By Sam Nyang’u
Republican officials hastily adopted a set of much-contested convention rules Monday, setting off an unruly protest from anti-Donald Trump delegates on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Those anti-Trump forces had hoped to challenge the rules that bind delegates to vote for the presumptive GOP nominee, as part of a last-ditch bid to at least disrupt his march to the nomination. But the convention’s presiding officer, Arkansas GOP Rep. Steve Womack, abruptly put the rules to a vote — twice — and declared them approved by voice.
This prompted loud objections from Trump opponents, who shouted “roll call vote” in a dramatic showdown that effectively ended the Never Trump movement, but also underscored the deep divisions that remain in the party even as the Trump campaign claims the GOP has united.
Those delegates were hoping for a state-by-state vote on the rules that bind delegates to back Trump.
“I have no idea what’s going on right now,” Utah Sen. Mike Lee said Monday, who helped lead the failed uprising. “This is surreal.”
Following the votes, almost all of the Colorado and half of Iowa delegations walked out. Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and members of his state’s delegation were screaming “shame” amid the vote; he later told CNN the RNC “violated its rules.”