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Keller @ Large: Panel Talks Mass. GOP Convention Delegates

BOSTON (CBS) -- Next week, Massachusetts Republicans will meet in caucuses across the state to choose delegates to represent our state at the Republican National Convention in July.

Two local supporters of GOP candidates--State Representative Geoff Diehl of Whitman for Donald Trump and State Representative Jim Lyons of Andover for Ted Cruz--sat down with WBZ political analyst Jon Keller to discuss the process, of special interest this year because of the possibility that the presidential nomination may go to a second ballot for the first time in 40 years.

Keller asked Lyons what he thought of Trump's recent comments that it was time for the party to unify behind him to beat Hillary Clinton. Lyons disagreed with Trump.

"I think what we find, since Arizona, actually, is the party is unifying behind Ted Cruz," Lyons said. "Prior to the Tuesday [New York] primary, our candidate, Senator Cruz, basically has won every single event."

Diehl disagreed, saying that voters still backed Trump.

"I think the insiders that we're always so concerned about trying to rig the system may be coalescing around Ted Cruz, but the voters clearly are choosing Donald Trump at this point," said Diehl. "New York was an incredible win, 60 percent."

Trump aides recently told the GOP that Trump was "playing a part" and that his image and behavior on the campaign trail would be "evolving." Keller asked Diehl if he thought Trump was playing a "con game" on voters. Diehl disagreed.

"When you had 17 candidates in the field, Donald Trump did what was necessary, I think, at that point to make sure that, as an outsider, he got the awareness necessary to make it a two-man race," said Diehl. "But I think what you've seen is his policies--making sure that our borders strong, rebuilding the middle class with jobs, and projecting strength internationally--that has been solid all along, no changes there."

But Lyons said he's not buying it.

"Clearly, the one person who's run a campaign that has been principled and consistent and conservative has been Senator Cruz," said Lyons. "And with the public now recognizing that it is a two-man race, that's why we're seeing everyone in the party coalescing around the senator."

Keller, Lyons, and Diehl also discussed the rules in Massachusetts for assigning delegates.


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