MADISON, Wis. — Ted Cruz on Monday warned Republicans against drafting an alternative nominee at this summer’s national convention, hoping to shoot down the possibility even as speculation mounts that the party establishment is looking for another option.
“It ain’t going to happen,” the Texas senator insisted to reporters here before speaking at a town hall with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly. “If it did, the people would quite rightly revolt. If Washington said, we had elections in 50 states but we, the dealmakers, don’t care what the people voted for, we have someone else who’s going to go along and get along and keep the cronyism going, the voters would naturally say, ‘To heck with you, we’re staying home.’”
Cruz continued, “Are some folks in Washington foolish enough to do that anyway? Probably. But they can’t do it. If over 80 percent of delegates are Cruz delegates [or Donald] Trump delegates, under what universe do a thousand Trump delegates or a thousand Cruz delegates go vote for some uber-Washington lobbyist who hasn’t been on the ballot? That’s simply not going to happen.”
Cruz’s comments, among his strongest to date on the subject, come amid Washington chatter about the possibility that House Speaker Paul Ryan could win the nomination if no other candidate clinches the title during early rounds of convention balloting. Ryan has insisted he doesn’t want the nomination.
The Texas senator noted that current Republican National Convention rules require that in order to secure the nomination, a candidate must have won a certain number of states — rules put in place, he said, in 2012 in order to create a more challenging path for former Rep. Ron Paul, then a presidential candidate.
“You know what? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” Cruz said. “The rules are the rules. And if you want to win, you have to win at the ballot box.”