Gingrich to challenge Florida delegates
February 2nd, 2012
03:15 PM ET
8 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. Kris Craig

    The Republican Party is so corrupt, it doesn't even follow its own rules.

    February 2, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. Andrew

    Bet he wouldn't feel this way if he won.
    Move on loser!

    February 2, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. Bill

    Gingrich is getting desperate after he sees now his own iffy chances of nomination as well as a poor chance of ultimate electability over Obama. Trump, despite his ego and blustering and shenanigans, is no fool when it comes to political and financial facts of life so that's why he went for Mitt, despite his Mormonism. Gingrich's baggage (ethics and personal/marital) are a bit much for so many people and he's a blustering, wild-card type too, which doesn't help! Gingrich is just getting some reality orientation.

    February 2, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. Mark

    This sorry excuse for a human being is the most arrogant gasbag that I've ever had the extreme displeasure to see. Does this guy have a clue how most of the rest of the country sees him? He just about stands alone in his responsibility for the present gridlock in congress due to his "scorched earth," divide and conquer policies from his time as speaker.He drew the blueprint for this madness! He needs to crawl back under his rock!

    February 2, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. Ralf The Dog.

    Smells like desperation. It is the end of Gingrich's campaign.

    February 2, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    So, they screwed up the count in Iowa, and are now having problems following the rules in FL? If they can't handle a primary or a caucus, what makes you think these people are ready for a national election?

    February 2, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. drod

    Typical Republican strategy. If they don't like the redistricting maps then change the rules. If they don't like the court ruling then change the judges. If they don't like the EPA then change the rules, if you can't change the EPA get rid of the EPA. If you don't like the election outcome then change the rules. They want to change their own rules. wHAT A JOKE.

    February 2, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. Jparker

    I agree with Mark.

    February 2, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. Jo

    Newt... the Eternal CRYBABY! It's ALL ABOUT HIM! His Hubris, like an anchor, will Bring him down!

    February 2, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. Al-NY,NY

    desperation...but he has an interesting argument. Of course the RNC's hand-picked boy Mittens will get the benefit of the doubt

    February 2, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  11. The Dude

    Typical Newt behavior. Can't play by the rules so challenge or change them. What a loser.

    February 2, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  12. Bruce

    Can't the GOP make this unethical, disgraced, loser go away? All he's doing is feeding the OBAMA nightmare into 2012. Enough already shut the &*&* up and slink away.

    February 2, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. Mary8711

    If they give Newt some of the delegates in Florida, then he would need to give up some of the ones he won in S. Carolina. Only fair.

    February 2, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. Diana

    Mr. Gingrich, Americans do not want an adulterer for President and Commander in Chief.

    Nor do they want an adulteress as First Lady.

    February 2, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I thought Prince Reebus said that primary delegates would be awarded based on the proportion of primary votes. Evidently, Prince does not like giving Newt, Rick and Ron, their fair share.

    February 2, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  16. Noodle Nose Johnson

    "Well I lost using the one set of rules I agree to originally so now I'd like to change the rules" Gingrich is a complete megalomaniac and will destroy Romney purely out of spite. To which I say "Go Newt Go!"

    February 2, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. mark

    Newt is just acting like so many other republicans. When the rules don't benefit you, change the rules. The problem is that he needs more than a couple of delegates to remain even remotely relevant in this race.

    February 2, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  18. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Newt, Ron, and Rick are being railroaded by the big money in the corrupt republican party. The Kochs and Rove, along with the swift boaters have eliminated democracy from the party of the 1%.

    February 2, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  19. Stephen in VA

    RNC: "We already punished Florida for not following one rule, so we're scared to try to make them follow the other one." Sheesh.

    February 2, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  20. Expat American

    Mr. Speaker's burrito is finito.

    February 2, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  21. CC

    No means no, Newt......

    February 2, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  22. Milo

    The media is pushing Romney down our throats because they know he cant beat obama. The sad part is all of you dumb people out there feed on it, I guess that's why other countries call us stupid Americans.

    February 2, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  23. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I think the way that Newt has been screwed over by the republican party, he should run as a third party candidate.

    February 2, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I wonder how long in advance Gingrich was thinking about this kind of move. I would hope that he would go to each state and ask for perportional distriubtion of the delegates. You can't have it mixed.

    February 2, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  25. Patriot Awesome

    WOW! I know the Republicans love to gerrymander, but to do it to one of their own is strange.

    February 2, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
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