By HEATHER HADDON – – – – – –
Donald Trump predicted that there could be “riots” if the Republican nomination were to be decided by a contested convention this summer and ignored what he expects to be his own large lead in the delegate count.
Tuesday night’s wins by Gov. John Kasich in Ohio and Sen. Ted Cruz’s tight races with Mr. Trump in Missouri and North Carolina lowered the chances that any candidate will reach the required 1,237 delegates to clinch the GOP nomination ahead of the party’s July convention. This has given rise to the strong possibility of a so-called contested convention, in which the first place candidate — likely to be Mr. Trump — could be denied the nomination in favor of a compromise candidate.
During an appearance on CNN’s “New Day” Wednesday, host Chris Cuomo asked the front-runner how he would bring people together if he won the nomination outright — or if he didn’t, and needed to pick off delegates who were pledged to other candidates during a convention fight.
Mr. Trump responded by predicting he would reach the needed delegate threshold before the convention, which would be followed by a “natural healing process” once the primary fight concluded.
But he then foresaw dark consequences if were to be denied the nomination despite finishing in first place.
“I can tell you, if we didn’t [reach 1,237 delegates] and if we’re 20 votes short or if we’re 100 short and we’re at 1,100 and somebody else is at 500 or 400, because we’re way ahead of everybody, I don’t think you can say that we don’t get it automatically.”
If he weren’t nominated in that scenario, ” I think you’d have riots. I think you’d have riots,” he said.
“I’m sorry but you’re 100 votes short, even though the next one is 500 votes short, I think you would have problems like you’ve never seen before. I think bad things would happen, I really do. I believe that. I wouldn’t lead it but I think bad things would happen.”