First on CNN: Delegates Unbound cites Donald Trump in TV ad
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A group of Republicans pushing for delegates to be able to vote for and nominate someone other than Donald Trump at the convention this July is going up with a television ad nationally this weekend, the first such foray into TV.
The ad from Delegates Unbound, shared first with CNN, splices together clips of Republican icon President Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump. In one such juxtaposition, Reagan says, “Use of force is always and only a last resort,” while Trump says “I would bomb the s— out of them,” a statement he made referring to ISIS.
Trump is also shown saying he wouldn’t bring God into the picture and when he apparently mocked a disabled reported by flailing his arms close to his body.
The ad closes with text: “GOP delegates: Follow your conscience” with a link to Delegates Unbound’s website.
CNN has reached out to the Trump campaign for comment.
The group is run by a former top fundraiser for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Eric O’Keefe, and Republican strategist M. Dane Waters. It also supports a book by RNC committeeman Curly Haugland and public policy consultant Sean Parnell that was funded by by the Citizens in Charge Foundation, called “Unbound,” which argues that delegates are free to vote their conscience despite rules binding most to state primary results.
Waters, who sits on the board of Citizens in Charge, has previously said the group planned to spend $2.5 million to $3.5 million total on its education and anti-Trump efforts.
The ad will run nationally on cable networks the group believes delegates will be watching from Sunday until Tuesday.
It’s one of a handful of such efforts springing up, including a complementary group put together by Colorado delegate Kendal Unruh and New Jersey operative Steve Lonegan. That group released a radio ad this week singling out an Iowa delegate, National Committeeman Steve Scheffler, for fighting delegate unbinding efforts, and encouraging listeners to call his number and urge him to allow them to vote however they like.
Lonegan said the group will be rolling out similar ads in about a dozen states over the next few weeks.
Unruh also emailed a letter to all of the Rules Committee members on Friday outlining the changes she wants to make to the platform and the legal precedent supporters of such a move believe back up their argument.