Gingrich to challenge Florida delegates
February 2nd, 2012
03:15 PM ET
3 years ago

Gingrich to challenge Florida delegates

(CNN) - Newt Gingrich's campaign said Thursday they were requesting the Republican National Committee award delegates from Florida based on a proportion of the vote rather than allocating all of the state's delegates to Mitt Romney, who won Tuesday's primary.

Newt Gingrich's campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond confirmed the campaign's request Thursday.

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Under RNC rules, Florida was stripped of half its delegates when it moved up its primary date to January 31, early in the nominating calendar. The RNC also stipulates any state holding a primary before April 1 must allocate delegates proportionally, rather than a winner-take-all scenario.

That rule states: "Any presidential primary, caucus, convention, or other meeting held for the purpose of selecting delegates to the national convention which occurs prior to the first day of April in the year in which the national convention is held, shall provide for the allocation of delegates on a proportional basis."

On Wednesday evening, the RNC issued a memo to members explaining they had already imposed the maximum penalty on Florida by stripping them of delegates for moving their primary date. The memo stated the RNC "does not have the authority to intervene in a state's primary plans beyond the imposition of the Rule 16 penalties." Rule 16 is the provision that stripped Florida of their delegates when they moved up the calendar.

Instead, any change to the delegate allocation would have to come after a formal petition from the campaign to the delegate committee in Tampa, site of the 2012 Republican convention.

- Romney blasts Gingrich’s delegate challenge

"All of the penalties authorized under the Rules have been imposed on Florida," RNC General Counsel Bill Crocker and John Ryder, Chairman of the RNC Presidential Nominating Schedule, wrote.

Crocker and Ryder also explained the process for challenging Florida's delegate allocation.

"A contest procedure exists for challenges to a state's delegation or delegates," Crocker and Ryder wrote in the memo. "The RNC cannot consider any issue regarding Florida's delegation unless and until a proper contest is brought. If a contest is properly and timely filed, the Committee on Contests and the RNC will have the opportunity to hear the contest and determine if there are any further steps to be taken beyond the penalties that have already been imposed."

Lenny Curry, chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, said Thursday all candidates knew how Florida's delegates would be awarded since the state GOP voted in September.

"All campaigns and the RNC have known since then that Florida was winner take all. RNC's legal counsel has, on numerous occasions, noted their understanding and acceptance of Florida's rule," Curry said in a statement. "Florida was winner take all before Election Day, we were winner take all on Election Day, we will remain winner take all."

He added, "It is a shame when the loser of a contest agrees to the rules before, then cries foul after losing."

- CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley and Political Reporter Peter Hamby contributed to this report.

Also see:

Gingrich hammers Romney over 'poor' comment

Dobson makes surprise appearance at Santorum event

Romney blasts Panetta after Afghanistan announcement

Axelrod: Romney is a 'weak frontrunner'

Romney rebounds in national poll, moves ahead of Gingrich


Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Doug in NYC

    Waaaa, I want my delegates, waaaaaaa...sniffle sniffle, I want my delegates....waaaaaaaaaaaa, stomping feet! Gingrinch can't help but prove himself to be the crybaby in the New York Daily News political cartoon from November 1995.

    February 2, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. Mmoore

    First the Iowa GOP erroneously declares Romney the winner. Then Florida violates the RNC rule by awarding all the delegates to Romney instead of proportionately. Then the RNC refuses to enforce their own rule, which favors Romney. Pretty obvious pattern here. The establishment can do a lot of things to help Romney win the nomination but they have absolutely no power to force me to vote for him in November.

    February 2, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. Robert

    Wait... too late... Sorry. If that were the case, the other two nominees would've run as well. But, due to it's "winner-take-all" mindset, they felt they didn't have the money to really compete, and left... to change the rules now would be grossly unfair, and further widen the divide between people and party...

    February 2, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. John

    I bey If Newt Gingrich had won he wouldn't be Complaining right now. Every Candidate know the rule of every state, and If they don't fellow these rules or win than It just there bad Luck. And If they changes any of these rules It will just Prove that the Republican Party can't even go by there own rules.

