NEW YORK — Donald Trump said Tuesday night that the political system is “stacked against me,” and accused the Republican Party of conspiring to stop him from clinching the party’s nomination.
At a special CNN town hall in New York City ahead of next Tuesday’s crucial New York primary, Trump said: “I know the rules very well, but I know it’s stacked against me by the establishment.”
The GOP presidential front-runner blasted “unfair” results in Colorado — where he was swept by Ted Cruz at a party convention this weekend — and Louisiana, where he won the primary but Cruz is seeking to sway delegates. Those developments, he said, were the result of establishment Republicans working against his campaign.
“They changed the rules a number of months ago,” Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “You know why they changed the rules? Because they saw how I was doing and they didn’t like it.”
Trump, saying the Republican Party is “100%” controlled by the Republican National Committee, said he believes the RNC is rooting against him.
He also said he doesn’t believe the RNC wants him to get the GOP nomination.
“No, I don’t think so,” Trump said responding to a question from Cooper.
Family on stage
In the rare family appearance, Trump’s wife, Melania, and children — Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr. and Tiffany — shared the spotlight with the Republican presidential front-runner, answering questions from New York voters in the audience.
Ivanka Trump called politics “a vicious industry,” and that she and her siblings are committed to supporting their father.
“We know what he could bring to the country so we’re just happy to support him,” she said.
Tiffany Trump, in her first campaign appearance, said, “Whenever my father puts his heart and soul into something, he goes full force (after he announced) all of us knew, you know, here we go. ”
She also said the quality she most admires in her father is his hard work ethic.
“His hard work ethic is truly inspiring. Whenever I’m at school studying these long hours … It just makes me want to continue to work harder and improve myself and keep on pushing to my limit,” she said.
Eric Trump said his father was perhaps his “best friend in the entire world.”
“He’s been the greatest father in the world. He’s an amazing deal maker,” he said.
New York primary
The town hall comes ahead of New York’s Republican primary next Tuesday. Trump, who was born in Queens and now resides in the famous Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, is expected to easily win the state’s contest next week, where 95 delegates are at stake.
Trump has 54% of support among likely New York GOP primary voters, according to a recent Fox News poll. GOP rivals Ohio Gov. John Kasich trails with 22% and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has just 15% support.
Tuesday’s event with the Trump clan is the second of three consecutive family town halls CNN is hosting this week.
On Monday night, Kasich took the stage with his wife, Karen, and two daughters, Emma and Reese. The family discussed everything from how the daughters deal with political attacks on their father, to Kasich’s quirky habits to how the governor believes a potential contested convention this summer would play out.
Wednesday’s CNN town hall will feature Cruz and his wife, Heidi.