Paul Manafort, a chief strategist in Donald Trump’s campaign, accused Ted Cruz of using “Gestapo tactics” in his quest for the Republican presidential nomination.
Cruz won all 13 of Colorado’s at-large delegates on Saturday in the state’s multi-tiered delegate system. Combined with the 21 delegates he had already earned, Cruz swept 34 out of the state’s 37 delegates. The final three will be appointed by Colorado’s Republican party. But Manafort said that Cruz was playing dirty.
“There's the law, and then there's ethics, and then there's getting votes,” Manafort said on NBC's "Meet The Press." “I'm not going to get into what tactics are used.”
Manafort, a professional political consultant whose expertise dates back to the 1976 campaign—when Gerald Ford had to fight on the floor of the Republican National Convention to win the nomination—has taken on an expanded role for Trump. His official title is “convention manager.”
Delegates at the Republican convention in July must vote on the first ballot for the candidate they are pledged to. If a candidate does not receive the required 1,237 delegates for the nomination, then the delegates are free to vote for a different candidate on the second ballot.
Manafort told NBC that it was “not Donald Trump’s style” to fight for delegates, but that Cruz was using “Gestapo tactics, scorched-earth tactics,” and said that the Trump campaign would be filling out “protest forms.”