Paul Manafort charged the Ted Cruz campaign with using "Gestapo tactics" to pick up delegates. Chuck Todd confronts Manafort with threats from Roger Stone and asks what is "fair game" to win a delegate.
"You go to these county conventions, and you see the tactics, Gestapo tactics, the scorched-earth tactics," Manafort said on Sunday's broadcast of NBC's Meet the Press.
Manafort also elaborated on his increasing role in the Trump campaign.
"There's a transition. It's a natural transition. Trump was doing very well on a model that made sense. But now that the campaign has gotten to the end stages, a more traditional campaign has to take place," Manafort said.
Transcript, via NBC News:
CHUCK TODD: What is fair game to win a delegate? Is threatening a fair game? Is threats a fair game?
PAUL MANAFORT: It's not my style, and it's not Donald Trump's style.
CHUCK TODD: What is --
PAUL MANAFORT: But it is Ted Cruz's style. And that's going to wear thin very fast.
CHUCK TODD: Do you think he's threatening delegates?
PAUL MANAFORT: Well, he's threatening, you go to these county conventions, and you see the tactics, Gestapo tactics, the scorched-earth tactics--
CHUCK TODD: Gestapo tactics? That's a strong word.
PAUL MANAFORT: Well, you look at, we're going to be filing several protests because reality is, you know, they are not playing by the rules. But frankly, that's the side game. Because the only game I'm focusing on right now is getting delegates. And the games that have happened, even this past weekend, you know, are not important to the long-term game of how do we get to 1,237.
CHUCK TODD: But is he, I guess what is fair game and getting a delegate? Is paying for their convention costs, is it-- golf club memberships? What's fair and unfair in this? What's ethical, what's unethical?
PAUL MANAFORT: Well, there's the law, and then there's ethics, and then there's getting votes. I'm not going to get into what tactics are used. I happen to think the best way we're going to get delegates is to have Donald Trump be exposed to delegates, let the delegates hear what he says. He's done very well so far in putting himself in position by virtue of communicating.
You know, the key I think for delegates coming up, especially the unbound delegates, is the electability question. And right now, we're in a fight, and this fight is, you know, causes for negative for all the candidates. But there's no question in my mind, there's not one state you can look at that Romney won or lost in 2012 that Cruz can win. Not one. But Trump changes the whole map. As we get into those arguments, which is the endgame of the endgame, that persuasion starts to have an impact.