POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Donald Trump came out swinging against the Republican Party establishment, along with each of his opponents, at a Sunday afternoon rally in Poughkeepsie.
The New York City real estate mogul and frontrunner for the GOP nomination fight for president took issue with the process for accruing delegates. In particular, Trump slammed the use of conventions in Colorado and Wyoming, where delegates were selected directly instead of in reaction to primaries involving voters.
Trump, who is known to tout his business dealmaking, suggested that he could have persuaded party officials in the pair of western states to back him but that he chose not to.
"It's a crooked process, folks," Trump said.
Trump also claimed that delegates can effectively be bribed for support, which he blasted.
"You're allowed to pay off these delegates," he said.
Trump is facing a protracted battle against his chief rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, in the race for delegates.
Multiple news outlets have reported that Trump could fall short of getting the 1,237-delegate majority to be nominated on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention this summer in Cleveland. Should Trump fail to secure a majority from the first round of convention voting, the outlets report, then a majority of delegates pledged to candidates based on the outcome of voting contests would be free to support whomever they choose in subsequent ballots.
According to Politico, Cruz is already making headway in filling delegate slots pledged to Trump with people who are likely to support him in further ballots should the first one prove inconclusive. The political news outlet cites delegate slots filled by Cruz backers in South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia, each in states that Trump won.
In Poughkeepsie, Trump was no fan of Cruz, once again calling him "Lyin' Ted," a derision that was chanted repeatedly by supporters in a packed crowd.
"One of the great liars of all time," Trump said about Cruz.
Trump also took issue with his other GOP opponent, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, suggesting that his claim of electability against Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in a general election is discounted by a lack of negative ads against him.
"Nobody even knows who he is," Trump said about Kasich.
Trump also noted that he will not praise whoever the GOP nominee is should another candidate prevail.
"I don't think I'm going to be doin' that, folks."
Trump also slammed Clinton repeatedly, employing his newly unveiled "Crooked Hillary" name for the former secretary of state.
"She's been crooked from the beginning," he added.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is facing Clinton in the Democratic nomination fight, was also on the receiving end of Trump's attacks.
"I think he's terrible," Trump said. "I refuse to vote for a Communist, OK?"
Nevertheless, Trump expressed some sympathy with Sanders, arguing that the media has been dismissive of his candidacy despite beating Clinton in several recent contests.
Trump also suggested that the status-quo system is even more severe among the Republicans than it is within the Democratic Party.
"The Republican side is worse because it's less obvious and yet it's just as bad," Trump said.
Trump, who owns an estate in Bedford, also owns Trump National Golf Club Hudson Valley in Stormville and Trump National Westchester in Briarcliff Manor. The Trump name also adorns Trump Tower At City Center in White Plains, Trump Plaza in New Rochelle, Trump Park Residences in Yorktown and the Donald J. Trump State Park on the Westchester/Putnam border.
Video of Trump blasting the GOP nomination process is attached.
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