On Tuesday, Sean Hannity, whose coverage of Donald Trump has been extraordinarily favorable, tried to savage Ted Cruz by deciding to make the focal point of his interview with Ted Cruz the delegate selection process, which Donald Trump has been whining about for weeks. When Cruz stated that Americans had other pressing concerns that deserved more attention, such as the lack of jobs, Hannity responded by boasting, “I’m on social media with millions of people. I have 550 radio stations, and I have the top-rated cable show at my hour all across the board. And I am telling you that people are telling me they find this whole process confusing …”
Hannity explained how Cruz’s staff had contacted delegates and asked them to vote for Cruz on a possible second ballot. Then he attacked Cruz’s integrity, saying, “I really am asking you, it’s more than a process question, it’s an integrity of the election question, and everybody’s asking me this question so I’m giving you an opportunity to explain it.”
Cruz responded correctly, “Sean, the only people asking this question are the hard-core Donald Trump supporters.”
Hannity playing ignorant about the delegate selection process is somewhat disingenuous. As Elaine Kamarck, an expert in the primary process, said about Trump’s whining that the system is “rigged,” “Trump’s out of his f***ing mind. Every single presidential candidate except for him knows what this system is. It’s not corrupt. It’s the system by which the parties pick their nominee. Parties are protected under the First Amendment’s freedom of assembly. No American is forced to participate.”
Hannity actually yelled at Cruz: “Why do you do this every single time! No, you gotta stop! Every time I have you on the air and I ask a legitimate question, you try to throw this in my face! I’m getting sick of it! I’ve had you on more than any other candidate on radio and TV!”
This was hilarious, because Hannity acknowledged at the beginning of the interview that Cruz had been on his show the most simply because Cruz had accepted the invitation more than any other candidate.
Sean, can I answer your question without being interrupted? The last three weeks there have been five elections in five states. Utah, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Colorado, Wyoming. I’ve won all five. Over 1.3 million people voted in those five states. We won all five. All of this noise and complaining has come from the Trump campaign, because they don’t like the fact that they’ve lost five elections in a row that Republicans are uniting behind our campaign so they’re screaming on Drudge and it’s getting echoed. This notion of voterless elections; it is nonsense; they are making it up. Over 1.3 million people voted; we won landslides in all five.
Now there is a second component beyond the elections, which is the individual delegates are elected by the people. Donald Trump’s campaign does not know how to organize on the grass roots, and so when the delegates are elected, conservative activists, real conservative activists show up, and they elect delegates, and we are winning those elections over and over and over again. The Donald Trump campaign doesn’t know what they’re doing; they don’t show up. In Colorado the Donald Trump team was handing out flyers asking their supporters to vote for a slate of delegates; they included Cruz delegates on their slate. They didn’t even know how to type up a piece of paper without getting it wrong. In Washington state, when Washington state elected their delegates, three days before the election, the Donald Trump campaign, in a panic, realized Washington state was getting ready to elect their delegates; they sent out an emergency email to their Washington supporters. But they screwed up and sent it to their Washington D.C. supporters instead of their Washington state supporters.
I cannot help that the Donald Trump campaign does not seem capable of running a lemonade stand. Elections are won by voters and grassroots activists showing up and voting for the candidate they support. We are winning election after election after election, and nobody, as I travel the country, nobody is asking me this other than the Trumpsters and the people repeating it. What they’re asking is “How do we beat Hillary and how do we bring back jobs?” My focus is on jobs, freedom and security, not this incessant whining from the other side. If you lose, don’t cry about it. Go back and learn how to win an election. That’s what this election is all about.
Hannity pretended not to understand Cruz’s answer, ultimately asking, “What I’m trying to ask and ascertain is can you explain to people what exactly happens in these moments?” He protested disingenuously, “It’s a simple question. It’s not a Trump question.”
“Sean, can I answer your question without being interrupted?”
Ted Cruz, trying calmly to stop Sean Hannity’s rant
Cruz cited his string of victories, pointing out that the five states were completely different. He reiterated what he had said before, but nothing he said could dislodge Hannity from his mission; he kept pretending that he didn’t understand.
Cruz, given a chance to respond, summed up, “The Trump campaign wants to distract from the real issues. I want to focus on the issues, and so when you ask only about the nonsense, how about we ask—you know what people ask me when I travel around? How do we bring jobs back? How do we turn our economy around?”