Republican Donald Trump turned back an effort to derail his formal confirmation as his party’s nominee at the start of a chaotic convention, highlighting deep divisions over his presidential candidacy.
Anti-Trump Republicans had tried to torpedo the party’s rules that bind delegates, hoping to stop his nomination, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The tactical victory for the Trump campaign showed the stark divisions he wrought within the party.
Delegates who have sought for months to stop him were angered by their lack of voice on key procedural votes.
The final blow to the anti-Trump movement came when Republican National Committee staffers allied with Trump campaign whips, beat back an effort to conduct a roll-call vote on the party’s rules.
Delegates seeking to unseat Trump had hoped the convention would reject the rules adopted last week and allow delegates to vote their conscience.
The drama on the opening day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland began mid-afternoon when hundreds of delegates, including Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, shouted their disapproval, chanting “roll call vote”.
Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas, who was presiding over the convention, instead announced based on a voice vote that the “ayes” had it and the party’s rules were approved.
Womack left the stage, announcing that the rules had been adopted.
The Colorado delegation, which included many of the leaders of the anti-Trump rebellion, walked out of the arena as Trump’s backers shouted “U-S-A” and support for Trump.
The ruling left the leaders of the stop-Trump group furious, according to WSJ.
Gary Emineth, a North Dakota delegate who was a state fundraising chairman for the Joint Victory Fund raising money for the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee, told reporters he was resigning his post.
Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli slammed his credentials to the ground as he walked off the floor.
Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, speaking on CNN, dismissed the dispute.
“This was not about Trump. The conscious vote and the unbind vote were defeated handily,” he said.
It was never likely that the renegade delegates had sufficient backing to reject the rules but RNC member Randy Evans of Georgia estimated there were at least 400 delegates who would have voted against the rules package.
Stop-Trump delegates were hopeful they could get closer to a 1,237-delegate majority required to block adoption of the rules.
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