Senior GOP official Curly Haugland: We choose the nominee, not the voters

Curley Haugland
Curley Haugland

Watch the above video or read the transcript below. Senior GOP official Curly Haugland says during the CNBC interview, “The political parties choose their nominee, not the general public, contrary to popular belief.” The interviewer then asks Haugland, “Then, why are they holding the primaries?” to which Curley Haugland responds, “That’s a very good question”.

As Curley Haugland states, US citizens voting in the primaries do not decide who the nominee will be and, if the primary voter’s choice does not coincide with the party’s choice, the primary voters’ votes may hold no sway.

These laws may be in place but it is doubtful that there will be no voter repercussions or “It will just be understood”, as Curley Haugland states, if the majority of the Republican primary voters’ choice is overturned by the Republican party.

As Haugland makes clear when he says that “the political parties choose their nominee”, these rules are in place for both Republicans and Democrats. Whether you consider the United States a democracy, republic, representative democracy, or something else, it is clear that the primaries are not entirely democratic.


Female Interviewer: Will this be a contested convention?

Curley Haugland: It appears that we’re headed that way . I don’t see
very many options that we’ll go down a different path.

Female Interviewer: In that situation, what will you be considering? What types of rules will you be considering because right now the rules say that you have to win at least eight states or eight different districts in order to be considered and the only person who’s done that so far as Donald Trump

Curley Haugland: Well, that’s a misunderstanding. That rule actually is
different than that. That’s the vote that needs to be taken at the convention of the delegates.
The requirement is that the candidate must demonstrate the support of a
majority of the delegates from eight states that are permanently seated. So,
that vote can’t even be taken until the convention. So, obviously no determination
can be made until the convention.

Female Interviewer: So, that rule that we thought stood is not rule that actually stands?

Curley Haugland: No, it is a rule that stands but the rule
says specifically that it’s a vote of the delegates at the
convention to determine if there’s a majority, not a primary vote.
Primary votes are not
considered the delegates votes. The delegates can not vote until they’re
permanently seated and that’s the first action of the convention.

Female Interviewer: Most of the
delegates are going to be bound delegates who are required to vote as
the voter sent them. I think there’s only like 116 unbound
delegates, and Gary, maybe you can weigh in and say whether you think things will
go, how you think things will go on this first vote if most of these
delegates are bound?

Gary Emineth: Well, first of all, North Dakota is one of the states, there’s three states and
two territories that have unbound delegates. I think about 112 of them and
North Dakota’s one. Our convention is on April first that’ll determine
if I’m actually one of the elected delegates that are elected at the convention. But what
happens is, let’s a Trump gets to 95 percent or 90 percent or Ted Cruz… what
happens is those unbound delegates have the ability to vote for whatever
candidate they want on the first ballot and that is what could change and give
power to those delegates who will be voting on that first ballot.
Of course, once you go to the second ballot and if no one wins with 50%, which is really
a majority, 50 percent plus one, then it’s all bets are off.

Female Interviewer: Okay. I understand that these are the
rules and that there’s all kinds of crazy arcane rules that could be voted
on between now and then, but Curley, let me ask you, if Donald Trump heads into
the nomination maybe short of the 1237 required, if you give it to someone who
has a much lesser percentage of the voters who have actually turned out for
these primaries, don’t you worry that ‘re going to just send chaos and anger
into the Trump supporters, into the people who feel like their votes don’t matter.

Curley Haugland: No, I don’t think that’s the case. It will just be understood. We
have a problem with the media. unfortunately the cable networks
are trying to determine our nominee.

Female Interviewer: I don’t think this is a problem with the media. I’ve heard from a lot of voters who say if they feel their votes got stolen that they would be very unhappy and very angry. I think
you’re looking at a different situation. I realize these have been the rules but
the last time these rules were put in place was 1976. It’s been a long time
since then.

Curley Haugland: They’re still there. Yeah, that’s a problem. The the media has created a perception that the voters will decide the nomination and thats the conflict here.

Female Interviewer: We live in a democratic society and what
you’re telling me is that it’s not a democratic society. Your votes don’t
necessarily matter because it’s a democratic representation. Correct?

Curley Haugland: No. That’s not what I’m trying to tell you. What I’m trying to say is that we’re just
one of the political parties. There’s many political parties. The political
parties choose their nominee, not the general public, contrary to popular

Female Interviewer: Then why are they holding the primaries?

Curley Haugland: That’s a very good question

Group Laughter

Male Interviewer: The Republican would say that what the people say matters. Big government is bad. I would assume that your view?

Gary Emineth: Well, part of the problem is that perception is reality in politics. So, if the
Republicans go in and pull some shenanigans and so you have groups of
people who are going to try to take over the rules committee, that could totally
change everything and messed things up with the delegates, and the people across
the country will be very frustrated and vote in the general election this fall
for a Republican candidate.


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