It may be hard to remember after all the vitriol that’s been tossed around, but there was a time when the GOP frontrunner and the man in second place behind him appeared very aligned. Donald Trump even remarked last November that Ted Cruz could be a running mate for him given that “he’s agreeing with me 100 percent.”
Of course, Trump also noted at that time that “If he catches on, I guess we’ll have to go to war” — and, of course, that’s exactly what’s transpired in the intervening months.
But as they say, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. And so it is that some Donald Trump delegates and Ted Cruz delegates are joining together to fend off the GOP establishment efforts toward a brokered convention.
Former radio talk show host Steve Gill, an elected Cruz delegate, and State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet), an elected Trump delegate, tell Breitbart executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon that along with former State Rep Joe Carr, a Cruz delegate, they are inviting their 49 fellow Trump and Cruz delegates in Tennessee to meet later this month to fend off the GOP establishment’s efforts to “broker” the party’s convention and hand the nomination to someone other than Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)Beavers was elected as an at-large delegate committed to Trump and received more votes than any other Trump delegate in the state’s March 1 primary. Carr and Gill finished in first and second place, respectively, in votes cast for Cruz delegates elected at-large across the state in that primary. “I think this is truly grassroots. That’s what’s so interesting about this. When I started talking to Joe Carr, who’s a Cruz delegate, and Senator Mae Beavers, who’s a Trump delegate, and other Trump and Cruz delegates, we all were kind of having the same thought at the same time,” Gill told Bannon.
“There’s a lot of this vitriol, a lot of bitterness and battle between the Trump folks and the Cruz folks right now. But as we look through the delegate list in Tennessee, we realize that back when we stopped the state income tax in Tennessee [in 1999 and 2000], when people circled our capital and honked their horns, we were “horn-honkers” before [we] were Tea Partiers and now we’re on opposite sides of this particular political battle,” Gill noted.
“But we’ve worked together fighting the establishment, fighting both the Democrats and the RINO Republicans for a long time, and it occurred to everybody simultaneously that it makes no sense for us to get to the finals, as we’re in March Madness [of the NCAA Basketball Tournament], to be the final two teams, and then have somebody that didn’t even make the Sweet Sixteen come in and try to grab the MVP trophy after the tournament game is over,” Gill said.
“We don’t want it taken away from whoever has earned the vote. I think it makes a lot of sense for the Cruz and the Trump people, the leaders, to get together and say we’re not going to let this happen. We’re not going to let them change the rules on us and put someone in that hasn’t worked for the position,” Beavers told Bannon on Breitbart Radio Saturday, heard on the Patriot Channel 125 of the Sirius/XM Radio Network.
As Breitbart News reported previously, Beavers, Gill, and former State Rep. Joe Carr, a Cruz delegate who narrowly lost to incumbent Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) 21% in the 2014 Republican U.S. Senate primary, met on Friday to prepare the agenda for the larger meeting, which will be held before the end of March.
“Some people in the Cruz and Trump boats are saying ‘well you’re selling out our campaign to the other guy,’ and that’s the furthest thing from what’s happening,” Gill added.
“We’re going to keep fighting for Cruz. They’re going to keep fighting for Trump. But at the end of the day, it’s going to be one of these two folks who actually get to the convention with the most, if not the right, number of delegates, and then, we’re not going to let somebody who’s sat on the sidelines come in and circumvent the process,” Gill added.
Read more and listen to the full interview over at Breitbart.
Though this is not the first time the party has discussed or had a brokered convention — in fact, it was a brokered convention that brought us President Abraham Lincoln — the idea of one is rubbing many people the wrong way in this election cycle. Anti-establishment sentiment is running high, and the fact that the so-called establishment is pushing a brokered convention — transparently doing so in order to stop a candidate(s) it doesn’t like — has made the idea of such a convention poisonous to the anti-establishment crowd.
I know a lot of y’all are either Trump or Cruz supporters. What do y’all think of this effort to join forces against a brokered convention?
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]