Trump increases attacks on GOP delegate process

Story highlights

  • "The system is rigged," Trump said in Syracuse
  • The (RNC) better get going because I'll tell you what, you're gonna have a rough time at that convention in July," he added

(CNN)Donald Trump is taking his attacks against Republican nominating conventions, such as Saturday's in Wyoming and last weekend's in Colorado, to a new level.

Speaking at a rally in Syracuse, New York, Trump fired up the crowd by railing against how delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland are being selected in some states. Not coincidentally, those are states where Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is picking up delegates selected by party officials and activists instead of voters. Trump has done much better in states with primaries, such as New York, which votes on Tuesday.
    "The system is rigged," Trump said in Syracuse. "They gotta do something about it. The Republican National Committee better get going because I'll tell you what, you're gonna have a rough time at that convention in July ... because people want to vote and the people wanna be represented properly."
    Earlier Saturday, Trump said voters in Wyoming, where state Republicans are meeting in Casper, are essentially being bought off.
    "I don't want to waste millions of dollars going out to Wyoming many months before to wine and dine and to essentially pay off all these people because a lot of it's a pay-off," he said on "Fox and Friends." "You understand that, they treat 'em, they take 'em to dinner, they get 'em hotels. I mean the whole thing's a big pay-off, has nothing to do with democracy."
    Matt Micheli, the Wyoming GOP chairman, denied Trump's accusations.
    "Absolutely untrue, absolutely not," Micheli told CNN. "This is a process that we've done for 40 years. This is a process that people here are being elected by their peers."
    Michelle Kenyon, 58, a Cruz backer and geologist from Kemmerer, Wyoming, sought out reporters at the convention center to rebut Trump's comments from "Fox and Friends."
    "I felt insulted" by his interview, she said. "It's Trump that's lying."
    No one from her state delegation of 20 people from Lincoln County has had their room and board paid for, she said. "I'm doing this on my own free will because I believe in the Republican Party and I believe in America."
    Wyoming delegates to the national convention are elected in two phases. Twelve were chosen at county conventions last month, with 14 selected Saturday in Casper. Of the 12 already picked, nine are pledged to Cruz, one to Trump, one to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and one is uncommitted.
    The Trump delegate, Dr. Jon Baker, said he believes that overall, the setup has hurt the national front-runner.
    "The whole process of the precincts and county conventions is still somewhat confusing to me," Baker said. "I sense it works against Trump because he has not been involved."
    But Baker, a dermatologist who got involved in the GOP here because of Trump, said his campaign also has not actively courted him or talked about what might happen beyond the first ballot.
    "As far as today, they haven't brought up strategy at all," he said.
    RNC Chairman Reince Priebus defended the nominating process Friday in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, saying that if Trump doesn't like the rules, he can change them.
    "This is a very normal system that we've been using for many years," Priebus said on "Wolf."