In 1860 it took little known congressman Abraham Lincoln three ballots at the Republican convention to become the party’s nominee. Yesterday a group of conservatives, determined to stop Donald Trump from becoming the nominee in 2016 said, “if it is good enough for Lincoln, that process should be good enough for all the candidates without threats of riots.”
Trump has suggested riots will break out if he has the most delegates and isn’t nominated. But the rules of the convention are quite clear. If he goes to Cleveland with less than the 1,237 delegates required to clinch the nomination, he is owed exactly nothing.
RedState.com founder Erick Erickson and former George W. Bush adviser Bill Wichterman, have called for the formation of a GOP “unity ticket” to stop Trump. They join the 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney who has stated he will not vote for Trump under any circumstances.
“He shouldn’t be president of the United States,” said Quin Hillyer, a conservative columnist. “Not only is he not conservative, he’s also just not a good face for the country.”
Also in Miami yesterday, leaders and financiers of the multimillion dollar anti-Trump ad campaign gathered to strategize how to stop Trump. The overwhelming feeling of some on the right is that Trump’s loss may be historic, possibly costing the GOP control of the U.S. senate.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who ran his own failed presidential campaign four years ago, was quick to defend Trump and blast the effort by conservatives to consider a third party option. “Here’s what the old line Washington establishment doesn’t get, there are only two candidates would could be nominated, one is Ted Cruz, the other is Donald Trump,” Gingrich said. “One of these two outsiders is going to be nominated, and anybody who tried to sneak in at the last moment would find Trump and Cruz opposed to them, and they would simply be crushed.”
Still, if Trump does not secure the necessary number of delegates he needs to clinch the nomination, the GOP convention of 2016 can look back to 1860 as its role model.