Donald Trump stayed away from the Sunday talk shows today for the first time in five months, thereby employing what some observers are comparing to the so-called ‘Rose Garden’ strategy used by incumbent presidents who avoid interviews while intending to run for re-election. Nonetheless, Trump was busy using social media to continue dominating the media even by his absence from television klieg lights.
Radio host Brian Lehrer said on “Reliable Sources” on WNYC today of Trump's “Rose Garden strategy”: “New York is the only state where he may actually get a majority of the popular vote, over 50%, and he had such a bad week leading up to this weekend, he may figure, well, let me just lie low.”
And Fred Dicker of the New York Post said that Trump is “dominating the news by not even being there.”
However, Trump's avoiding the media may be a response to having suffered setbacks in five states in three days: Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, South Carolina and Indiana, while his campaign has strived to improve its ground operations and its search for the delegates needed to win the nomination this summer in a possibly contested GOP convention. Trump faces challenges from two directions: 1) Cruz picked up 28 pledged delegates in Colorado. 2) In the remaining states, Trump's rivals were able to infiltrate dozens of their own loyalists in delegate slots who are pledged to vote for Trump on the first ballot. If Trump does not win a majority on the first ballot at the convention, party rules allow the delegates originally pledged to him to instead vote for a party rival they wish to nominate.
At a New York rally today, Trump again said that the current primary process is unfair, claiming that there is some "nonsense" going on. "And I say this to the RNC and I say this to the Republican Party: You're going to have a big problem folks, because there are people who don't like what's going on." He added, "We’ve got a corrupt system, its not right. We’re supposed to be a democracy. We’re supposed to be you vote and the vote means something ... and we’ve got to do something about it." Trump claimed that his campaign is "doing fine" and he should have won it a long time ago. "But we keep losing where we're winning," he said. "Today winning votes doesn't mean anything."
Late on April 9, Trump took to Twitter to retweet an earlier post by author Ann Coulter who said last week that the Republican Party is “trying to steal” the nomination him. Trump then forwarded a message to his 7.5 million followers that “millions will walk from the GOP” if it “screws Trump.” The outspoken New Yorker also retweeted a Twitter message to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, which warned him that millions of Americans would “burn their Republican registration” if the party “continues to subvert the will of the people.”
On April 3 in a Fox News Sunday interview, he said that he has concerns that the GOP may try to “steal” the nomination from him if he does not manage to garner the required 1,237 delegates to win the nomination. He added that he would not rule out a third-party run if he is not granted the nomination. “It’s not a question of win or lose; it’s a question of treatment,” Trump said. “I’m by far the front-runner. I want to run as a Republican. I will beat [Democratic presidential front-runner] Hillary Clinton. I’m going to have to see how I was treated.”