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Trump says his general election campaign hasn’t really started

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally Saturday in Phoenix.

Donald Trump hit back at forces within his party who may try to stop him from formally capturing the Republican presidential nomination, calling their reported plans “illegal,” and after a few rough weeks marked by rising negative ratings he said the general election campaign really hasn’t started.

“First of all, it’s meaningless. Second of all, it’s illegal. Third of all, you can’t do it,” Trump said in Las Vegas on Saturday of the reported plan to unseat him during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next month.

Trump said that talk of a convention challenge was being manufactured by the media, and that Republican leaders and voters alike were were giving him “tremendous support.”

Tensions have flared regularly between Trump and some establishment figures within the party since he became the presumptive Republican nominee in late May. The Washington Post reported on Friday that Trump critics hope to challenge him in Cleveland by making changes to rules governing the convention. Dozens of Republican delegates were said to be on board.

Rules Committee

Should the efforts gain traction, decisions made by the rules committee before Cleveland could have a big impact on how things play out. On Friday, the RNC named former Representative Enid Mickelsen from Utah to oversee the panel that’s responsible for reviewing and modifying rules for the convention and the party’s operations going forward.

Mickelsen is seen as a potential ally of Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee who now makes Utah his primary residence and who’s been leading anti-Trump forces within the party. Trump, in turn, has called Romney “a choke artist” for losing in 2012, and Paul Manafort, Trump’s convention manager, last week called the former Massachusetts governor a “coward.”

“We get almost 14 million votes, we win 36, 37 states — others win none. None. Now people who got none are saying, ‘Maybe we can get something at the convention,’ ”a fired-up Trump said in Las Vegas. “It doesn’t work that way, folks.”

Trump said former Florida governor Jeb Bush, one of the more than a dozen Republicans vanquished during the party’s primary elections, may be among those attempting to undermine him. “Jeb is working on the movement, just so you understand,” he said in Las Vegas.

Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell responded on Twitter that “Donald Trump’s unending obsession with JebBush is really unhealthy.”

Even Paul Ryan, who has endorsed Trump, clashed with him for what the House speaker said were racist comments on a judge overseeing lawsuits against Trump University, the candidate’s now-defunct real estate training academy. Trump continued Sunday to tell Ryan and other nominal allies to stop such criticism.

“They shouldn’t be talking so much,” Trump said during an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “Let me run for president.”

Ryan, who will chair the convention, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Trump was the “duly elected nominee” but that delegates could vote their “conscience” in deciding whether to support him. “The last thing I would do is tell anybody to do something that’s contrary to their conscience,” Ryan said.

Negatives Spike

Some Republicans are anxious about the impact on November’s congressional races and other electoral contests of having a standard-bearer who so routinely attracts negative publicity, suggesting that certain potential donors could hold back particularly as they witness a campaign that has largely been slow to ramp up.

Trump said Sunday on “Meet the Press” that his likely rival Hillary Clinton “has a head start,” despite his having become his party’s presumptive nominee weeks before she did for the Democratic Party. “We start pretty much after the convention,” he said in an interview conducted on Saturday.

In Las Vegas Trump said he had raised $12 million to $13 million for the RNC in the past two days alone, and that if Republicans “don’t want to help out as much, I’ll fund my own campaign.”

Polling this week showed Trump’s negative ratings, already high, spiked again after briefly tapering off in May. An ABC News/Washington Post poll released on June 15 found that 70 percent of Americans view Trump unfavorably, up 10 points on the month. Clinton’s unfavorable rating also rose, to 55 percent from 53 percent.

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  • Review of RCP polls Clinton v. Trump by State, even if some polls are dated, shows Trump in the lead or within the margin of error. Trump building on the current State by State polls will place him in an exciting position in September and ready for the General and the 270 electoral votes.

    • Trump does at least one and sometimes two rallies a day and takes his show on the jet stream. He plays to an audience in the thousands. Hillary uses surrogates and teleprompters. Complete phony.
      We have a long way to go. I hope the sore Losers support the Party.
      Attack ads never worked in the primary and won’t work now.
      Hillary’s supporters accuse me of being ignorant, an imbecile and make derogatory remarks. Someday soon they might have to eat those words. I might not be as smart as the NPD but they count my vote just the same.

      • No, we won’t have to eat those words because Mr. Trump can’t win. It’s getting closer and closer to becoming mathematically impossible.

        Your vote for Trump (assuming you vote in Hawai’i) won’t count. Mrs. Clinton will get the two Hawai’i electoral votes.

    • Did you just wake up from a coma? Trump is behind in every single national poll. Every one – and most now by double digits.

      Do you think that reality will change if you write things that aren’t true? That’s not the way things work. But enjoy your fantasy.

  • I can’t remember an election in my lifetime where even one of the major candidates running had public approval ratings below 50%, much less both of them.Usually that comes after they get elected.
    Neither of these clowns is worthy of being President.

    • Not much to choose from. Hillary taking money from the Muslims and their way of sharia turned me off. She’ll do away with the 1st and 2nd amendments. Pay for play. The Muslim religion accepts no other religion. They believe non believers and gays should be punished. Women are looked down upon.
      Calling a judge Mexican because the Hispanics who he supports violate the 1st amendment at his rallies. A couple of goofballs that signed up for Trump U that were too stupid too pass? Who’s fault is that?
      Pales in comparison.

      • How many mistakes can be made in one paragraph? Just look at your comment!

        Please … I’m begging you … please have someone teach you what the freedom of speech is and how the First Amendment works. No one has ever violated Mr. Trump’s First Amendment rights. Can’t you just take five minutes and learn something? Anything?

  • Changing the rules is not “illegal” as Mr. Trump pronounced. The rules committee can make almost any change they want. Mr. Trump’s lawyers know this. Mr. Trump doesn’t. Not a shock.

    The more often Mr. Trump reminds people of his racism and remarkably poor judgment, the more the delegates will consider a rule change to keep him off the ballot.

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