KARL: OK. Now, you're getting closer and closer to getting the delegates you need to clinch the nomination. But look at what happened in Louisiana. You won the state of Louisiana. But it looks like Ted Cruz is coming out of there with more delegates, maybe as many as 10 more delegates. And he's getting them on the key committees that will write the rules for the Republican convention. Is Ted Cruz trying to steal this nomination from you?So the Cruz campaign is hard at work on some tactics that Trump will be characterizing as not merely too dirty to be used but further evidence that Cruz is a liar.
TRUMP: Well, it tells you what a crooked system we have and what a rotten political system we have. And frankly, I'm so -- I'm millions of votes more than -- I have millions of votes more than "Lying Ted." I have millions -- millions of votes more. I have many, many delegates more. I've won areas. And he's trying to steal things because that's the way Ted works, OK. Uh, the system is a broken system. The Republican tabulation system is a broken system. It's not fair. I have so many millions of votes more. I've brought people into this party by the millions. You understand that. They voted by the millions more. It's one of the biggest stories in all of politics. And what do I have? I have a guy going around trying to steal people's delegates. This is supposed to be America, a free America. This is supposed to be a system of votes where you go out, you have elections, free elections, not elections where I won. I won Louisiana and now I hear he's trying to steal delegates. You know, welcome to, uh, the Republican Party. What's going on in the Republican Party is a disgrace. I have so many more votes and so many more delegates. And, frankly, whoever at the end, whoever has the most votes and the most delegates should be the nominee.
On "Meet the Press," there was some discussion of "delegate double agents" and "zombie delegates":
CHUCK TODD: [T]he race is already on to create sort of delegate double agents. If Trump fails to win that majority on the first ballot these are people who will promise to dump Trump on the second ballot. And then there's an effort underway to mobilize zombie delegates. These are delegates who are pledged to candidates who have dropped out of the race. They could switch their vote over to someone else in the race, maybe even on the first ballot. Maybe it's Cruz, maybe it's Trump. So to discuss all of this, I'm joined by our resident zombie expert, Ben Ginsberg, Republican delegate guru, who served, of course, as lead counsel to the Bush/Cheney campaign of 2000 and he was Mitt Romney's lawyer in 2012. So the zombie apocalypse will hit Cleveland. So we have free-agent delegates, we have zombie delegates. I want to talk about the free-agent delegates first, because we have Donald Trump this morning already angry about this. Louisiana, he wins the primary big, he should get a lion's share of the delegates. The Cruz campaign claims they actually are going to have more delegates out of Louisiana, a state they lost, than Trump. How did they do it? Explain.
BEN GINSBERG: The way they managed to do it is that 44 of the 56 states and territories give the candidates no role in choosing who the delegates will pick.... Who the individuals are. And so a well-organized campaign will go into all these state conventions and state executive committee meetings and manage to get supporters of theirs. They'll be bound on the first ballot to the winner of their state primary, but not for any of the procedural rules issues, and not for the second ballot.
CHUCK TODD: All right. So they're the double agents. Now, let's talk about zombie delegates. These are the people, and I want to put up a graphic here. There are a group of unbound delegates. We know there were always going to be over about a hundred, we've done the math here, over about a hundred of them, 169 of them come from states that have chosen not to hold a contest, Colorado chief among them. And then there's another 175 of the zombie delegates. These are people, mostly Marco Rubio delegates out of Virginia and Minnesota, but there a handful of Carson, maybe one or two Jeb Bush's. What is their role in all of this?
BEN GINSBERG: Well, their role in all of this is almost the equivalent of the Democrat superdelegate. In other words, they can be for whatever candidate they want.....
CHUCK TODD: Meanwhile, Katy, I've got to ask... the Trump campaign doesn't like this narrative that they don't know what they're doing.
KATY TUR: Absolutely. And so they do have a team in place, about a dozen people, their delegate convention team. And they are going out and they're trying to convince delegates to get on their side. Their internal projections say that they're going to get to 1,400, 1,450.... If they don't get that, they believe that they have a real opportunity, especially in that 40-day window between the last primary and the convention to go and woo these unbound delegates by negotiating for whatever they want.
CHUCK TODD: And there are no rules.... As we know. And he is a negotiator, as we know, Donald Trump.
KATY TUR: That's it. He's a deal maker.
CHUCK TODD: But these delegates have a mind of their own.... And guess what? We don't have convention rules yet, do we?... That's the point of this that Donald Trump yet doesn't understand.
BEN GINSBERG: They must be passed by each convention for that convention....
CHUCK TODD: This is going to be madness....