Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Trump And Cruz Campaign At California GOP Convention


We're going to turn now to presidential politics and to California, which has an important role to play in the Republican nomination contest for the first time in decades. One hundred seventy-two delegates are on the line. And even though the primary there is not until June, there's a lot of action there this weekend. All three remaining GOP candidates have been making their case at the state Republican convention. Party divisions are on display. Donald Trump attracted protests yesterday outside, and there was some violence. But Trump was still predicting a win.


DONALD TRUMP: If there's not unity - and I mean really good solidarity, unity, relationship, friendship. But there should be, and there has to be unity. Now, with that being said - would I win, can I win without it? I think so. To be honest, I think so.

MARTIN: To hear more about all this, we're joined now by Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler. Ben, thanks so much for joining us.

MARTIN: Good to be here, Michel. So we've seen a lot of images of the chaos kind of outside the convention. But what about inside? How is Trump received inside by the people attending the convention?

BEN ADLER, BYLINE: This was not a typical Trump crowd because instead of a rally where you have thousands of people coming who are really big Trump supporters and really want to hear him speak, this was largely a crowd of party insiders. There were some Trump supporters who came to hear him, but mostly party insiders. And the applause inside the room was not the raucous cheers that you'll get at a Trump rally - some polite, scattered applause, for the most part.

MARTIN: And Texas Sen. Ted Cruz addressed the California delegates today. What did he have to say, and how was he received?

ADLER: So he really did an interesting job of weaving in his regular stump speech with pretty specific references to California and California issues and the fact, of course, that California rarely matters in presidential primaries. And it certainly looks like it will this year around, particularly if Cruz is able to pull off a win in Indiana on Tuesday. So let's hear little bit of what Cruz had to say.


TED CRUZ: Listen, as Republicans in California, y'all are a hardy bunch. You are used to adversity, and you have seen firsthand the absolute disaster - the absolute train wreck that is out-of-control liberalism.

MARTIN: Ben, we mentioned earlier that it's been a long time since delegates there had the potential to really help decide a Republican contest. How long exactly, and are people excited about that?

ADLER: They are thrilled. It hasn't been since 1964 that California has had a meaningful role in deciding the Republican presidential nominee. And Barry Goldwater narrowly defeated Nelson Rockefeller, and that clinched the nomination for Goldwater. And here we are again where the winner of California - whoever does best at delegates or wins a lot of delegates - that could really determine who gets the - or whether Trump is able to get the Republican nomination on the first ballot in Cleveland.

MARTIN: Ben Adler is capitol bureau chief for Capital Public Radio in Sacramento. Ben, thank you.

ADLER: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Become a sustaining member for as low as $5/month
Make an annual or one-time donation to support MTPR
Pay an existing pledge or update your payment information