A group of “grassroots conservative activists” met at the Army Navy Club in Washington, D.C., Thursday to discuss the possibility of combining Ted Cruz and John Kasich’s respective campaigns with the hope of denying Donald Trump the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination.
Conservative internet-activist Erick Erickson organized the meeting, which which attended by at least one known member of Congress — Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
“If that unity ticket is unable to get (the required number of) delegates prior to the convention, we recognize that it took Abraham Lincoln three ballots at the Republican convention in 1860 to become the party’s nominee”, Erickson said in statement released after the meeting.
Beyond stopping Trump, Erickson’s group is “committed to ensuring a real conservative candidate is elected,” whether that be on the Republican ticket or through a third-party platform.
In unrelated remarks made to the press Thursday on Capitol Hill, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) indicated that an “open convention” in July is now becoming “more likely”.
“We’re getting our minds around the idea that this could very well become a reality,” said Ryan, whose duty as Speaker is to also co-chair the RNC convention.
While staying away from an endorsement of any specific candidate, Ryan has directly responded to Trump’s threat of “riots” if he wasn’t nominated despite going into the convention as the delegate leader, calling the comment “unacceptable”.
“If anybody is out there representing the Republican Party in ways that we believe disfigure conservatism . . . I as party leader . . . have an obligation from preventing our principles from being distorted,” Ryan continued.
In his first remarks since suspending his presidential campaign on Tuesday evening, Sen. Marco Rubio also weighed in on the GOP controversy.
“Hopefully there’s time to still prevent a Trump nomination”, Rubio said Thursday in Washington. “Which I think would fracture the party and be damaging to the conservative movement.”
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