Sen. Ted Cuz warned the Republican Party establishment Friday against trying to stop front-runner Donald Trump with a brokered convention, instead urging the party to get behind his campaign as the last hope to legitimately derail the billionaire businessman’s march to the nomination.
“If the Washington deal-makers try to steal the nomination from the people, I think it would be a disaster. It would cause a revolt,” Mr. Cruz told reporters at a campaign stop in Orono, Maine.
“Instead, the answer is real simple. We’ve got to win this nomination,” he said. “I’m the only candidate who has the delegate count, who has the state wins, who is in a position to beat Donald Trump. And if you want to beat Donald Trump, the way to do it is to come together behind this campaign.”
In the race for the 1,237 delegates needed to win the Republican nomination, Mr. Cruz is less than 100 delegates behind Mr. Trump, who has 329 delegates to the Texas senator’s 231.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Texas has 110 delegates and Ohio Gov. John Kasich has 25.
Mr. Cruz made a plea for Republican voters to break with Mr. Trump, who he described as lifelong liberal who couldn’t be trusted to stick to his conservative campaign rhetoric.
“Let me speak for a minute to the Donald Trump supporters,” he said. “I get that people are angry. We are so frustrated. We are so furious because we’ve been lied to. We’ve been lied to over and over and over again.”
He continued: “But Donald Trump embodies that Washington corruption that we are angry about. The answer to that corruption is not go with someone who has been funding liberal Democrats for decades, who has been enmeshed in that corruption.”
He said that Mr. Trump has told voters that he will betray them when he repeatedly said during the debate Thursday that as a deal-maker you “have to be flexible.”
“‘Flexible’ is Washington code word that he is going to stick it to the people,” Mr. Cruz said. “That’s what Washington politicians say. When they are ‘being flexible,” what it means is the rich and powerful are going to be taken care of … and the working men and women are going to be left behind.”
• S.A. Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.