Tim Clark, hand-picked by Republican frontrunner Donald Trump this week to be his new California political director, told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview Wednesday evening that the Trump campaign has “already outmatched” Sen. Ted Cruz in the Golden State.
“I’ve only been on the job for the past 24 hours,” Clark said, “but it is a large, grassroots, unstoppable, momentous movement that is elevating Donald Trump in the state.”
On Monday, Cruz’s own California political director, former state GOP chair Mike Schroeder, speculated that the Trump campaign would fail to find enough delegates to fill three slots in each of the state’s 53 congressional districts by the May 8 deadline.
Clark told Breitbart News that the Trump campaign would easily meet that deadline.
“We’ve got a list of about a thousand people who would love to be delegates for Donald Trump,” he said, noting that the campaign was “vetting these names very carefully.”
He added: “Based on what I know of what’s happening in California, the organic Trump for President movement has already outmatched the organized, paid Cruz for President effort, and I feel very strongly we’re going to be able to leverage the Trump for President volunteers into even greater activities, so I’m not worried about it.”
Clark called the Trump campaign in California “a large, grassroots, unstoppable, momentous movement that is elevating Donald Trump in the state.”
When asked which districts the campaign would be targeting, Clark said the campaign considered every one of them to be competitive: “We’ve got 53 districts that are in play. We have the task of building 53 different campaign plans for each of those districts–which we’re doing. And we intend to contest every single one of those … we believe we can win all 53 and take home 172 delegates.”
Some analysts suggest that the Trump campaign could struggle in California, given that its presidential primary is “closed” — i.e. that only registered Republicans can participate. Clark seemed unfazed by the challenge that posed to a campaign that has relied elsewhere on crossover voters.
“We’ll have a lot of voters re-register,” he said. “We’ve had in the state for the last two decades an exodus from the Republican Party to “decline to state” to non-partisan, and those Republicans have been dispirited because there hasn’t been movement on our issues, our core issues, in Washington D.C., which is fiscal conservatism.
“We’re sending the message to them that it’s time for these Republicans to come on home and re-register back in our party, because we have a candidate that’s going to finally get the job done,” he said.
Clark added that he expected high turnout. “Well, it’s an exciting time, it’s an exciting campaign. I’ve been in this business 22 years, and I haven’t seen a lot that has energized and excited Republicans, and it’s nice to have excitement back on our side. That excitement is being generated for Donald Trump. It’s a momentous time.”
Trump announced Wednesday that he will deliver the kickoff address for the California Republican Party convention on April 29. Cruz and Ohio governor John Kasich are also addressing the convention.
Clark said: “This is the first of many announcements of Trump visits to California.”