The plot thickens. Republicans who were unable to stop Trump at the Republican National Convention aren’t giving up quite yet. The Washington Post reported that the members of the “Free the Delegates” movement are still working towards removing Trump from the nomination by “petitioning the Republican National Committee to call an emergency meeting to strip him of the nod.”
By forcing Chairman Reince Priebus to call such a meeting, activists would be able to push for RNC members to invoke Rule 9, which creates a process for filling vacancies in nominations. Beau Correll, who challenged the party rules by filing a federal court case, stated, “It is our goal to recall him.”
The rule states:
‘The Republican National Committee is hereby authorized and empowered to fill any and all vacancies which may occur by reason of death, declination, or otherwise of the Republican candidate for President of the United States or the Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States.’
The Washington Post further explained that if the members were successful in their attempt, the RNC could either hold a new convention or hold a vote among themselves.
Members of the group hope to focus on the vague meaning behind the words “or otherwise.” There are no other conditions listed in the party rulebook that would be required to recall an already designated nominee.
Despite stating they have the support to pull off what seems to be the equivalent of a Hail Mary, the majority of RNC members share that they have not been contacted, aren’t interested, and note that the activists have little chance at being successful. One member stated, “I have not [heard from the group] and I believe that they will not have any semblance of success.” One RNC member, Bruce Ash, replied in an email that ripped the activists.
‘NYET!! You will not succeed. You are totally self absorbed. How embarrassing for you. When our nominee defeats Clinton you will try, no doubt, to claim success. If we fail to win your 2nd guessing and lack of support will not be overlooked.’
The activists were never able to make any significant headway during the convention and were mostly ignored, except for their brief moment in the spotlight when they booed from the floor, so the idea they would pull any coup off is doubtful.
However, that was before Trump feuded with a Gold Star Family, kicked a crying baby out of a rally, asked Russia to hack Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s email, and refused to endorse Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. John McCain in their own primaries.
The Hill reported that the move is “primarily symbolic,” as it’s an indication of just how unfavorable Trump is to his own party. This is a point The Washington Post supports: “… And yet, the mere fact that party activists are trying yet again to rid the party of Trump reflects widespread apprehension and mounting opposition to the nominee among Republicans.”