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Cruz-Backer Steve King: GOP Could Split If Cruz Defeats Trump At Convention

"If Donald Trump decides to say, take his ball and go home, or go run on an independent ticket, that would be what would split the party."

Posted on April 19, 2016, at 6:19 p.m. ET

Mark Kauzlarich / Reuters
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Congressman Steve King of Iowa, a supporter of Ted Cruz's presidential campaign, said in a radio interview on Tuesday that there is a risk of the Republican Party splitting if Cruz were to defeat Donald Trump and win the nomination at a contested convention.

The congressman, appearing on the radio show Frankly Speaking, was asked if the Republican establishment might attempt to take the nomination from Cruz or Donald Trump at the convention in Cleveland.

King answered that he saw a risk if Trump loses on a second ballot and decides to run independently or tell his voters to not support the Republican nominee.

"The greater risk for the split of the party is say we get to the convention, nobody's got the 1237 and on a subsequently ballot, a second or subsequent ballot Ted Cruz wins the nomination –– which I would predict if there's a second or subsequent ballot," King said.

"If Donald Trump decides to say, take his ball and go home, or go run on an independent ticket, that would be what would split the party," he continued. "That's more likely than having the establishment take over in Cleveland because they just don't have the numbers among the delegates. If they're gonna take over, they have to essentially dupe the delegates to do that, and I don't think they're gonna be easily duped. These are astute people that are arriving in Cleveland."

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