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Illinois Delegation Puts On United Front On Eve Of GOP Convention

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The head of the Illinois Republican Party has been working to assure delegates to the Republican National Convention that the GOP is firmly behind presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Illinois GOP chairman Tim Schneider spent Sunday afternoon greeting delegates as they arrived in Cleveland. He tried especially hard to say hello to Trump delegates.

"A lot of them have the misconception that the party is not behind Donald Trump, and we are. He's our nominee, and we are solidly behind him, and we want them to join with us to get him elected in November," he said.


Schneider said delegates should not worry that some top Republicans – like Gov. Bruce Rauner, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, and DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin – won't be at the convention.

"If the governor had decided to come to Cleveland, people would have said 'Why are you in Cleveland? Why aren't you running the affairs of the state of Illinois?' So I think it was a lose-lose situation for the governor," he said.

Rauner has said he won't endorse Trump, calling his campaign rhetoric "appalling," but has said he will support the nominee.

Kirk, however, has disavowed his earlier support for Trump, saying he cannot back him as the GOP presidential nominee, citing his "past attacks on Hispanics, women and the disabled like me." The senator's change of heart on Trump came after Trump criticized federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is overseeing a lawsuit against Trump University. Trump has accused Curiel of having a conflict of interest because of the judge's Mexican heritage, and Trump's stance on illegal immigration and his pledge to build a massive border wall.

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