Donald Trump's new convention manager on Sunday accused Republican presidential rival Ted Cruz's campaign of using "Gestapo tactics" and "not playing by the rules" in its efforts to wrangle the support of Republican delegates.
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The concern in Trump's camp is that though Cruz has a poor chance to defeat Trump outright, if he can prevent the businessman from getting 1,237 delegates he will stand a better chance of rallying anti-Trump Republicans at the convention this summer to his campaign.
"He's threatening," Paul Manafort, a veteran Republican operative, said of Cruz on NBC's "Meet the Press" after Trump failed to win a single elected supporter of the Colorado state convention.
"You go to these county conventions, and you see the tactics, Gestapo tactics, the scorched-earth tactic," Manafort said.
"The reality is, they are not playing by the rules. If they don’t get what they want, they blow it up," Manafort said.
Cruz campaign spokeswoman Catherine Frazier dismissed the complaints as "sour grapes."
Trump himself accused Cruz’s campaign of bribing delegates, apparently in an allusion to Louisiana, where Cruz gained delegates through local politics despite Trump having won the state’s primary.
“I win a state in votes and then get non-representative delegates because they are offered all sorts of goodies by Cruz campaign,” he tweeted. “Bad system!”