Mitt Romney’s team is coming up with a plan to stop Donald Trump before he snags the Republican nomination for president — and it might end with Romney as the nominee, CNN reported Thursday.
Romney’s team is reportedly hoping for a contested convention, in which no candidate has won a majority of the delegates and the nomination is decided on the floor of the convention. Romney was the Republican nominee in 2012, but he lost to President Barack Obama.
A source close to Romney’s inner circle told CNN that Romney’s advisers are reviewing the convention rules and examining whether they might need revising.
“It sounds like the plan is to lock the convention,” a source told CNN.
And “implicit in Romney’s request to his team to explore the possibility of a convention fight is his willingness to step in and carry the party’s banner into the fall general election as the Republican nominee,” the network reported.
Romney just came out swinging against Trump this week. The real-estate mogul was once thought of as a long shot for the Republican nomination, but his campaign took off last summer and he’s now the party’s undisputed frontrunner.
Trump is on his way to locking down the 1,237 delegates he’d need to win the nomination, but if enough voters stand behind the other candidates who are still in the race — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Ohio Gov. John Kasich — Trump might fall short of the delegates he needs.
CNN’s source said Romney doesn’t believe any of the remaining Republican candidates can defeat Trump outright before the Republican National Convention this summer.
It’s not just Romney’s team discussing the possibility of a contested convention, either. Republican fundraisers are reportedly aware of these plans and believe it’s a genuine attempt from the Romney camp.
Ryan Williams, a Republican strategist who served as Mitt Romney’s spokesperson in 2012, told Bloomberg that after last Tuesday, when Trump won seven of 11 states, Republicans started losing hope that one of the remaining candidates could win out over Trump through primaries and caucuses.
“Many people had hoped one Trump alternative would emerge from Super Tuesday, and that simply did not happen. It’s clear that the anti-Trump contingent is more fractured than ever,” Williams said. “There’s very little time left and it seems the attention has shifted toward an effort to stop him at the convention. … It looks increasingly difficult to stop him before the convention.”
At a rally on Thursday, Trump addressed the talk of a contested convention.
“I think he still has a desire maybe at the convention to try and get some kind of a thing,” he said of Romney. “Hillary Clinton will destroy him in the election.”
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