The Donald Trump campaign has endured months of being smeared as Nazis and new campaign boss Paul Manfort has fired a return salvo at those who embrace Godwin’s Law. Taking to the Sunday morning bloviation circuit, the legendary Republican operative accused Team Cruz of using “Gestapo” tactics in their ongoing attempts to shave delegates in order to deny the nomination to the GOP front-runner at this summer’s brokered convention. Team Cruz is no longer able to keep a lid on the delegate harvesting operations, having just cried foul over being “double crossed” by John Kasich in Michigan and especially after the someone with the Colorado GOP tweeted out #NeverTrump after this weekend’s caucuses – the ill-advised tweet has since been deleted. Stunts like that only bolster Manafort’s case.
CNN reports on Manafort’s escalation in the rhetoric in the story “Trump aide: Cruz using ‘Gestapo tactics’ in delegate hunt”:
Donald Trump’s newly minted convention manager on Sunday accused Republican presidential rival Ted Cruz’s campaign of “Gestapo tactics” and of “not playing by the rules” in its efforts to wrangle the support of Republican delegates.
Paul Manafort, a veteran Republican operative who managed the convention efforts of several successful presidential campaigns, was tasked earlier this week by Trump with directing the campaign’s new delegate-focused campaign strategy.
Manafort said the Trump campaign’s strategy won’t involve threatening delegates, but accused Cruz of employing those tactics, which he referenced by alluding to the notorious Nazi Germany secret police force.
“He’s threatening,” Manafort said of Cruz on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “You go to these county conventions, and you see the tactics, Gestapo tactics, the scorched-earth tactics.”
Trump on Sunday tweeted, “I win a state in votes and then get non-representative delegates because they are offered all sorts of goodies by Cruz campaign. Bad system!”
Cruz campaign spokeswoman Catherine Frazier dismissed the complaints as “sour grapes.”
“More sour grapes from Trump who continues to lash out in tantrums every time he loses. We are winning because we’ve put in the hard work to build a superior organization,” she said.
She added: “We have earned our success by working hard to build a superior organization and are working within the process and rules that have been established — which has led now to four consecutive wins, 12 wins total.”
Manafort also conceded that while he believes Trump will have a clear “path” to clinching the Republican nomination by mid-May, the billionaire candidate will need to “go through June” and “wait ’til the process is done” to cross the 1,237-delegate threshold necessary to capture the nomination on the first ballot at the convention.
The GOP establishment’s job of using Cruz to screw Trump out of the nomination just got a lot harder with Manafort onboard and in control. It will inevitably result in deemphasizing the role of Corey Lewandowski who has been vilified by the media after touching ex-Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields which turned into a public relations debacle. Manafort’s comments that he believes that his boss can get to the magic 1,237 thereby avoiding a brokered convention altogether are wildly optimistic given the conviction of anti-Trump forces as well as the “immaculate nominee” Paul Ryan waiting in the wings but he will surely be running a much tighter ship.