Angry yells of protest overshadowed the onset of the Republican National Convention on Monday after GOP leadership refused to allow a final effort made by anti-Trump delegates to force a vote of protest against both Trump and the RNC. A large group of anti-Trump elected delegates demanded a roll call vote and submitted signatures to make it happen.
Votes on convention rules happen at each Republican National Convention, and they are generally pulled off quietly as the Convention begins. Not so this time around. Just after 4 p.m. local time, the rules were voted on by voice and adopted.
As delegates loudly protested from the Convention floor, a second rules vote was taken while Donald Trump’s impassioned opponents yelled over and over for a roll call vote. According to the convention chair, who spoke from the Republican National Convention podium, anti-Trump delegates hadn’t gathered enough signatures to force a roll call at the Republican National Convention, reports CNN.
The rules package, which was voted in by voice vote, is opposed by many in the Republican party. Among those opponents are Senators Mike Lee from Utah and Ken Cuccinelli from Virginia. They have worked tirelessly to change the Republican National Convention rules for the 2020 election, rules that they believed allowed Trump (who they don’t support) to become the presumptive nominee. Changes they wanted to see include closing primaries to non-Republican voters, which would help establishment Republicans do well over the course of the primary season.
According to Utah Senator Lee, the anti-Trump Republican National Convention isn’t really about hurt feelings or even Donald Trump. It’s about preventing future elections from turning out like the 2016 cycle has.
“No, absolutely not, this is about the rules of the convention. This is about the future of the party… This is not about Donald Trump, this is about having a good, fair rules process. We are always looking, as conservatives, to make sure that our rules are good to make sure we have good candidates in the future. I would like to have conservative candidates in the future. This is not about this year, it’s not about any one year.”
Protests break out on Republican convention floor! And its just Day 1 of 4! ????????????— Mahir Vražalić (@Mahir_Vrazalic) July 18, 2016
@AP Party unity flop. It all began when trumps campaign manager bashed Kasich this morning— ㅤ (@3UGAHokies19) July 18, 2016
@AP rabble rabble rabble rabble!!!! De took r jobs! Keep it up repubs.— Chris (@jaegerbomb5) July 18, 2016
Many say that the attempt to push the roll call vote was a last-ditch effort to give anti-Trump Republican National Convention attendees a solid platform to voice their displeasure against the former reality TV star. A large group of anti-Trump so-called “establishment Republicans” have worked diligently through the primary season to do anything in their power to prevent the presumptive Republican nominee from becoming the party’s confirmed presidential nominee.
One of the biggest sources of hope for many within the Republican party trying to block Trump’s now-inevitable nomination was a change to the rules that would allow delegates to “vote their conscience” rather than being bound to vote for their respective state’s chosen candidate. Unfortunately, those delegates have been shot down, and not only will they not be allowed to vote with their conscience in 2016, they won’t be able to do so at the 2020 Republican National Convention, either.
Few believe that anti-Trump delegates would have had the numbers to reject the agreed-upon rules package had they gotten the roll call vote they wanted.
Regina Thomson, a Colorado Delegate and state director for Ted Cruz said that the Republican National Convention floor was “overwhelmingly flooded” with Republicans angry with the way things went down and how the rules were managed.
“They want a roll call vote and apparently the leadership just steamrolled right through the fact that the whole place was calling for a roll call vote.”
According to Thomson, the ultimate goal of the proposed rule changes would be that delegates could come to future Republican National Conventions and vote for the “candidate of their choice.”
Following the adopting of the rules vote and the denial of the roll call vote, some Colorado delegates walked out of the convention amid the yelling and protests. They were reportedly protesting the fact that their final anti-Trump Republican National Convention efforts have failed.
[Photo by Matt Rourke/AP Photo]