The Never Trump movement tried to make a stand. It failed by a massive margin.
By Kyle Cheney
07/14/16 – 11:46 PM EDT
CLEVELAND — Efforts to block Donald Trump’s nomination — hyped for months by proponents as a growing grass-roots movement among Republican activists attending next week’s convention — turned out to be a flop.
During key votes on Thursday evening, only 12 hard-core holdouts continued to resist Trump’s nomination when members of on the powerful 112-member Convention Rules Committee considered a proposal to prevent delegates from rejecting Trump. A long-anticipated “conscience clause” proposal intended to stymie Trump fizzled with similarly minimal support.
The twin setbacks seemed to cripple what is likely to be the last concerted attempt to deny Trump the GOP nomination.
“Anti-Trump people get crushed at Rules Committee,” Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort boasted on Twitter. “It was never in doubt: Convention will honor will of people & nominate @realdonaldtrump.”
Anti-Trump delegates may attempt to bring their fight to the convention floor next week, but it’s unlikely to be heard because they failed to earn even the limited support necessary to advance their proposal and won’t have an obvious vehicle to make their stand. In a statement after the vote, a spokesman for Delegates Unbound, one of the organizations working to stop Trump, said, “The fight is far from over in Cleveland.”
The pro-Trump victory was the main event of the Republican rules fight that ended at 11:30 p.m. on Thursday when the committee passed a package of rules that will govern the party for the next four years. Despite all the tension surrounding the rules fight, very little actually changed.
Donald Trump’s allies passed a measure to affirm that delegates are unambiguously bound to the results of primaries and caucuses.
The most significant change was a rejection of Mitt Romney’s 2012 maneuver to raise the threshold of support for candidates to be formally nominated at the GOP convention — an attempt to block Ron Paul from delivering a nomination speech that year. The revised rule requires that candidates receive support from five state delegations in order to be nominated — down from the eight-state threshold pushed by Romney allies.
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