Jeb Bush Is Still Getting In Donald Trump's Head, And The Presumptive Republican Nominee Isn't Happy About It
The Republican primary has been effectively over for almost two months, but Jeb Bush is still getting in Donald Trump’s head. Earlier in the week, it was reported that a group of Republican delegates were plotting an effort to deny Trump the party's nomination at the Republican National Convention in July. Trump responded on Saturday, at first denying that such a plan existed and then, contradictorily, saying that Bush was spearheading the coup attempt.
"It's all made up by the press, folks. It's a hoax," Trump said at a rally in Las Vegas. "This is a story — who are they going to pick? I beat everybody. I beat the hell out of them."
Later in the same rally, however, Trump accused Bush of plotting to overthrow him, and hinted that his former Republican primary rival was colluding with some other unnamed person in the scheme.
“By the way, Jeb is working on the movement, just so you understand," Trump said of the plot, the existence of which he had denied earlier in the rally. "Jeb is one of the people that's working — and the other one should be obvious.” It’s unclear to whom Trump was referring.
The Bush campaign — the website of which is still active — hasn't responded to Bustle's request for comment. However, former Bush campaign spokesperson Kristy Campbell reacted to the accusation on Twitter, saying that Trump’s “unending obsession” with the former Florida governor is “unhealthy.”
According to multiple reports, around 30 Republican delegates are exploring ways to prevent Trump from becoming the party’s presidential nominee. Because a majority of the party’s delegates are bound to vote for Trump at the convention, such a plan would require the party to change it’s nomination rules. It’s the delegates themselves who decide on these rules, and so any change would need the support of a majority of them — 1,238, to be exact.
Such a plan would be a longshot. But it wouldn’t be against the law, as Trump claimed on Saturday.
"First of all, it's illegal,” Trump said of the overthrow plot. “Second of all, you can't do it. Third of all, we, not me, we got 13, almost 14 million, votes since the primary system.”
The Republican Party, however, is a private organization that sets its own internal rules. It isn’t legally required to nominate the candidate who received the most votes in the primary.
Trump’s distaste for Bush is well-documented. In August, a “Trump associate” told the Washington Post that the real estate tycoon has “two goals: one, to be elected president, and two, to have Jeb not be president.” After withdrawing from the presidential race, Bush said that he would not be supporting Trump in the general election.