GOP official reminds voters: We choose nominee, not you

Voters have been coming out in droves to vote for their presidential candidate of choice.

That fire is quickly dimmed with the reminder that it is in fact the political parties, not the voters, who ultimately choose the nominee.

Republican party chairmen and convention rules member Curly Haughland, an unbound delegate from North Dakota, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday that “The media has created the perception that the voters choose the nomination. That’s the conflict here.”

Unbound delegates like Haughland are not required to endorse candidates due to the fact that their states or territories don’t hold primaries or caucuses. In the case of a brokered convention, which is looming if GOP front-runner Donald Trump is unable to secure 1,237 delegates, unbound delegates play a crucial role in choosing the nominee on the initial ballot.

Delegates from areas where primaries and caucuses are held are bound to their results on the first ballot; if a second ballot is required, almost all delegates can virtually go rogue in their choice.

“It could introduce Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, or it could be the other candidates that have already been in the race and are now out of the race [such as] Mike Huckabee [or] Rick Santorum. All those people could eventually become candidates on the floor,” Gary Emineth said, who is also an unbound delegate from North Dakota.

“The rules haven’t kept up,” Haugland added. “The rules are still designed to have a political party choose its nominee at a convention. That’s just the way it is. I can’t help it. Don’t hate me because I love the rules.”

Emineth also commented on possible “shenanigans” from party officials, saying, “You have groups of people who are going to try to take over the rules committee,” he warned. “[That] could totally change everything, and mess things up with the delegates. And people across the country will be very frustrated.”

He reassured members of the GOP that no matter what happens, the ultimate goal is to defeat Hillary: “It’s important that the Republican National Committee has transparency on what they’re doing [on the rules] going into the convention and what happens in the convention,” he continued. “Because at the end of the day, our goal is to beat Hillary Clinton or whoever their [Democratic] nominee is in November.”

Considering the momentum of Trump’s run for the GOP nomination thus far, him receiving a plurality of the 1,237 delegates is not beyond reach.

The last brokered convention that went passed the first ballot was for the Democratic nominee in 1952; Republicans almost required one in 1976.

Watch the interview via CNBC below:


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