Trump Dumps On Cruz, RNC in Last-Minute New York Primary Push

  • Billionaire developer says Texas Senator has 'no road'
  • Trump relies on jobs, economy for his closing argument

Donald Trump pauses as he speaks during a campaign event in Hartford, Connecticut, U.S., on Friday, April 15, 2016.

Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Crossing his home state ahead of the Republican primary in New York, billionaire real-estate developer Donald Trump said Texas Senator Ted Cruz doesn’t have a shot at winning the party’s nomination.

Trump, in rallies before several thousand people on Saturday in Syracuse and Watertown, stuck to a message of jobs and the economy. He also kept alive a simmering feud with the Republican establishment, warning the party may face a “tough July” when it holds its convention in Cleveland.

The Republican front-runner accused Cruz of having “hate in his heart” when he disparaged New York values during a debate days before the Iowa caucuses. As for John Kasich, Trump pointed to his support of the North American Free Trade Agreement while the Ohio governor was a member of Congress, saying Nafta was a major factor in devastating former manufacturing economies such as the Empire State.

“I’m sorry folks –- you’ve only got Trump,” Trump told a crowd gathered in an airport hangar in Watertown.

He was blunt about his doubts regarding Cruz’s chances of securing the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination on the first ballot.

“I’ve got 22 states. What does he have? Nine? He’s got no road to the nomination in my opinion,” Trump said. “After this weekend when he gets wiped out in New York –- which he will -– he no longer has a road to the nomination.”

Cruz theoretically has a road to the nomination if Trump fails to secure the minimum number of delegates to be chosen on the first ballot. And, according to the New York Times, Trump has won 21 states.

Taking aim at the Republican National Committee earlier in the day during a rally at a convention center in Syracuse, Trump warned of a “rigged system” that he said was attempting to deny him the nomination despite having more votes than any other candidate.

“We have a movement going on like they’ve never seen before,” Trump said of his campaign. “The only way they can stop this movement is if we don’t do a good job on Tuesday.

“The Republican National Committee better get going because they are going to have a tough July with that convention,” he said. “The system is all rigged.”

New Yorkers voting in the Republican primary will award 95 delegates on Tuesday in what could be a crucial test of whether Trump can clinch the nomination on the first ballot.

Gary Barney, a 56-year-old retired county worker who attended the rally with his wife, Bonnie, and daughter, Karen, said he liked Trump’s decision to hammer home economic issues.

“I know some people might take issue with him being repetitive in his speech, but you have to keep hammering home what you’re trying to say,” Barney said in an interview, as he was flanked by his wife and daughter, a librarian who uses a wheelchair due to cerebral palsy.

“This area has seen such a downturn in manufacturing jobs and has gone to a service-oriented economy -- and the heart of this area was always manufacturing jobs.”

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