Is it finally over?
Speculation has run rampant for months with members of the dissatisfied #NeverTrump movement vowing to derail the nomination of GOP front runner Donald Trump by first getting their own rules passed in the convention rules committee. But the anti-Trumpers have already sustained their first major convention defeat by being shut down in that very committee.
In an interview on Fox News, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort celebrated the decision of the rules committee to leave delegates “bound,” meaning that on the first ballot all GOP delegates will be bound to vote for whomever their state party organizations tell them to vote.
In a Republican National Committee (RNC) vote on Thursday, the proposal by #NeverTrump activists lost in a lopsided 87 to 12 vote.
“We crushed them. … As far as I’m concerned, the ‘Never Trump’ movement is nevermore. It’s gone,” Manafort said.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 15, 2016
Manafort also noted that if the #NeverTrumpers had won their rules change vote it would have “destroyed” the Republican Party should Trump have been denied the nomination even after wining the most votes and delegates.
For months anti-Trump Republicans have said the first step in eliminating Trump at the convention would be to rig the rules to unbind delegates so that they would be free to vote for someone other than Trump on the first ballot.
This defeat seems to be a major blow to those who are looking for ways to defeat Trump even after he received the requisite number of delegates to clinch the nomination as well as the largest number of primary votes.
By some accounts the rules committee moved very quickly to shut down the #NeverTrump debate, too.
Utah Senator Mike Lee, a staunch conservative and a leading anti-Trump supporter, was even reportedly denied the ability to speak for the rules change and shouted out “no” when the committee moved to end debate.
Mike Lee bellowed out the loudest "NO" on ending debate — he was waiting at the microphone, ready to speak on behalf of #nevertrump
— Tim Alberta (@TimAlberta) July 15, 2016
Apparently he’s still upset, as just today Lee warned of a backlash after the RNC smothered debate on the matter.
Naturally as soon as the vote so disastrous to the #NeverTrumpers was announced, social media exploded with reaction.
The anti-Trumpers lamented the move and forecast dire consequences for the country.
— Voters 4 Kasich (@Voters4Kasich) July 15, 2016
@thehill The bribes/intimidation must have been monumental for the majority of the committee members to abandon their values and dignity.
— American Girl (@TheAmerican22) July 15, 2016
Others vowed to keep fighting against Trump.
— Thomas J (@thomasj17431826) July 15, 2016
— Straightforward (@conservatismtlk) July 15, 2016
— (((AG))) (@AG_Conservative) July 15, 2016
But still others celebrated the committee’s decision as the right thing for America and taunted the #NeverTrump opposition.
— craig matteson (@csmatteson) July 15, 2016
— Beth Ann Comans (@BethComans) July 15, 2016
— Kirk Z (@kirkz2006) July 15, 2016
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) July 15, 2016
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