are trying to stop. And it’s not over. There’s way too much yet to happen. Look, this is where it gets tough because in these next primaries coming up tomorrow, it’s gonna be another Trump sweep. None of this is unexpected. None of this is gonna be shocking.
We’re in Trump’s backyard now in the Northeast. He’s gonna do well in Pennsylvania; he’s gonna do well in Delaware and Maryland and so forth. Indiana, we still don’t know. But you go out west to California and Washington state, a lot of people think that Trump is gonna have those states locked up, and he’s not. It has been calculated. There are 192 delegates in California. Trump’s gonna need 119 of them, according to the best calculation. Trump’s gonna need 119 in California, if everything goes according to projection prior to that.
Trump is gonna need 119 of California’s delegates out of their 192. I don’t know that he’s going to be able to do that, based on polling that’s out there now. And remember that Cruz and Kasich are all about a contested convention. They’re not trying to get to 1,237 themselves. They’re trying to stop Trump from getting there. And it’s up to you, really, if you want to be affected by the narrative — and it’s tough to avoid these. I mean, you’re gonna turn on cable news, and it’s not gonna take long. It’s very subtle.
If they start asking people questions about Trump as though he already is the nominee… You know, it’s very, very subtle the way these things play out. Even the way reporters question Trump himself, or Cruz, or Kasich. All they’d have to do is start asking Cruz or Kasich questions as though they’ve already lost, and you can cement the so-called narratives or templates, and that’s what’s going to be the order of the day in those places in the media that are all-in for Trump. So you just have to steel yourself for that.
But it isn’t over, and it’s not gonna be over. This is gonna go through California — it’s probably going to go through California — and I don’t think that Cruz people are gonna quit any time before that. Kasich has now been given a new nickname by Trump. It’s now “Lyin’ Ted Cruz” and “1-for-38 Kasich.” That’s the team that Trump says he’s up against: “Lyin’ Ted” and “1-for-38 Kasich.” Let’s go back to this Kasich sound bite.
Again, this is in a diner — a restaurant — in Philadelphia today. And it’s a Q&A, and the reporter is asking Kasich about his accord, his new collaboration with Cruz, and he says, “It kind of smacks of desperation, Governor Kasich. Isn’t this desperate?” And Kasich profoundly offended by this. (replaying of sound bite) “Why don’t you have a little bit of civility when you do your job? Don’t keep yelling at me!” So then another reporter said, “Are you telling your voters not to vote for you in Indiana? Is that what you’re doing?”
KASICH: I’ve never told ’em not to vote for me. They ought to vote for me. But I’m not over there campaigning and spending resources because we have limited resources. You folks have been counting me out before I even got to New Hampshire —
FEMALE REPORTER: But Bernie —
KASICH: — and now we can’t jam all of you into this diner. I’m not campaigning in Indiana, and he’s not campaigning in these other states. That’s all. That’s all it is.
AIDE: Thank you, guys.
MALE REPORTER: Thank you, Governor.
KASICH: It’s not a big deal. But it’s fun, though; you’re all still here. (talking with food in his mouth) Ha-ha-ha. By the way, I’m having the time of my life.
RUSH: What is he so testy about? They made an accord. The reporters are coming along, they’re asking about the accord, and Kasich’s acting like there hasn’t been an accord, or he’s acting like it’s not that big a deal. It is a big deal. They want it to come across as a big deal, and Kasich says (paraphrased), “I don’t know what you’re asking me. I mean, I’m not gonna spend money in Indiana, and he is. And I’m gonna spend money where he isn’t and (muttering).” The guy’s just incredibly testy. Now, here’s Cruz. This is in Borden, Indiana. Cruz is speaking with reporters about his strategizing with Kasich. The reporter said, “Did you make Governor Kasich a deal to work with you on this?”
CRUZ: We had conversations, and both campaigns agreed to focus our energies. We’re focusing our energy on the state of Indiana, and Governor Kasich is focusing his energies elsewhere. I think that is a decision — an allocation of resources — that makes a lot of sense. And it’s devoted to the principle of beating Hillary Clinton in November and turning this country around. It is abundantly clear that nobody is getting to 1,237. We are headed to a contested convention, and at a contested convention Donald Trump is in real trouble. Why? Because he cannot earn the support of a majority of the delegates elected by the people.
RUSH: Yeah, when Cruz says that, see, here come the Trumpsters. “Yeah, yeah, ’cause you’re out there cheating! You’re out there disenfranchising people! You’re out there stealing delegates that are Donald’s, and so on. That stuck. You heard the calls we had last week from Trumpists who tried to explain to me why it is that they think delegates are being stolen, and it doesn’t matter whether they’re right or wrong; the perception is — and this is all part of this narrative that’s being created.
The perception is that, and it infers a claim that Trump makes that he’s a victim, that everybody’s ganging up against him and he’s being cheated, and he’s triumphing over it. Which, you know, adds even more mystique as far as his voters are concerned. Another reporter in Borden, Indiana, said to Senator Cruz, “Respectfully, sir, what do you say to those people, though, who say that it’s collusion, what you and Kasich are doing? Trump is saying that you’re colluding, and we expect to hear that from him again and again on the campaign trail.”
CRUZ: I understand that Donald will whine. That’s what he does. Donald is a sore loser. When he lost five states in a row in landslide elections, Donald threw a tantrum, and his response is to attack the voters. His response is to attack the people. Yes, I get that the Trump campaign is scared. They’re scared of Indiana. If Donald wasn’t scared, he’d show up in Indiana and have a debate. But he would much rather hide in Trump Tower. He’d much rather stay in Northeastern states that tend to be more liberal than actually come to the Midwest.
RUSH: Again, I’m forced to ask: “Does Trump look scared to anybody? Does Trump look like he’s afraid to go anywhere?” I don’t know how that sells. I understand the technique and the desire to call Trump out and so forth. I understand what’s going on there. I just… Of all the things Trump looks to be, scared, frightened, intimidated is not one of them. But, you know, this thing that they’re doing, that Cruz and Kasich are doing is actually the Romney plan. On March 3rd, 2016 in Salt Lake City at the Hinckley Institute, Romney spoke about the presidential election and Trump. See if you remember this…
ROMNEY: I believe we can nominate a person who could win the general election and who will represent the values and policies of conservatism. Given the current delegate selection process, that means that I’d vote for Marco Rubio in Florida and for John Kasich in Ohio and for Ted Cruz or whichever one of the other two contenders has the best chance of beating Mr. Trump in a given state.
RUSH: So you could say that Romney’s already outlined this strategy that has now been taken up by Cruz and Kasich.