On Tuesday, Florida Senator and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio was asked about his inability to secure victory in any state’s primary thus far. His response was that one does not need to win the most states in order to become president.
His response, while technically accurate, was a bit baffling and ominous.
Now, it seems clearer as the candidate revealed to donors that he may be planning to secure victory at the Republican convention to try and wrestle the nomination from candidates who have earned the victories in state primaries.
According to two unnamed sources who spoke with CNN, the Rubio Campaign explained to donors that if he is unable to secure victories, he intends to initiate a “free-for-all” at the Republican convention where delegates continue to vote round after round until one candidate has at least 50 percent of the vote. This process can occur if no candidate has the majority of delegates.
This means that if Rubio can place second in several key states and secure delegates to rob Donald Trump or Ted Cruz of the majority of delegates, the free-for-all can be initiated as delegates would no longer be bound to vote according to their state’s wishes.
In this chaotic process, vicious politicking and crooked deals can come into play as allegiances can switch and crony deals can be struck to rob the candidate with the most delegates of the nomination and could, in theory, place someone who was never even a candidate as the nominee.
This has not happened since 1948 when Thomas Dewey secured the nomination, losing the race to Harry Truman.
While not technically a violation of the rules, this strategy that seems to be Rubio’s goal is an affront to the concept of democracy.
If we exist in a two-party system where a candidate can win consistently and receive the most-delegates of any candidate and still be robbed of the nomination thanks to conniving politicians and backroom deals, one should view this as an affirmation of all the ugly things said about politicians and dirtiness of modern American politics.
If Rubio (or any candidate) pulls a stunt like this, he lacks any clear mandate to lead from his own party. The nominee must be a steward of the wishes of the voters and if they have made their choices known, it is a travesty for such shenanigans to take place.
Meanwhile, Rubio continues to mimic Donald Trump by waging vicious attacks against Ted Cruz for engaging in “dirty politics” while reportedly plotting to wrestle the nomination from a candidate who earned it.
Taking something earned by someone and awarding it to another who didn’t—if Republicans wanted the Bernie Sanders mentality, they would just vote for him!