“Free the Delegates” activists who failed to stop Donald Trump from getting the Republican presidential nomination are still trying to dump Trump. Now they are petitioning the Republican National Committee (“RNC”) to call an emergency meeting to disqualify or remove Trump as the Republican nominee.
Republican Party rules provide that RNC members from at least 16 states can force RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to call an emergency meeting, which he would need to convene within 10 days. According to the Washington Post article, at that meeting, these activists want RNC members to invoke Rule 9, which lays out how to nominate a new presidential candidate in the event of a resignation, death or otherwise:
According to the party rulebook, the RNC is “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.” If the nominee is removed, the RNC could opt to hold a new convention or select a new candidate by holding a vote among themselves.
“It is our goal to recall him,” said Beau Correll, a Virginia lawyer. He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention who filed a federal court case challenging party rules and state laws that required him to vote for Trump at the convention.
Correll and other members of the group want the RNC to focus on Rule 9’s use of the word “otherwise” — they feel that Trump’s recent round of missteps justify the party dropping him.
The activist started reaching out to RNC members on Sunday, asking that they sign a petition that proposes an agenda that includes:
- “Discussion of candidacy of the current Republican nominee for President of the United States.”
- “Motions germane to the disqualification or removal of the current Republican nominee for President of the United States as nominated by the national convention. Rule 9(a)”
- “Filling the vacancy which may have otherwise occurred. Rule 9(a): Rule 9(d) (majority of votes entitled to be cast required to choose nominee).”
This dump Trump effort has no more chance of success than did the Free the Delegates movement. They might force a meeting, but they will be unable to dump Trump. The RNC is the Establishment. The Establishment had their chance to choose Cruz over Trump and they chose Trump. As we wrote in January:
As the battle for the Republican presidential campaign defied conventional wisdom and devolved into a two-man race between two non-Establishment candidates — Sen. Ted Cruz and Billionaire Donald Trump, the Republican Establishment has panicked. That’s right the Party and Congressional leadership, the donor class and even the dreaded consultant class have started to “cozy up” to Trump any way they can. At the Atlantic, Molly Ball writes that the GOP Establishment prefers Trump to Cruz. And at the Resurgent, Erick wasn’t so delicate about it. In two different pieces Erickson made it very clear that even though they don’t think Trump can beat Hillary, the Establishment chose Trump over Cruz in order to preserve their status quo because they hate Cruz.
This comes after months and months of the Establishment saying Trump would not and could not be the nominee because of his bellicose and hateful campaign rhetoric. This is what the GOP Establishment seems to do best these days. They say one thing and then do the opposite.
The way to defeat Trump was at the ballot box. We failed in that effort. He is now the Republican nominee, like it or not. As Sen. Cruz explained back in March while talking about the possibility of a brokered convention, it’s wrong and illegitimate for the Washington Establishment — a bunch of Washington deal- makers and lobbyists to parachute in their preferred candidate because they don’t like what the voters did. It would be an enormous mistake to try and stifle the will of the people.