In a last-ditch effort to derail the momentum of Donald Trump and sideline his now presumptive status as the Republican presidential candidate, operatives supporting failed candidate Ted Cruz are colluding to seize control of the Republican platform and the rules governing the party’s July convention.
On Sunday, a top Cruz aide sent out a letter to convention delegates stating it is “still possible to advance a conservative agenda at the convention.”
“To do that, it is imperative that we fill the Rules and Platform Committees with strong conservative voices like yours,” Ken Cuccinelli wrote in the letter. “That means you need to come to the national convention and support others in coming, too!”
Cuccinelli emphasized the effort must not appear to be underhanded. “It’s important that this not appear as though we are pulling a stunt at this convention,” he said.
The letter reportedly carried a Cruz-Fiorina logo and appeared as many Cruz supporters appear ready to get behind Donald Trump.
Cuccinelli worked for the Cruz campaign arranging delegates for the Texas senator.
The New York Times quotes Cuccinelli as saying Cruz planned a Monday night conference call with former campaign officials to “discuss what we can do at the convention to protect against liberal changes to our platform, and how we can right the wrongs in the rules from 2012!”
Cuccinelli and Cruz supporters are looking to change a rule implemented in 2012 by supporters of failed candidate Mitt Romney to make it more difficult to place a candidate’s name in nomination.
Convention rules are determined every four years by committees of handpicked delegates. The rules are then either voted up or down by delegates at the convention.
Revived Campaign May Emerge from Shadows
Apparently emboldened by the effort to wrangle control at the convention, on Tuesday Ted Cruz hinted he may revive his campaign.
In an interview with radio talk show host Glenn Beck—who previously declared Cruz is a man “anointed” by God—Cruz said picking a presidential candidate “is not a choice that we as voters have to make today.”
Cruz told Beck he would not rule out returning to the campaign trail if “there’s a path to victory.”
Cruz and anti-Trump supporters are emboldened by a lack of support on the part of the Republican establishment. Two former presidents said they will not support a Trump nomination and two failed candidates, Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham, have stated they will not support the New York businessman.
The House Speaker, Paul Ryan, also said he will not support Trump at this time. Ryan said he would not chair the RNC convention in July.
On Sunday, Trump took to the talking head shows to say he would work to block Ryan’s role as chair after the top Republican refused to endorse him. “To be perfectly candid, I’m not ready to do that right now,” Ryan told CNN’s Jake Tapper last week when asked if he would support Trump.
Ryan had previously said he is duty-bound to back the party’s nominee.