By Bonnie K. Goodman
The Never Trump movement made their last attempt to derail presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump’s nomination. At almost the start of the Republican National Convention on Monday afternoon, July 18, 2016, Never Trump delegates tried to disrupt the convention rules vote, hoping they could still change the rules to not vote for the presumptive nominee.
During a voice vote for the procedural rules that Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack presided over he determined the procedural vote passed during the first voice vote. Womack took a break walking off the stage and then conducted a second voice vote, which he determined passed. In response, Never Trump delegates starting shouting “Roll call vote” and “USA.”
Utah Sen. Mike Lee commented during the chaos, “I have never in all my life… seen anything like this. There is no precedent for this and parliamentary procedure. There is no precedent for this in the rules of the Republican National Convention. We are now in uncharted territory. Somebody owes us an explanation. I have never seen the chair abandoned like that. They vacated the stage entirely.”
Womack recognized a Utah’s delegate request for a roll vote. However, only six states voted for a roll call, failing the threshold of seven states. Some states dropped off afterward, and Womack determined the vote passed. Womack declared, “The secretary received requests from a total of nine states requesting roll call vote on adoption of report on the committee on rules.” Subsequently, the secretary received withdrawals, which caused three states to fall below the threshold required under the rule. Accordingly, the chair has found insufficient support for the request for a record vote.”
Before the vote, Delegates Unbound believed they had enough support to force a roll call vote. They wanted the rules package to fail to add a rule that allows unbounded pledged delegates to vote their conscious for the nominee rather than Trump, who they were pledged to vote. If the vote had failed, the rules would have gone back to the rules committee for reconsideration.
Delegates Unbound co-founder M. Dane Waters said in a statement, “Despite every obstacle thrown in our way, the movement of all the stakeholders involved in this effort have gained a majority of the delegates in 10 states. Now we take this fight to the floor.” Although the attempt failed, it was still a display of party disunity as the world all had eyes on the Republican Party.