The floor of the Republican National Convention erupted into chaos on Monday afternoon as a group of delegates made a last-minute, failed push to unseat Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee.
Just when it looked like the first day of the RNC Convention in Cleveland was going to go off without a hitch, the Never Trump movement made its voice heard. A group of anti-Trump delegates had collected enough signatures in order to petition the RNC’s Rules Committee to adopt new language that would allow it to consider someone other than Trump as the party’s nominee.
Trump cinched more than 1,237 delegates in the primaries that would allow him to earn the nomination outright. A move to unbind delegates and allow them to vote again would need a formal change of RNC rules—a feat most considered to be impossible.
According to RNC rules, the majority of at least seven states must sign on to force a state-by-state roll call vote to change the party rules. The majority of nine delegations had signed on to the petition by the day’s end, according to Politico.
But RNC leadership refused to grant the Never Trump delegates a roll call vote on the rules. When delegates gathered on Monday evening to take a procedural vote on accepting 2016’s rules for the RNC, the chairman called for a voice vote instead. In short, instead of taking a formal vote on this year’s RNC rules, the delegates shouted “Aye” or “Nay,” and it was left to Deputy Chair Steve Womack (R-AK) to call the winner. To no one’s surprise, Womack went with the status quo.
Quicken Loans Arena quickly erupted into chaos.
But Womack said on stage that there weren’t enough states to go forward with a roll call vote. According to WFDD, three of the states (Iowa, Minnesota, and the District of Columbia) that originally signed on withdrew their petitions, leaving the movement one state short of forcing the state-by-state vote.”
Chants of “roll call vote” and “We want Trump” competed with each other. Virginia Delegate Ken Cuccinelli, the state’s former attorney general, tossed his credentials on the floor and walked out of the arena.
Virginia delegate/former VA attorney general Ken Cuccinelli yells shame, chucks his credential on the floor pic.twitter.com/dZwjF3mtqY— Miriti Murungi (@NutmegRadio) July 18, 2016
The group responsible for organizing the RNC floor challenge, known as Delegates Unbound, sent a text message to delegates calling for a walk-off.
Delegates unbound is calling for a walkout pic.twitter.com/BvAQn1jeHF— Jon Ward (@jonward11) July 18, 2016
The Iowa, Virginia, Colorado, and Maine delegations soon followed suit.
Oddly enough, the RNC then proceeded to take the official photo of 2016’s delegate class. There were more than a few no-shows.