It’s ironic that some Republican delegates, the party to have parted with conscience and scruples in a most cowardly manner in the wake of Donald Trump’s Presidential popularity, are seeking to invoke these very same consciences in order to rob him of his rightfully earned Republican nomination.
Anti-Trump forces are launching what the organizer of the movement describes as a “multi-pronged” approach to stop Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention, one that could cause chaos on the convention floor.
Colorado delegate Kendal Unruh is the leader of the effort, which centers around changing the convention rules to include a “conscience clause” that would allow delegates bound to Trump to vote against him, even on the first ballot at the July convention.
“If any such delegate notifies the secretary of his or her intent to cast a vote of conscience, whether personal or religious, each such delegate shall be unbound and unconstrained by these rules on any given vote, including the first ballot for the selection of the Republican nominee for President of the United States, without the risk of challenge, sanction, or retribution by the Republican National Committee,” the resolution reads.
Two sources involved in Unruh’s effort to change the committee’s rules say they’ve already secured ten Rules Committee delegates to vote for the resolution, including Unruh and her fellow Colorado Rules Committee member Guy Short. The other eight could not be independently confirmed. Unruh declined to release their names because she said she and others involved in the efforts had received threats from Trump supporters.
“I have been a good soldier for the last few nominees. Even though they have not been my first choice I have always fallen in line. I just can’t do it this time. They just don’t understand, it’s not just a vote — it’s the future of our party,” she said.
Unruh says she’s been hearing growing interest in her proposal since it began to draw media attention last week, and many of the delegates she hears from already believe they aren’t legally bound under Republican National Committee rules to back Donald Trump. It’s an obscure interpretation of the party rules that’s gained traction in recent months as dissatisfaction with the presumptive GOP nominee has grown.
The resolution, then, is meant to give delegates “cover.”
“I call it the permissions slip from mom. It gets to the nitty gritty of the fact that Republicans tend to be rule followers. They don’t like distraction or disunity or being labeled a troublemaker or a rabblerouser and they love decorum,” Unruh said.
Calls for a challenge to Trump at the convention have grown since he locked up the nomination three weeks ago as Trump has stubbornly refused to moderate his tone and alienated many within his own party with controversial rhetoric on Muslims and race-based attacks on a judge overseeing a case against him. He now lags Democrat Hillary Clinton in multiple national polls, and many Republicans have warned if he isn’t able to right the ship in the next month the convention coup is a very real possibility.
A weakly performing Trump, as delineated by polling numbers, empowers those troubled by their “crocodile conscience.”