Here’s a simple question that desperately needs an answer.
Donald Trump won the Arizona primary in a landslide, 47.1 percent to Ted Cruz’s 24.9 percent, giving the GOP front-runner all 58 of that winner-take-all state’s delegates.
Right now, the Cruz campaign is engaged in a “furious” on-the-ground campaign in Arizona – and in other states won by Trump, including Louisiana, Georgia and Tennessee – to convert Trump delegates into Cruz delegates on a second ballot, should there be a contested GOP convention this summer.
The question is: Is this moral?
Trump calls it “crooked as hell.” But let’s back up a little.
As the Washington Examiner reported Monday, in a story headlined “Cruz snaring Trump’s Arizona delegates” and posted in the lead position of the Drudge Report:
Sen. Ted Cruz is out-hustling Donald Trump and looks set to ensure many Arizona delegates will defect to him in a convention floor fight.
The Texas senator, who ever since Iowa has played a stealthy ground game in contrast to Trump’s chaotic populism, is taking steps to snatch the Republican presidential nomination from The Donald at the convention in July.
The New York businessman easily won last month’s Arizona primary taking 47 percent to Cruz’s 25 percent, scooping up all 58 of the state’s delegates. That’s nearly 5 percent of the 1,237 Trump needs for the nomination, and they’re tied to him on the first ballot.
But Cruz, exploiting deep opposition to Trump among grass-roots Republicans, has been far more active in Arizona than Trump, insiders say. He’s recruiting candidates for the available 55 delegate slots, that along with the other three delegate positions filled by party leaders, would be allowed to vote for him in a multi-ballot contested convention.
The Gateway Pundit blog gives the same story a more harshly partisan slant, headlining its post, “Dirty Ted Cruz Moves to Snatch Up Trump’s AZ Delegates – Supporters Cheer Sleazy Move.”
But let’s just confront the question, not necessarily in a partisan way:
Regardless of whom you support for the GOP presidential nomination, ask yourself whether what Team Cruz is doing is moral or “sleazy”? There doesn’t seem to be any question that it’s legal. But setting aside legality, which hinges on the complicated and arcane delegate rules that vary from state to state, the question is: Is it moral?
Is it fair for the Cruz campaign essentially to thwart the will of Arizona primary voters who overwhelmingly chose Donald Trump and intended their delegates to represent their choice? Are you OK with Team Cruz feverishly recruiting and converting delegates duty-bound to support Trump on the first ballot into Cruz supporters on all subsequent ballots?
What does this mean for Arizonans’ and other Americans’ right to vote?
“Trump has no real organization in Arizona,” GOP strategist Sean Noble explained to the Examiner. “Cruz will get most/all Arizona delegates on second ballot.”
I am troubled by this. The Cruz campaign is going from state to state, after each primary election has been decided by voters, in efforts to turn Trump delegates into Cruz delegates: Do you believe this is right?
One member of the Cruz team, Republican legislator David Livingston, majority whip of the Arizona House of Representatives, is, according to the Examiner, “engaged in a furious round of phone calls, texts, emails and meetings as it attempts to place loyal delegates.”
I’d like to know what you think about this. I’m not really interested in comments like: “Trump can’t win in November, so Cruz has to do this stuff to stop Hillary from being elected” or “Trump is also sleazy” or “Trump is so evil, Cruz has to stop him whatever the means.” Those are just excuses.
I simply want to know if you really believe overturning the crystal clear will of Arizona (and other states’) voters is a moral thing to do in pursuit of the presidency.
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