    February 2, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. real_leader

    While there may be some truth to the notion that voters are looking for a "non-Romney" or a candidate acceptable to the conservative base, this is largely a creation of the media and Romney's opponents for the nomination. For example, it is interesting to note the following:

    Romney won in Florida among conservatives, Tea Party members, Evangelicals, women, men, and Hispanics.

    Although many suggest Romney doesn't excite the base he wone with over 770,000 votes, the most votes in Florida GOP Primary history.

    Romney won more support from conservatives and Tea Party supporters than both Gingrich and Santorum combined.

    He won Hispanic voters, increasing his support of 14% in 2008 to 54% in Tuesday's results.

    It appears that the idea that Romney can't excite conservatives is more a liberal media and Gingrich/Santorum myth.

    February 2, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  6. diridi

    these republican thugs are so desperate. They do not care for Middle Class Americans. This election is going to be sold out by Super PAC. Shame on America. This election is Rich v/s Middle Class. period.

    February 2, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. once upon a horse

    WAAAH!! WAAAH!! Typical Newt when it doesn't go his way he either wants to change it or it's somebody else's fault that it happened. I don't know how Calista puts up with him.

    February 2, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. Stinky Madison

    What are the oddsl Newt will "properly and timely" file a contest to this, if he can't even properly and timely get on the ballots in some states?

    February 2, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. V in Chicago

    It doesn't matter. They can give him all of the delegates and it is not going to make any difference. Newt Gingrich is NOT going to be the next President of the United States!

    February 2, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    Cry Baby Newt didn't win so now he wants to change the rules even though he knew what the rules were. this guy is a complete idiot and cry baby. If I can't have it my way, I'll take my ball and go home. Typical Newtster.

    February 2, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Exactly. I've been blogging about this all week. Will the RNC follow its' own rules, or will they go along with the handshake and a wink they worked out with the Florida GOP?

    February 2, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  12. Florida Voter

    If Gingrich had won Florida this would not be happening. He is just a sore loser. Do we really want a sore loser for president? If they do make Florida proportional, they need to make South Carolina proportional too as well as all the other states Newt could potentially win that are winner take all. If he is the nominee, I will definitely be voting for President Obama.

    February 2, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  13. Tom

    Why not round up the group that gave Bush 2 the election over Gore. I am sure by now they can come up with more creative ways for their man to win. If not juest go back to hanging chads, intent and whatever elso crap they used to give Bush the Presidency.

    February 2, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  14. Peggy C

    Newt is just an idiot! He just needs to pack up and go home. Even though if he ran against Obama it would be fun to watch..lol

    February 2, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. anagram_kid

    I would think that at his age and with his life history of being mired in self- induced chaos and failure, he would be better prepared to handle rejection.

    February 2, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  16. parkmore

    Newt is very desperate. Sorry you are out. We do not need a frustrated bad baby

    February 2, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. Rick

    Hmmm wonder what the chance would have beent if Newt had won that he'd still be asking for a rule change? Does this guy not even conceive of what a buffoon this make him look like?

    February 2, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  18. wanda

    Rick, The way is paved for you now, jump in there while it is hot and don't brag on yourself or smile so much, look serious , just say what you are going to achive in office..........good luck,

    February 2, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  19. Marie MD

    WHAT!!!!!????? Ths historian trying to rewrite our election laws? Who does this fat windbag think he is??
    @Tom – no, let's not bring those who gave the village idiot the election in Florida. We had the worst president in the history of our country thanks to them.
    Just tell newterman leroy to go take a nap. When he wakes up he would have still lost!
    I can't imagine this cry baby as president of anything. Not sure how that third wife has stuck with him for this long because the guy is a disgusting piece of human tur d.

    February 2, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  20. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    This GOP primary race is highly immature. Why can't Gingrich concede gracefully? He lost. End of story. What a big, fat baby he's being.

    February 2, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  21. works4me

    This slimy newt jumped in with the agreed "All or Nothing" mantra... he knew the rules. But it seems he doesn't like playing by the rules, especially the ones that don't suit him. What an empty suit... a large empty suit.

    February 2, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
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