Four states are canceling their Republican primaries and caucuses, which spells very bad news for Republican Trump challengers, who already faced a near-impossible road anyway.
South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona, and Kansas Republicans are expected to finalize plans to cancel their primaries this weekend, according to Politico.
“Trump and his allies and the Republican National Committee are doing whatever they can do to eliminate primaries in certain states and make it very difficult for primary challengers to get on the ballot in a number of states,” the controversial Joe Walsh, who recently announced his primary challenge to Trump, said in reaction to the cancellation news.
He went on to say that the Republican Party should be “ashamed” of itself, which seems a strange strategy for someone literally trying to be the nominee of that political party.
“It’s wrong, the RNC should be ashamed of itself, and I think it does show that Trump is afraid of a serious primary challenge because he knows his support is very soft,” he said.
“Primary elections are important, competition within parties is good, and we intend to be on the ballot in every single state no matter what the RNC and Trump allies try to do,” the former congressman continued. “We also intend to loudly call out this undemocratic bull on a regular basis.”
Walsh has double the reason to be peeved about the news given the fact that he lost his radio gig upon his presidential campaign announcement.
Bill Weld, the former governor of Massachusetts and a controversial former vice presidential nominee for the Libertarian Party in 2016, said in reaction to the news: “We don’t elect presidents by acclamation in America. Donald Trump is doing his best to make the Republican Party his own personal club. Republicans deserve better.”
Weld also recently announced his plans to challenge Trump for the 2020 presidential nomination for the Republican Party.
Politico reports that Trump campaign officials have promoted a smooth path to the party’s nomination, but the cancellations were prompted by state officials and not by the Republican Party itself.
While Weld and Walsh are crying foul, this is not the first time states have canceled primaries. Arizona canceled their Democratic primary when Barack Obama was running for reelection in 2012. The same also happened in 1996 when Bill Clinton was running for reelection. Kansas also did not have a primary in 1996.
“As a general rule, when either party has an incumbent president in the White House, there’s no rationale to hold a primary,” South Carolina GOP Chairman Drew McKissick told Politico. He also noted that his state did hold a primary in 1984 when Ronald Reagan was running for reelection, or in 2004 when George W. Bush was doing the same. He added that Democrats also skipped primaries in the state in 1996 and 2012.
Others say saving on costs is a motivating factor behind the cancellations.
“It would be malpractice on my part to waste money on a caucus to come to the inevitable conclusion that President Trump will be getting all our delegates in Charlotte,” said Nevada GOP Chairman Michael McDonald. “We should be spending those funds to get all our candidates across the finish line instead.”
Kansas GOP Chairman Michael Kuckelman echoed the same sentiments, saying a primary could cost around $250,000.
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