MADISON, Wisconsin — Ted Cruz warned establishment Republicans on Monday of a possible "revolt" if they try to nominate a compromise candidate at the convention this summer.
"Washington doesn’t control what happens," Cruz told reporters ahead of a taping of Megyn Kelly's show here. "The delegates control what happens."
"This fevered pipe dream of Washington, that at the convention they will parachute in some white knight who will save the Washington establishment, it is nothing less than a pipe dream," Cruz said. "It ain't gonna happen. If it did, the people would quite rightly revolt."
"If over 80 percent of the delegates are Cruz delegates and Trump delegates, under what universe do 1000 Trump delegates or 1000 Cruz delegates go vote for some uber-Washington lobbyist who hasn’t been on the ballot?" Cruz said.
Cruz didn't name anyone in particular. But this morning, Politico's Playbook reported that establishment Republicans were seriously considering Speaker of the House Paul Ryan as someone who could be nominated at the convention this summer, if none of the current candidates reach 1237 delegates in the primary and the convention is contested.
While sharp, Cruz's language was more muted than Trump's has been on the topic of what may happen at a contested convention. Trump has warned of actual riots if he does not win the nomination at the convention. And former Trump adviser Roger Stone has said he is planning protests at the convention, anticipating that the party will "steal" the nomination from Trump.
This morning, Cruz was asked about Stone's plan on the Jay Weber radio show in Wisconsin, and said “Look, they are welcome to engage in whatever left-wing Democratic dirty tricks they want to. If Roger Stone wants to try to turn the Republican convention into the 1968 Democratic convention and he can join the anarchists and Black Lives Matter in protesting and trying to intimidate people, knock yourself out. I think that is grossly irresponsible and I think delegates at the Republican convention will recognize that for what it is.”