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GOP leaders approve convention rules, block anti-Trump insurgents

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    Delegates reacted as some delegates called for a roll call vote on the adoption of the rules during the opening day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland today.

CLEVELAND » Over angry and prolonged objections from anti-Donald Trump forces, Republican Party leaders approved rules for their national convention today and rejected demands for a state-by-state roll call vote, a discordant start to a gathering designed to project unity.

Hundreds of socially conservative delegates opposed to nominating Trump bellowed in outrage after the convention’s presiding officer, Arkansas GOP Rep. Steve Womack, abruptly put the rules to a vote and declared them approved by voice, not an individual tally of each state’s delegation.

Though likely to lose, the dissidents had demanded a roll call, a slow-moving vote that they hoped would underscore their claims that party leaders were unfairly railroading through rules that give too much clout to the GOP hierarchy. Top Republicans and Trump campaign officials wanted to avoid such a scenario, and ended up contending with a shorter but more raucous display of fury.

“Call the roll, call the roll,” opponents shouted. Practically drowning them out were chants of “USA, USA” by Trump supporters and party loyalists.

Minutes later, Womack had the convention vote by voice again, with both sides again shouting their votes lustily. Once again, he said, the rules’ supporters had prevailed.

The defeated mavericks reacted angrily, with some delegates leaving the convention floor and others vowing to not help Trump. Gary Emineth, a North Dakota delegate and GOP donor who was part of the insurgency, said he would resign from a fund-raising operation.

“You don’t do this in America,” he said.

Ken Cuccinelli, a leader of the conservative rebellion and former Virginia attorney general, ripped off his delegate credentials in protest.

Carol Hanson, an Iowa delegate, said some members of the state delegation left just before the vote and others walked out as soon as the roll call was denied.

The voice votes occurred even though earlier in the afternoon, dissident delegates submitted petitions from a majority of delegates from what they said were at least nine states — seemingly sufficient to force a roll call vote under party rules.

Womack said some delegates had withdrawn their signatures and that petitions from three of those states no longer qualified. That left the insurgents short of the seven states needed by GOP rule to force a roll call.

“The chair has found insufficient support for the request for a record vote,” Womack said as booming objections got ever louder.

The reversal by some delegates came after heavy lobbying by the Trump campaign and top officials of the Republican National Committee.

Leaders of those groups have been allied in recent weeks as Trump’s path to the GOP nomination became assured. Despite wary and even hostile relations early on, the two forces have a mutual interest in healing party divisions and making Trump as competitive as possible for his expected fall matchup against the likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.

“This is the best possible outcome for us,” said Ron Kaufman, a GOP leader from Massachusetts who has been in the middle of the rules fight. “The never Trump movement never was.”

Republican aides said delegates from Maine, Minnesota and the District of Columbia had removed their names from petitions demanding a roll call — a practice that was eased by a rules change when the committee met last week.

“I have never in all my life, in six years in the Senate, seen anything like this,” said Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, a delegate. “There’s no precedent for this in parliamentary procedure. Somebody owes us an explanation.”

Leading up to today, anti-Trump forces repeatedly voiced suspicions that party leaders and the campaign would do whatever possible to subvert their effort. Required to submit their petitions quickly to convention secretary Susie Hudson, they frantically searched for her on the crowded convention floor this afternoon, suspicious that she was hiding.

They finally found a GOP official who said he would deliver the petitions.

Associated Press reporters Steve Peoples, Tom Beaumont, Josh Lederman, Stephen Ohlemacher, Jonathan Lemire in Cleveland, William Draper in Kansas City, Missouri, and Kyle Potter in St. Paul, Minnesota, contributed to this report.

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  • What do these anti-Trump folks hope to accomplish ?
    Those that plan to vote for Trump… will vote for Trump.
    Those who don’t plan to vote for Trump… won’t vote for Trump.
    No one’s going to change anyone’s mind at this point.

    • To record a protest vote. If the event that Trump wins the election and then proceeds to abuse the office to the point where he indulges all of his decades long anti-Constitutional authoritarian whims, they’ll point back to this as a giant “I TOLD YOU SO.”

      If you vote Trump, you vote to burn the Constitution. But some of his supporters are a special kind of d_ _b who think that promising to shut down media outlets he doesn’t like isn’t infringement of the first amendment. And let’s not mention Trump’s perverse view of property rights for anyone but him.

      • “This is the best possible outcome for us,” said Ron Kaufman, a GOP leader from Massachusetts who has been in the middle of the rules fight. “The never Trump movement never was.”

