Rush Limbaugh ridiculed complaints that the Republican National Convention delegate selection process is rigged, a claim that has been repeatedly made by Donald Trump.
In the last few weeks, Trump and his allies have made what the New York Times has characterized as “an aggressive effort to undermine the Republican nominating process by framing it as rigged and corrupt,” as rival candidate Ted Cruz has “outmaneuvered him in delegate contests in states like Colorado, North Dakota and Iowa.” The result of Cruz’s moves could result in Trump being short of the 1,237 delegates he needs to secure the Republican presidential nomination.
Trump complained, “Our Republican system is absolutely rigged. It’s a phony deal.” His campaign recently hired Roger Stone associate Paul Manafort to oversee efforts to keep delegates in line ahead of the convention. The Times said the hire was “a sign that Mr. Trump is intensifying his focus on delegate wrangling as his opponents mount a tenacious effort to deny him the 1,237 delegates he would need to secure the Republican nomination.”
On the April 25 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show, Limbaugh attacked claims that the process is being rigged or that the delegate fight is beyond traditional campaign activity.
Limbaugh told his audience, “nobody is being cheated,” pointing out that “I'm really trying to get you to not think that this particular system is being rigged or you're being cheated. You're not, this is how politics is.”
Limbaugh noted that the strategy being used by the Cruz campaign “has always been the way it happens,” adding, “There is nothing happening this year that has not happened before in terms of delegate selection, allocation or what have you.”
He concluded, “I think you've got a lot of people in the media spreading all this, just to incite people, just to get them all fired up and charged up and just spread this narrative that there's cheating going on when either they don't understand it, or they want the fireworks, they want charged up and angry callers calling in raising hell for the sake of it, ratings or what have you.”
Despite Limbaugh blaming “the media” for “spreading all this,” it has been Trump himself who has promoted and repeatedly made this claim about the delegate process.
Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight notes that Trump’s complaints that the system is rigged have largely been echoed in the media, and have helped to increase support for him in polling of Republican primary voters.