April 10, 2016

Alex Castellanos outlined the Machiavellian machinations that will likely occur at the Republican National Convention, which will insure that someone the Republican establishment can stomach will eventually be their nominee, intimating that it could be someone not in the race right now.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Alex Castellanos, assuming, then, Donald Trump does not get to 1,237, Ted Cruz is clearly in second. Play out what it will look like in Cleveland those first couple of hours.

ALEX CASTELLANOS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: You have to, I think, respect the will of the voters, right. We've had 39 primaries and caucuses, a year of campaigning. Millions of votes. And in their wisdom, Republican voters have decided not to give any of these yo-yos 1,237 votes.

We're going to go in. Trump is going to be short.

He's going to recede, probably, on the second ballot. But (inaudible)...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, the Cruz campaign says the first ballot is the best ballot for Trump.

CASTELLANOS: For Trump. But guess what, the only value Ted Cruz right now -- he's the guy Republicans didn't want when this whole thing started, right. And these are party regulars. They don't want Ted Cruz. Guess what happens, Cruz's value evaporates when Trump is no longer a threat.

So, there's a very good chance this convention does not turn to Ted Cruz.

And then we get into a devolutionary process. Trump folks say I don't want a Cruz guy. Cruz guys say I don't want a Trump guy. And you begin to look for who is the least threatening candidate.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But that actually has brought Ted Cruz and Donald Trump together. The one thing they agree on is that the ultimate nominee should be one of the candidates in the race right now.

CASTELLANOS: But you can't start there.

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