Tennessee's Joe Carr, the now-former state Representative who took on establishment Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander in the primary last cycle, has a prediction for other Cruz and Trump delegates to the Republican National Convention: "There's no question the establishment is going to try some shenanigans" at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this July.
But unlike other outsider delegates, many of them new to Republican Convention politics, Carr isn't waiting around to get outmaneuvered by the establishment.
"I have believed for eight, 10 months now that we're going to go to a contested convention, which is different, as your listeners know, from a brokered convention," Carr told Breitbart's Steve Bannon on Sirus XM's Patriot Channel 125.
"When we had our primary convention election for delegates on March 1, I immediately went about reaching out to some of the Cruz delegates, because I am a Cruz delegate to the bitter end, to say, 'Listen, whatever we've got to do, we need to hold together for the anti-establishment candidate in Ted Cruz. ...
"There's no question the establishment is going to try some shenanigans about the rules, the platform and the [credentials]-setting committee."
For Carr and other like-minded Cruz and Trump delegates, it's all about understanding the rules so as not to be bamboozled by the establishment's manipulation of them.
"We have to understand the rules mechanism process; the rules change process. Where grass-roots conservatives always kind of fall down, we're vocal, we're loud, we got the majority, but we don't understand the rules," Carr said.
Joe Carr is absolutely right.
Those who think that the Republican establishment has thrown in the towel and has become resigned to a Cruz or Trump victory don't know who they are dealing with and are fooling themselves if they think the battle for control of the Republican Party and its agenda is over, and populist or conservative outsiders have won.
Right after Sen. Cruz's victory in the Iowa Caucuses, The New York Times reported that "party elders" (meaning lobbyists, donors and elected officials) had hoped that one of their preferred candidates, such as Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, would be rising above the others by then and becoming a contender to rally around.
Despite the many reports that Sen. Ted Cruz would be acceptable to the GOP's Capitol Hill establishment, the party's donor class has already envisioned another path to force one of their own on the restive conservative grassroots of the GOP at the Republican convention this summer, months after the primary elections have concluded.
NYT writers Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns quoted Earle I. Mack, a real estate developer and former ambassador to Finland under George W. Bush, as saying the heavy bloodletting in the Republican race might prevent any candidate from clinching the nomination. In that case, he said, Republicans should turn to Speaker Paul D. Ryan.
"In these horrible crossfires, with everybody shooting each other down, it would be good to nominate somebody uncontroversial, who could appeal to a broader electorate," Mr. Mack said.
Of course after the sellout of the 2015 Omnibus, Speaker Ryan is only "uncontroversial" to establishment figures like former Ambassador Mack, but conservatives and populists should take this as a warning that the Republican establishment isn't going to go quietly and that they aren't going to let a little thing like losing a few elections stop them from forcing their presidential nominee on a rebellious grassroots.
Fortunately, grass-roots limited-government constitutional conservative delegates supporting Ted Cruz and Donald Trump have some wise and experienced leaders like Joe Carr to help organize the coming battle at the Republican National Convention.
Carr and Tennessee State Sen. Mae Beavers, a Trump delegate, who, together with Cruz delegate Steve Gill are gathering Tennessee's Trump and Cruz delegates to develop a convention strategy.
Carr, Tennessee State Sen. Mae Beavers and Steve Gill have invited their 49 fellow Trump and Cruz delegates in Tennessee to meet later this month to fend off the GOP establishment's efforts to "broker" the party's convention and hand the nomination to someone other than Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz.
"We've worked together fighting the establishment, fighting both the Democrats and the RINO Republicans for a long time, and it occurred to everybody simultaneously that it makes no sense for us to get to the finals, as we're in March Madness [of the NCAA Basketball Tournament], to be the final two teams, and then have somebody that didn't even make the Sweet Sixteen come in and try to grab the MVP trophy after the tournament game is over," Gill said.
Carr, Beavers and Gill are right. We urge the Cruz and Trump delegates in other states to follow their lead and work together to make sure that, while they follow their principles and work to nominate their candidate, the Republican political class does not succeed in forcing another content-free candidate and campaign down the throats of rebellious grass-roots conservatives.
To read our friend Michael Patrick Leahy's excellent reporting on the Tennessee effort to organize Cruz and Trump delegates into an unbeatable outsider block click the links below:
George Rasley is editor of Conservative HQ.
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