Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin was practically orgasmic on Thursday morning when she oozed that the Never Trump movement was on the verge of executing the long-awaited coup in Cleveland. But as is typically the case with Ms. Rubin – who is as loathsome a neocon propagandist that exists – she spoke way too soon. While the RNC itself had made every effort to reach out to the renegade delegate contingent that was led by Ted Cruz loyalists including Senator Mike Lee in order to avoid a convention fiasco, the efforts fell apart. However, the insurgency was rebuffed by the Rules Committee as their meeting dragged on late into Thursday night with attempts to rig the rules going down to repeated defeats by the more sensible Republicans on the committee.
The Hill is reporting that “GOP squashes Never Trump rules proposal in heated hearing”:
Republicans crafting the rules that will govern the Republican National Convention overwhelmingly rejected a proposal put forth by Never Trump Republicans to unbind delegates and move to upset presumptive nominee Donald Trump.
The “conscience clause” amendment, put forth by Colorado delegate Kendal Unruh, would have freed delegates from the results of the primaries and caucuses so that they could revolt against Trump on the convention floor.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), a close friend of former candidate Sen. Ted Cruz and critic of Trump, spoke in favor of the Never Trump faction. Still, the proposal received little support.
The GOP Rules Committee instead ratified a handful of other proposals that stated delegates will remain bound to the results of the primaries and caucuses.
A strong majority of the 112-member Rules Committee repeatedly voted against the Never Trump movement in a big win for the presumptive nominee and the Republican National Committee, who are looking to minimize disturbances caused by the rebel group.
Thursday’s votes will call into question whether the anti-Trump effort has enough support to get 28 signatures on the measure, which would ensure it gets a vote before the nearly 2,500 delegates when the full convention convenes on Monday.
The heated, emotional debate within the Rules Committee took place 14 hours into the panel’s marathon session that appeared to be headed into the early hours of the morning on Friday.
Pro-Trump Hawaii committeeman Nathan Paikai, adorned in a “Make America Great Again” hat, tearfully pleaded with committee members to drop the rebellion and get behind the presumptive nominee.
“Are we going to do this together or are we going to be divided?” Paikai asked. “I’m only as good as my word and I ask you to be as good as your word. A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
But Lee, the highest-ranking elected official on the Rules Committee, signaled in his remarks that he’s not certain Trump will emerge from the convention as the party’s nominee.
Despite losing the battle the R.A.T.’s will continue to gnaw away at Trump and any chances of the GOP keeping Hillary Clinton out of the White House. There are still several days before the convention actually begins and the potential for ongoing machinations to undermine the will of voters will be ongoing despite the setback. If anything, it will drive the Never Trumpers to even more dirty tricks and underhand conduct including a nationally televised revolt against the hated presumptive nominee who had the audacity to challenge their rackets in order to put patriotism before profiteering and to put America first.