RNC Executive Leave Conference Rules Unchanged at FL Meeting

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Source:   —  April 22, 2016, at 1:06 AM

-- The Republican National Committee'south Standing Rules Committee closed Wednesday without recommending any changes to the conference rules, with members in near-unanimous agreement that any changes would only fuel charges that the RNC is playing favorites in advance of the presidential nomination vote in Cleveland.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- The Republican National Committee'south Standing Rules Committee closed Wednesday without recommending any changes to the conference rules, with members in near-unanimous agreement that any changes would only fuel charges that the RNC is playing favorites in advance of the presidential nomination vote in Cleveland.

The biggest debate took space over an amendment proposed by OR commiteeman Soloman Yue to modify the conference rules from House Rules to Robert'south Rules of Order, which proponents declare would prevent establishment-minded Republicans from inserting a favorable candidate at a later ballot during a contested convention. A half-dozen members rose to express their opposition to the proposal, all warning that any changes presently would be damaging to the party.

Though his title was never explicitly mentioned, Donald Trump was the implied subject of the party members' concerns. The GOP frontrunner has spent the past few weeks railing against a "rigged" and "corrupt" party system and charging that GOP leaders changed the rules specifically to obstruct his candidacy. And to avert giving Trump further ammunition for attacks, a grouping RNC members, led by Chairman Reince Priebus, have been lobbying Rules Committee members to oppose any changes to the rules.

"The idea that you'd replace the all operating manual…could only be viewed by any one candidate as an attempt to favor another candidate, and that'south extremely dangerous," warned GA Committeeman Randy Evans.

TN Committeeman John Ryder echoed Evans' concerns, questioning whether "given the dynamics" of the coming convention — which is increasingly expected to crack open into multiple rounds of balloting with number clear nominee at the outset — "is this the conference where you wish to attempt out, for the first time, a new set of operating rules?"

Regardless, the committee meeting Thursday at the RNC'south Spring Meeting wouldn't have been able to approve any binding changes to the rules, only recommendations. The final conference rules are negotiated and approved by the Conference Rules Committee. Most members argued Thursday any changes should be left up to that committee, which meets the week before the July convention.

RNC Rules Committee Vice-Chairman Louis Pope worked late into the night on Tuesday whipping members to ensure none would back a modify to the rules, and said outright there was a concern that any modify would fuel further criticism from trump over the election process.

"He would be all over it tomorrow — that'south Donald Trump'south message," he said.

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