Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele says a brokered convention “was one of my goals” when he set up the system that has resulted in the topsy-turvy primary season.
The GOP changed the rules for primaries when Steele was the national committee leader. The new system changed the primary calendar and determined that early-voting states would allocate delegates by proportion of the vote.
Explaining his logic to Mother Jones magazine, for a story published by USA Today
, Steele said, “A little chaos is a good thing, particularly in a system that tends to be moribund.” Steele led the RNC from January 2009 to January 2011.
“I wanted a brokered convention,” Steele told Mother Jones magazine, according to USA Today. “That was one of my goals.”
Steele attained at least one of his goals. The current primary race has been marked by chaos, with different candidates topping opinion polls from week to week, and the top three candidates each getting a turn at victory.
Some members of the party think the system Steele wanted has been detrimental to the GOP, USA Today reports. Arizona Sen. John McCain, the party’s 2008 presidential nominee, compared the primary season to a “Greek tragedy.” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said the rules awarding delegates proportionally in some states are “the dumbest idea anybody ever had.”
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leads in the delegate count with 454 of the 1,144 necessary to win the nomination. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has about half that number. Romney’s total is almost four times that of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
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