Donald Trump had good reason to suspect he was ambushed by the Republican National Committee during Saturday’s debate in South Carolina: That was exactly what happened.
Chad Groover, the chairman of the local Republican Party in Greenville, essentially confirmed the billionaire’s worst fears over the weekend.
“I didn’t have hundreds of tickets. I had a couple of dozen tickets. You’ll have a good mix of people who are donors, people who are donors and workers, and people who are just workers,” Groover said, WYFF 4 reported Saturday.
RNC Chief Strategist and Communications Director Sean Spicer gave Breitbart News a precise breakdown of ticket allocation on Monday.
Republican candidates had to split up 600 seats among themselves, while the RNC and nationally elected officials received 367 tickets. State party and locally elected officials received 550 tickets. Google was given 100 tickets.
Radio host Rush Limbaugh said Monday he had never witnessed such an orchestrated attack on a Republican candidate.
“[Trump] didn’t even have to say anything. He just opened his mouth, a couple of syllables and here came the boos. And it did appear to distract him off the point that he was getting ready to make,” said Limbaugh. “I’ve never seen anything like that, that I can recall watching intraparty debates. I’ve never seen it on the Democrat side. I mean, I’ve heard a smattering of boos, but I’ve not seen a whole audience stacked for the expressed purpose. And it was done specifically to make it look like no Republicans in South Carolina like Trump. They didn’t tell you the audience was a bunch of donors. They didn’t tell you the audience was a bunch of people that support amnesty.”
The conservative icon said Saturday’s debate was carefully crafted theater meant to convince viewers that Trump’s support is less robust than polls suggest.
“The [TV] audience was supposed to assume that in South Carolina, the Republican Party hates Trump. That’s what they were trying to create, and [Trump] knew it,” said Limbaugh.
Trump was livid when he spoke of the RNC’s audience-stacking to a crowd in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, on Monday.
“I have never met people like politicians. They are the most dishonest people I have ever met. They lie, lie, lie and then they apologize. … I signed a pledge, but the pledge is not being honored by them. … They are in default of their pledge.”
Trump signed a pledge of allegiance to the Republican Party in September 2015.
“The best way for the Republicans to win is if I win the nomination and go directly against whoever [the Democrats] put up, and for that reason I have signed the pledge,” the billionaire said Sept. 3, 2015, from the lobby of Trump Tower in New York City, WND reported. “So, I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party and the conservative principles for which it stands, and we will go out and we will fight hard and we will win. We will win, and most importantly we will make our country great again.”
The billionaire also told reporters he would seriously consider filing a lawsuit against Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for “false ads” attacking him over eminent domain and a host of other issues.
“One of the ways I can fight back is to bring a lawsuit against him relative to the fact that he was born in Canada and therefore cannot be president,” Trump said, WND reported.
Reporters then asked if he would file a lawsuit prior to South Carolina’s Feb. 20 primary election.
“Maybe, if I can,” Trump replied. He said processing paperwork would not require much time.
Katon Dawson, a longtime GOP operative in South Carolina, warned last week that Trump can expect a wide range of attacks prior to the primary election.
“No one has talked about the three marriages yet. No one has talked about the casinos. I suspect we’ll see that come Monday,” Dawson told Politico Feb. 11. “Someone has to take the bark off of him or he’s going to take this primary walking away.”