Republicans couldn’t even get to the prime-time speeches on the first day of their National Convention without their party falling apart on the convention floor. Just hours after Speaker Ryan admitted that his party’s nominee was “not my kind of conservative,” “Never Trump” delegates exploded on the convention floor after being denied a roll call vote on the party’s convention rules.
The floor of the Republican National Convention erupted into chaos Monday as a group of delegates opposed to the nomination of Donald Trump tried unsuccessfully to force a roll call vote on the the convention rules.
Pro-Trump delegates tried to shout down the insurgents, led by Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and former Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli, whose move for a vote could have delayed the proceedings by hours on the convention’s opening nights.
At one point, the podium of the convention was empty, leading Lee to say the convention had fallen into disarray on its first day, which was scheduled to emphasize law and order.
“I’ve never seen the chair vacated like that,” Lee said, calling the situation “surreal.”
Never Trump delegates chanted “roll call vote!” and “point of order!” from the floor, seeking to force the issue. A similar effort failed last week before the convention rules committee.
Despite the flurry of activity by Trump’s opponents, their attempt was quickly stymied. Some GOP activists, such as conservative analyst Bill Kristol, said it resembled the strong-arm tactics of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Cuccinelli, a leading supporter of a roll call vote, threw his credentials to the floor and walked off the floor, claiming party leaders rammed through the voice vote in spite of petitions calling for a separate ballot.
“They just blatantly violated the rules,” he told reporters.