Anti-Trump Factions Lose At RNC Rules Meeting But Vow To Take Fight To Floor

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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CLEVELAND, Ohio — Members of the Republican convention’s rules committee blocked anti-Donald Trump activists on multiple fronts during a 12-hour meeting Thursday, but those activists claim the fight is not over.

Efforts to release certain state delegates that are mandated to cast their first-ballot vote for the candidate who won their state primary ultimately failed.

The vote to unbind delegates could not even muster support from 28 members, which would have been enough to force the full convention to vote on it.

Ken Cuccinelli, former delegate manager of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, also attempted to convince RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Trump representatives to pass an amendment that would encourage states with open primaries to close them to GOP registered voters only. That move also failed.

“We were trying to get an omnibus solution, and we gave up. Areas that we were aiming at were RNC party reform, encouraging states to close primaries with bonus delegates,” he said.

The defeated measure proposed that any state that closes its primary to non-GOP voters would receive a 20 percent delegate bonus at the convention. Delegates from open primary states like New Hampshire, South Carolina and Mississippi argued against it.

“We weren’t messing around too much with the order [of primary states]. We did stretch out the calendar, so that more states could matter more and that would give people more of a voice,” Cuccinelli explained. “They didn’t want to do that.”

“Everything had been agreed to — a critical element and then they changed the deal substantially,” he continued. “And the ending division was between, like, 15 percent at large and 25 percent at large, and they just came up to me and said, ‘No, we don’t have a deal.'”

Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort declared the anti-Trump movement dead Thursday evening.

Cuccinelli later told The Daily Caller that Trump campaign activists sat in the gallery and signaled to delegates how to vote on specific issues.

“What was amazing was seeing those ‘Trump-RNC No’ and ‘Trump-RNC Yes’ signs. We have Trump delegates who support the grassroots effort,” Cuccinelli said. “One of them who has been a Trump supporter since January — he said, ‘I cannot believe what I’m seeing.’ They were using signal signs.”

Cuccinelli says that he and his associates were not allowed in the same area as the Trump supporters who were holding the signs.

Although the rules meeting did not work out the way Cuccinelli hoped, he says he and his team are still putting a plan together for the convention, stating they will go “beyond” a minority report.

“This just proves that Donald Trump did not have the support of enough delegates to be the nominee,” Delegates Unbound co-founder Dane Waters said in a statement. “This act by the Rules Committee just highlights the hypocrisy of the RNC. If the delegates were bound as the RNC claimed why vote to bind them?”

“The fight is far from over in Cleveland.” Delegates will not be denied,” Waters added.

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