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Priebus: Tuesday's Results Won't Necessarily Point to Contested Convention

Fox News' "America's Newsroom"

By    |   Tuesday, 15 Mar 2016 01:40 PM

The results of primaries being held in several key states could be a good indicator of whether there will be a contested or open GOP convention in July, but they won't be every indicator, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said on Tuesday.

"Brokered is not the correct word," Priebus told Fox News' Martha MacCallum on the "America's Newsroom" program, contesting the most commonly used term for what could happen in Cleveland should Donald Trump not bring in 1,237 delegates on his side. "You can use the word contested or open convention, multi-ballot convention."

But it will all depend on how the delegates fall, said Priebus, as nobody knows what intervening events will occur.

If candidates remain in the race, they generally hold on to their delegates, and those people stay with them and are bound to them on the first convention ballot, said Priebus, but he uses the word "generally" because each state has different rules.

And even if a candidate says they have suspended their race, and not quit, the delegates are still generally unbound from them and can support another active candidate.

Meanwhile, four candidates are stubbornly hanging on, including John Kasich, who has ruled out being part of a ticket with front-runner Donald Trump. Ted Cruz is in second place, and Marco Rubio is bringing up the end. But Priebus said the RNC has no power to tell any candidate whether to stay in the race or to pull out.

"It is up to the people out in the states and the delegates at the convention," said Priebus. "We set the parameters, we set the rules. Today we have winner-take-all states because we set the rules. We set the parameters."

But most importantly, the party hires engagement employees, buys data and builds the database, he said.

"Without us, we'll go through the embarrassment of not being prepared for an election to win on the ground and mechanics," said Priebus. "You want to know what we do? It is a lot of things to be prepared to win and none of these candidates are going to be able to win without the RNC being prepared for the election. "

And even though there is dissension among the four remaining candidates, Priebus believes they'll remain true to their pledge to support the eventual party nominee.

"We've always been able to come together," he said. "I think we will obviously have to come together and there will be time for that process to take place."

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The results of primaries being held in several key states could be a good indicator of whether there will be a contested or open GOP convention in July, but they won't be every indicator, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said on Tuesday.
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Tuesday, 15 Mar 2016 01:40 PM
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