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Republican primary operating normally

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Michael Reagan

The Republican Party establishment wants to dump Trump.

Jeb, Marco and Carly wanted to dump Trump. Ted and John still hope to dump Trump. So does Mitt.

Everyone in the GOP is on the same anti-Trump page. They all want to dump him — and they’ll use every trick play in the primary book to do it.

So why is everyone in the party so angry about the way the primary process is going? This is the process.

It’s really pretty simple.

If you want to be the Republican Party’s presidential candidate for 2016, you have to reach 1,237 delegates to win the nomination.

It’s not who gets close to 1,237 delegates. It’s who gets that number or more. That’s the way the system works.

In the Super Bowl, we don’t say to a team that if you get to the five-yard line you get six points. Or if your field goal goes just a little bit wide, you get three points.

You have to cross the goal line and get into the end zone. You’ve got to split the uprights. Those are the rules.

Whether you’re Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, John Kasich or a candidate-to-be-named-later at a contested convention, if you want to win the game you have to get the necessary number of delegates.

What’s going on now in the GOP primary is perfectly normal. Cruz and Kasich are both trying to do whatever they can to stop Trump.

The people calling for Kasich to drop out so Cruz can go head-to-head against Trump are wrong. What makes them believe all of Kasich’s voters will move over to Cruz?

What Kasich said the other day is absolutely true. If he had dropped out before Ohio, Trump would have won that state’s 66 delegates and be even closer to reaching 1,237.

So what if Kasich can’t possibly win on the first ballot? It’s good that he is still running.

He’s the last sitting governor left in the race. We also have a first-term senator and a billionaire celebrity businessman who’s never been elected to anything.

What’s wrong with that trio? If there’s a contested convention, Republicans get to choose one of them or maybe someone else.

Trust me, the struggle to deny Trump the nomination on the first ballot is not anything to be upset about. It’s part of the process.

In 1976 what do you think we Reagans were trying to do at the Republican convention?

We were trying to prevent President Ford from winning the nomination on the first ballot by busting up the New York delegation. We were also trying to bust up the Pennsylvania delegation. That’s why my father named liberal Sen. Richard Schweicker of Pennsylvania his VP choice before the convention started.

Our plans didn’t work. We lost. I was there, so I know how that felt. But by losing we Reagan Republicans actually won in the long run.

If my father had become president in 1976, he would not have been able to do what he did in the 1980s to defeat the Soviet Union without firing a shot.

Winning the presidential primary is always a rough and tough process. Some Republicans want you to win and some don’t want you to win.

The most important thing is, at the end of the day you’re supposed to gather around the party’s choice -- whoever it is -- and move forward.

Democrats do that well. Republicans don’t. They keep looking for reasons not to support their nominee.

If evangelicals and conservatives had supported and voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, instead of staying home out of spite because their favorite guy didn’t win the nomination, the Republican Party wouldn’t have a Trump problem today.

The GOP establishment, the Tea Party crowd, the evangelicals and the libertarians will need to unite and work hard this fall if they hope to prevent another President Clinton.

Even if they fail to dump Trump.

— Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan and a political consultant. Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com.

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