Donald Trump is not pleased with rivals Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s new alliance to deny Trump the Republican presidential nomination.
In a lengthy press release Sunday evening, the Republican presidential frontrunner slammed the two candidates over their plan to divvy up the remaining nominating states in order to keep Trump from picking up the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination.
“It is sad that two grown politicians have to collude against one person who has only been a politician for ten months in order to try and stop that person from getting the Republican nomination,” Trump said in his statement.
Labelling the pact a “horrible act of desperation,” Trump attempted to undermine the two candidates’ electoral legitimacy, painting both as political insiders attempting to subvert the popular vote.
Trump noted that he has won millions more votes than both Cruz and Kasich. The Ohio governor has only won his home state and has secured fewer delegates than Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who dropped out of the presidential race in March.
“Collusion is often illegal in many other industries and yet these two Washington insiders have had to revert to collusion in order to stay alive,” Trump said. They are mathematically dead and this act only shows, as puppets of donors and special interests, how truly weak they and their campaigns are.”
He continued: “When two candidates who have no path to victory get together to stop a candidate who is expanding the party by millions of voters, (all of whom will drop out if I am not in the race) it is yet another example of everything that is wrong in Washington and our political system.”
On Sunday, Kasich and Cruz announced the agreement to cede ground to each other in certain states in order to consolidate anti-Trump support.
In a release Sunday, Kasich’s campaign said it will effectively stop campaigning in Indiana, and focus on winning New Mexico and Oregon. For its part, the Cruz campaign scheduled a number of events in Indiana this week, but said it would attempt to “clear the path” for Kasich to perform well in New Mexico and Oregon.
“Having Donald Trump at the top of the ticket in November would be a sure disaster for Republicans,” Cruz campaign manager Jeff Roe said in a statement Sunday evening. “To ensure that we nominate a Republican who can unify the Republican Party and win in November, our campaign will focus its time and resources in Indiana and in turn clear the path for Gov. Kasich to compete in Oregon and New Mexico, and we would hope that allies of both campaigns would follow our lead.
Following an overwhelming victory during the New York primary last week, Trump has edged closer to winning the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the GOP nomination on the first ballot during the Republican national convention in July. While Kasich has been openly positioning himself for a contested convention, Cruz has only recently begun publicly acknowledging that he will not be able to secure the delegates needed to clinch the nomination outright.
The New York Times reports that talks have been in the works for some time, though the Cruz campaign was initially hesitant to agree to a pact.