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Delegates Respond to Trump's 'Rigged System' Slam

Delegates Respond to Trump's 'Rigged System' Slam

By Tuesday, 03 May 2016 10:15 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Donald Trump has denounced the nomination process as “corrupt” — a “rigged system” planned by “party bosses.”

On Monday, three of the uncommitted delegates from Pennsylvania spoke to me about Trump’s acerbic comments. “I disagree with the characterization of us as ‘bossed’ or picked in a ‘rigged system,’" said Mike DeVanney, one of three elected delegates from the 14th U.S. House District. “We were elected independently and are not being dictated to.”

Veteran Republican consultant DeVanney began the campaign year as a vigorous backer of Marco Rubio for president. He hosted the Floridian at two events in Pittsburgh and was in Florida to help the senator before the primary defeat that ended his candidacy.

As for where he stands now, DeVanney told me he was “not prepared at this stage of the game to commit to anyone.” The eventual vote he casts at the convention in Cleveland in July, he said, “will be based on three things: first, who I think can win in November; second, who will expand the Republican Party; and third — and most important of all — who will do a good job as president.”

Regarding Trump and his criticism of the process, DeVanney simply said “I believe in the process.”

Fellow 14th District Delegate MaryAnn Meloy was much harsher in her response to Trump. “If he doesn’t like our rules, why does he want to be our standard-bearer?” she told me. “Under our party rules, each state has the right to set its own rules, just as states have rights under the Constitution. We’ve had these rules for our primary for 104 years and Mr. Trump should have understood them when he became a candidate.”

Like DeVanney, Meloy was an early Rubio backer and now has “no leanings to anyone.” But, she quickly added, “I will campaign for the nominee because any of our three candidates are light years better than Hillary Clinton.”

Having begun the race as an enthusiastic backer of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Rep. Phil English did not join any other campaign after Walker’s candidacy fizzled. Elected as a delegate from his former Third U.S. House District, English told me he is now “absolutely neutral and leaning to no one.”

“Mr. Trump did carry my district with nearly an absolute majority,” he said, “and that’s something I will take into account when I decide whom to support. I will also take into account who has the best chance of stopping a Hillary Clinton presidency and who would have the most appeal to millennials and women.”

The former congressman added that he will “not be publicly critical of any candidate” and wanted nothing to do with the “Never Trump" movement.

As for Trump’s criticism of the process, English said “Mr. Trump has very effectively made the Republican rules a foil. But to change the rules we have long operated under could have unintended consequences. We’re too big and too diverse a state to be ‘winner-take-all,’ so perhaps we should consider proportional representation.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.


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Donald Trump has denounced the nomination process as corrupt, a rigged system planned by party bosses. On Monday, three of the uncommitted delegates from Pennsylvania spoke to me about Trump’s acerbic comments.
Candidate, Delegates, Republican
Tuesday, 03 May 2016 10:15 AM
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