The chairman of the Iowa Republican Party says it’s “nonsense talk” for party insiders to continue discussing plans to get someone other than Donald Trump, Ted Cruz or John Kasich named the GOP’s presidential nominee.
And Iowa GOP chair Jeff Kaufmann has this reaction to Republicans who’re considering supporting a third-party candidate: “When I hear people talk about that, I hear one thing: ‘Go Hillary!'”
Kaufmann will be one of Iowa’s voting delegates at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
“I believe a so-called ‘brokered’ convention’ is mostly the talk of people that, quite frankly, are having a difficult time accepting a loss,” Kaufmann says. “And you know what? Politics is about being good losers and good winners.”
Kaufmann considers a ‘brokered’ convention and a ‘contested’ convention to be two different things. A contested convention would feature a competition among Trump, Cruz and Kasich. A brokered convention, in his estimation, would result in choosing a nominee who hasn’t been running for president this year.
“The rules (of the convention) really do not allow a brokered convention…when people behind the scenes cut a deal,” Kaufmann says. “…Yes, brokered conventions have happened in the past…Go back to 1912. I mean, literally, the Republican nomination should have gone to Theodore Roosevelt and party leaders literally took that from him and gave it to William Taft…The lesson of what happened there should be a lesson for every Republican that’s even thinking that way because William Howard Taft, the sitting Republican president, ended up third after that nonsense.”
Iowa will have 30 national convention delegates. Kaufmann and the two other Iowans who serve on the Republican National Committee are among the 30. A dozen more will be elected at the party’s four district conventions April 9. The other 15 will be elected at the Republican Party’s state convention May 21.
Kaufmann says there is “heightened interest” in being elected as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland where this drama will play out.
“I know some people are seeing this as the glass half empty. In other words, the Republicans are fighting,” Kaufmann says. “Well, surprise, surprise! We have a contest that is close and divided and we have people that are energized…I’ll be honest, I’m not nearly as worried about permanent divisions in the party as long as we have Hillary Clinton to run against.”
Kaufmann says if there’s “any funny business” at the convention, delegates will be “very angry.”
“Any of this talk about another person descending upon Cleveland and carrying the day or people cutting a deal behind the scenes, not only do the rules of the national convention not allow that, it would be a kamikaze act.”
And Kaufmann says he’ll be a very vocal critic if this summer’s national convention nominates a candidate who wasn’t on the ballot in this year’s primaries and caucuses. He suggests those who are hoping someone other than Trump, Cruz or Kasich will be the party’s nominee are in “dream land”.
“I also think it’s reflective of being poor losers,” Kaufmann says. “If we’re going to listen to the grassroots, as a party, then we’re going to listen to the grassroots. I have no time whatsoever, no patience that you listen to the grassroots if it turns out the way you want, but you don’t if it doesn’t.”
Kaufmann made his comments this morning during an interview with Radio Iowa. The AUDIO is posted here.