GOP delegates plan last-ditch effort to stop Donald Trump at convention
A dissident faction of Republican delegates is planning on doing anything and everything they can to prevent Donald Trump from securing the GOP nomination at the party's convention next month.
"This literally is an 'Anybody but Trump' movement," Kendal Unruh, a Colorado Republican delegate leading the effort, told the Washington Post, which first reported the story.
Regina Thompson, another Colorado delegate affiliated with the effort, told CBS News that their group is called Free the Delegates 2016, and that they will launch a website on Sunday.
The anti-Trump campaign is trying to push a change to convention rules that would allow delegates to vote for a candidate of their choice. Doing so would allow them to pick someone other than Trump, who became the presumptive nominee in May after his last remaining opponents, Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Ted Cruz, dropped out of the race.
The RNC's chief strategist, Sean Spicer dismissed the story in a tweet, calling it "silly."
"There is no organized effort, strategy or leader of this so-called movement," he wrote "...nothing more than a media creation and a series of tweets."
Unruh and her fellow insurgents believe that Trump is not conservative enough to be the nominee and have been angered by his performance in recent weeks, including his racially-tinged attacks on a federal judge and his response to last weekend's terror attack in Orlando.
Several high-profile Republicans have said that they will not support Trump for president, including Kasich, Sen. Mark Kirk, and former Bush deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage. House Speaker Paul Ryan, who endorsed Trump earlier this month after weeks of equivocating, says he will not compel members of his caucus to support the mogul.
"The last thing I would do is tell anybody to do something that's contrary to their conscience," Ryan told NBC's Chuck Todd in an interview airing on "Meet the Press" this Sunday.
Stopping Trump at the convention would be exceptionally difficult, however. Delegates opposed to Trump are looking for the convention's rules committee to sign off on a "conscience clause" allowing delegates to vote for whomever they choose.
That would take a majority vote of the committee's 112 delegates. After that, a majority of all the convention's delegates 2,472 delegates would need to agree to a change in rules. And to put those numbers in perspective, the faction looking to stop Trump is now only believed to number about 30 delegates.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Cruz's reluctance to help organize any kind of resistance at the convention is a major hurdle for the effort. Roughly 750 delegates at the convention were voted in as Cruz loyalists, but Cruz has said he has no interest in stripping the nomination from Trump.
"We're not part of any delegate initiatives to that end," a spokesman in Cruz's office told CBS News.
Still, the last-ditch campaign still highlights continued grassroots Republican antipathy toward their party's presumptive nominee.
"This isn't going to go away," Iowa delegate Cecil Stinemetz, who is participating in the effort, told the Post. "Trump or others might say that these are just little groups who won't do anything and it'll fizz out - that's not going to happen. Trump just continues to embarrass himself and his party and this is not going to let up."
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