Ted Cruz Sweeps Wyoming GOP Convention, Trump Campaign Still Confident

Ted Cruz won all 14 delegates up for grabs at the Wyoming state convention on Saturday, which was yet “another delegate bloodbath” for Donald Trump, as Politico puts it. Trump’s convention manager Paul Manafort, however, feels confident that the Republican frontrunner can secure the required 1,237 delegates for the GOP presidential nomination despite conceding defeat in Wyoming.

null

On Saturday, the Wyoming crowd was clearly in Cruz’s corner, as the Texas senator was the only candidate who bothered showing up in Casper ahead of a massive snowstorm. The senator addressed the state convention, holding up a copy of the slate of delegates supporting him and urging the crowd to back that slate in order to stop Trump.

“If you don’t want to see Donald Trump as the nominee, if you don’t want to hand the general (election) to Hillary Clinton, which is what a Trump nomination does, then I ask you to please support the men and women on this slate.”

Ted Cruz wins Wyoming's All GOP delegates [Photo by David McNew/Getty Images]Cruz talked about local issues in Wyoming, the largest coal-producing state. He shrugged off the Democratic “attack” on the fossil fuel, saying President Barack Obama has tried to put the coal industry out of business through government regulations targeting air pollution.

“America is the Saudi Arabia of coal, and we are going to develop our industry.”

As Wyoming does not hold a primary vote, 475 party activists convened in Casper to hold a state convention and award 14 delegates. Earlier, 12 other delegates had been designated at county-level conventions, of which, Cruz won 10, with one going to Trump and another being elected as “unbound.”

null

Trump, instead, spent the day in New York and decried the convention process used here and in Colorado last week as being “rigged.” Earlier on Saturday, Trump ripped through the Wyoming contest on Fox News Fox & Friends show and said he didn’t want to compete in Wyoming because decisions were being made by “the bosses.”

“I don’t want to waste millions of dollars going out to Wyoming many months before to wine and dine and to essentially pay off all these people because a lot of it’s a payoff. You understand that, they treat them, they take them to dinner, they get them hotels. I mean, the whole thing’s a big payoff, has nothing to do with democracy.”

null

On Sunday, Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s convention manager, told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week that the Trump campaign didn’t want to waste money in Wyoming where it failed to provide a full slate of preferred delegates, only naming six of the possible 14.

“We didn’t even play there because it was a closed system… We didn’t want to waste our money and deal with the party bosses.”

Ted Cruz sweeps Wyoming Republican Convention [Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]Manafort stressed that despite Cruz’s Wyoming triumph, the real-estate mogul would be able to win the nomination before the convention.

“The real issue is there’s not going to be a second ballot… There is [sic] many paths to 1,237 for Donald Trump between now and the middle of June — not July — and we are working all of those paths.”

Manafort said the campaign would be challenging some results, as he accused the Cruz campaign of violating the rules when it comes to the hunt for the delegates needed to secure the nomination.

“We’ll be filing protests. Missouri, we’re going to be filing protests. Colorado, we’re going to be filing protests.”

null

Rejecting Manafort’s allegations, Cruz’s delegate operations director, Ken Cuccinelli, accused Trump’s campaign of using unsavory tactics to win delegates.

“We’re playing within the rules established a long time ago and motivating voters based on Ted’s vision… How about calling for riots in the street? How about threats — ‘We’re going to go to the hotel rooms of delegates’ — death threats to the Colorado Republican chairman?”

So far, Trump has won 21 state nominating contests whereas Cruz managed to secure only 10. However, the statistics doesn’t tell the whole story, as the billionaire (755 delegates) leads the Texas senator only by 196 (559 delegates), which means he must win nearly 60 percent of those remaining to reach 1,237 delegates before the party’s political convention in July.

[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]