Chaos erupts on Republican convention floor over rules vote

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CLEVELAND—The floor of the Republican National Committee erupted into chaos on Monday during a vote to approve convention rules, with delegates supporting and opposing Donald Trump shouting each other down.

As the chair moved to adopt the convention rules—a key procedural move toward Trump's nomination—delegates opposed to Trump called for a roll call vote. Competing chants of "roll call!" and "we want Trump!" echoed around the arena, before the convention band started playing to drown out the chaos.

After a short break, a Utah delegate moved for a roll call vote. The support of seven states was necessary to hold a roll call, and while nine states had submitted signatures calling for such a vote, three of those states rescinded their support.


A second voice vote to adopt the rules passed, and delegates in favor of Trump started shouting "USA! USA!"

If a roll call vote had happened, the #NeverTrump supporters still likely wouldn't have succeeded in their effort to allow delegates vote their conscience. But this was likely their last stand and their last chance to derail Trump's nomination.


Opponents of Trump in the party reacted to the vote with disgust.


But others on the convention floor were just as angry at the anti-Trump delegates. "They're petulant children," J.R. Romano, the chair of the Connecticut Republican Party, told me after the vote. "They just want their 15 minutes of fame."


Just an hour before the vote took place, leaders of the #NeverTrump movement said they were hopeful to at least get a vote. Dane Waters, the head of a faction called Delegates Unbound, told reporters that they thought they had submitted the necessary signatures for a roll call vote.

"If the RNC and Donald Trump truly want to unite the party, they'll let the delegates vote their conscience," Waters said.


The convention also approved the proposed party platform, with only slight opposition. And then the delegates were asked to stand still and smile for a group photo.

Casey Tolan is a National News Reporter for Fusion based in New York City.

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