        • The best possible outcome is for the GOP to break apart and reform itself along lines that actually make sense.

          If you’re a Conservative, you only have a single candidate you can reasonably vote for on a variety of ideas: Johnson.

          Trump hates the Constitution and if you vote for him, you hate it too.

      • agree..Trump is an embarrassment to all true Republicans and conservatives. He is irresponsible, divisive and anti-American in so many important ways.

      • Republicans are in a mess. They played around with the tv entertainer Trump and never forced him to admit his lies, distortions, lack of any real plans or policy details, etc. Sad to see it.

        • “Clinton Cash”…In 2000, Bill and Hillary Clinton owed millions of dollars in legal debt. Since then, they’ve earned over $130 million. Where did the money come from? Most people assume that the Clintons amassed their wealth through lucrative book deals and high-six figure fees for speaking gigs. Now, Peter Schweizer shows who is really behind those enormous payments.

        • I’ve already gone over this and the degenerate peanut gallery has no actual substance to their claims beyond extra judicial killings via drone.

          Obama has yet to shut down a media outlet he doesn’t like.

          Trump has gone on record promising to do just that.

          Obama hasn’t praised Putin who ordered the murder of journalists who reveal his corruption. Trump has. Numerous times.

          You vote for Trump, you vote to burn the Consitution. It is just that simple.

        • Great line from Sheriff David Clarke–A true leader doesn’t draw a line in the sand and then retreat.

      • You hate Trump and that’s fine with me as I don’t think highly of him as either. However, to imply that our other choice is someone to look up to is ridiculous. HRC is equally as bad and many think worse.

        • If you noticed, I’ve long said that Johnson is our only reasonable candidate left. Stop assuming that because I loathe Trump that I’m backing Hillary. She’s better than Trump is, but that’s like saying a stab wound to the arm is much better than one to the leg. It is, but it’s still a stab wound that I’d really prefer to avoid in the first place.

          I’ve yet to actually see any of the Trump Cheerleading Corp present a reason why anyone should vote on Trump on his own merits.

        • You must not be listening to the speeches at the RNC. “Make American Safe Again”

        • sarge22, I’m sorry the DOE asked you to leave in 6th grade and hence why you do not possess the basic critical thinking skills to see that the Trump campaign is nothing but substance free sound bites.

        • Complements will get you nowhere.. The best part of the day was Marcus Luttrell’s speech… Rudy is now speaking.

        • RNC 2016 is like a Nuremberg rally… Hail Donald Adolph Drumph, he will save us!

          Who is the Joseph Goebles orchestrating this pageant of propaganda crafted to frighten and galvanize the GOP?

      • Chord, you are really funny, funnier even than Klastri. When you speak people are really impressed. You guys are in the wrong business. You guys should try comedy.

        • Republican convention is sad to watch. Hear more cheering and energy at little league baseball game. Ridiculously sad.

        • The convention is a cartoon. Thank you for the compliment. Looney tunes starring Donald Chump.

        • The convention is a cartoon. Thank you for the compliment. Looney tunes starring Donald Chump. It is a reply to sarge 22

        • keau–“Republican convention is sad to watch. Hear more cheering and energy at little league baseball game.” Just for you. BREAKING_NEWS..Dana White UFC speaking tomorrow. Better turn your volume down.

        • They had to move Hannity to the convention floor to make it look crowded. What a joke! The speakers talking mostly to themselves.

        • The main show is over and the subs are in. Packed crowd tomorrow. Are you really watching Fox News? I won’t tell your friends. Aloha

  • The best part of the day so far was the Women For Trump meeting at the convention. A total of 17 (not a typo) people showed up, including journalists covering the event. Shots of the room showed row after row of empty chairs. Lots of rows, and lot of empty.

    “I love the poorly educated!” Women For Trump!

  • Tune into Hannity right now. Sean and Newt trying to have an intelligent conversation but look at the background nothing but empty seats. I’m just enjoying the humiliation!

    • You not to Akamai. It’s past 11 pm. They’ve been there all day. They went to their hotel room or partying. Man, now I know why we have a chance.

      • It’s been mostly empty all day since they were denied a roll call vote. The ayes did not definitely have it. Can’t wait till all of you in denial go down with the sinking ship.

        • Empty seats?? Were you watching on the radio or due to Obamacare you can’t afford to see the eye doctor.

  • When the republican governor of the host state refuses to even make a gratuitous appearance at his party’s own convention, coupled with the absence of almost a third of their R US Senators, well it tells me everything I need to know about the legitimacy of this candidate.

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