LAS VEGAS ― President Donald Trump is staging a Las Vegas campaign rally Friday, even though Nevada Republicans already rigged their caucus to ensure he would win by canceling the presidential preference vote.
Trump’s third rally of the week is to take place at the city’s convention center at noon, local time. But Trump effectively won the state’s 25 delegates to the summer nominating convention five months ago at a state party meeting in Winnemucca.
“He has overwhelming support from Republicans in this state. He has like 99.9%. It’s amazing,” said Michael McDonald, Nevada’s state GOP chairman. He added that the party would use the few hundred thousand dollars saved to help down-ballot candidates this November.
“We haven’t had any blowback,” McDonald said.
Stuart MacGuire, though, is one Nevada Republican who is happy to offer some now. “Why don’t they trust Nevada Republicans to vote? What are they afraid of?” he said.
At the time of the decision to cancel the caucuses, three other Republicans were challenging Trump for the nomination ― former Govs. Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Bill Weld of Massachusetts, and former Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois. Only Weld is still running.
Walsh, calling the president “corrupt,” “a criminal” and “a tyrant,” said, “I’d like to be outraged at Trump for having the nerve to do a rally in a state in which he canceled the caucus. But I’m not. ... “This is what he does.”
Instead, Walsh said, “I’m angry with the Nevada party bosses who had no problem disenfranchising Republican voters out of devotion to their king, and I’m disappointed in Nevada Republican voters who haven’t rioted against their party bosses to get their vote back.”
Walsh ended his candidacy after a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses earlier this month.
Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said the visit to Nevada Friday is not about Saturday, when state party leaders will formally endorse...