Republican National Convention

Trump Fears A Brokered Convention, With Good Reason


“Somebody said, ‘Well, there’s a rule and another rule.’ I don’t care about rules, folks… We win, we get the delegates.” ~ Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump

That, in a nutshell, summarizes the Trump campaign’s approach to winning the 2016 Republican nomination for the presidency; defying and discarding conventional rules of politics, refusing to abide by the traditional rules of decorum which provide a patina of civility to an often bitter political process, choosing instead to resort to character assassination and open mockery of his opponents (accusing Ben Carson of being a child molester, branding Cruz “Lyin’ Ted”, labeling Rubio “Little Marco”, and mocking Carly Fiorina’s looks, just to name a few).

Trump, with virtually no traditional political organization to start, relied on sheer force of will and a larger-than-life personality to rise in the polls. Trump’s faux pas and unapologetic coarseness seemed only to increase his popularity. Trump has been the front-runner in the race almost from the day he announced.

His non-traditional strategy has worked well thus far, but in recently, like Achilles’ heel, Trump’s lack of grassroots political organization has proven a serious liability. Long before Trump announced his candidacy; indeed, long before he announced his own candidacy, Ted Cruz was working in the political ditches, recruiting grassroots activists and local elected officials at the county and district level to serve as campaign chairs, and eventually, as delegates during the Republican convention cycle. It has paid off well for him. The race has come down to the strength of Trump’s cult of personality, versus the breadth and depth of Cruz’s grassroots campaign organization.

RNC Rules Fight is a Defining Moment for the GOP

Republican Party

This week, the Republican National Committee (RNC) will hold its spring meeting in Los Angeles in what could be a defining moment for the party. Many committee members are looking to overturn rules that were adopted at last year’s Republican National Convention which disenfranchised many grassroots delegates.

Back in August, Dean Clancy of FreedomWorks explained the rule changes at length, noting the profound affect they have on the process by “shift[ing] power from the state parties and the grassroots to the RNC and the GOP presidential nominee.”

There were two specific changes — Rule 12 and Rule 16 — pushed by Ben Ginsberg at the behest of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

Rule 12 allowed the RNC to change its rules at any time or any place in between party conventions. Clancy called this move “unprecedented,” and explained that the change gives the RNC the ability to completely ignore the convention on a whim, if it so chooses.

Rule 16 is also problematic because it targets delegates who vote their conscience in convention. For example, if somone ran as a delegate and pledged to vote for Mitt Romney, but then finds out something unsavory about him and they switched to another candidate; they would have been stripped of their delegate status.

While there may be states that require delegates to vote a certain way, they’re typically not bound to a particular presidential candidate. This rule change was clearly aimed at Ron Paul supporters and conservative activists skeptical of Romney’s record — forcing them to choose party over principle — and it help gives GOP insiders more leverage at picking the nominee.

Thoughts on the Republican National Convention


Last week, I went to Tampa for the Republican National Convention in Tampa. This was sort of an odd experience for me, being a libertarian and all. Honestly, I had no idea what to expect. I’ve been to conventions and conferences before. The oddest experience was BlogCon in Denver last November, when the local Occupiers showed up to protest us. But the RNC was a much, much larger scale event.

Tropical Storm Isaac: While I understand why Republicans saw fit to scale back events for Monday, the storm really didn’t do much to the Tampa area. It rained some, but it wasn’t near what everyone was expecting. Truth is Republicans could have gotten away with more than gaveling the convention to order. By the time the storm actually hit, everyone was more concerned with what could happen to New Orleans and the rest of Gulf Coast than Tampa.

Grassroots v. the Establishment: Over at FreedomWorks, Dean Clancy has put together a great synopsis of the fight over the new rules implemented, which won’t start until the 2016 process. We went over some of this earlier last week, but at this point many grassroots activists are disenfranchised. Many Ron Paul supporters who attended the RNC as delegates may now be looking for an alternative come November because of the rules changes.

Rule 12 would allow the Republican National Committee to change the rules if 3/4 approve. As Clancy explains, “The new Rule 16 requires that a delegate who attempts to violate his binding pledge to a candidate under state law or state party rules shall be deemed to have resigned and the Secretary of the Convention must record the improper vote as it should have been cast based on state law or party rule.”

It’s Time to Grasp Some Reality

I saw this post over the weekend, and I’ve wrestled over whether or not to do this, but I can’t be silent. There are a lot of readers here who also read Daily Paul, and a lot of you aren’t going to like this, but something needs to be said. Here goes:

Ron Paul won’t be the GOP nominee this year.

I know the convention isn’t until later this summer. I know there are unbound delegates. I know there’s a law suit trying to unbind delegates. I know you believe he’s going to win, but he’s not.

Don’t misunderstand me, either. I don’t enjoy admitting this. I really wanted him to win. I’ve shared before how he’s singlehandedly responsible for making me care about politics. I’m a big fan, but it’s time that all of us grasp the reality that he’s not going to be our nominee.

Now we’re in this critical point in the campaign season. We can admit defeat and press forward for liberty, or we can be the crazy people in the corner with ridiculous law suits and fuzzy math. Let’s not be the crazy people. Pressing forward for liberty is the right choice to make.

Working for freedom for some might mean biting a lip and following Rand Paul in his endorsement of Mitt Romney. For others, it’ll mean supporting Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate on the ballot. But no matter which path you need to take, take it. Don’t be the crazy guy in the corner counting “what if” delegates and trying to convince people that your math is right.

Ron Paul has reached us with his message. This liberty movement sparked by the message of freedom will go on. Paul’s presidential campaign, unfortunately, will not. It’s time we all grasp that reality.

Is Ron Paul making Republicans nervous?

Ron Paul’s delegate strategy may be the worst kept secret in Republican circles. And while most observers are treating Mitt Romney as the presumptive nominee, it looks as though Republicans are getting nervous that they may have a floor fight at their convention in Tampa:

Paul supporters swept this weekend’s state GOP conventions, picking up 21 of 24 RNC delegates in Maine and 22 out of 28 delegates in Nevada. The twin victories come on the heels of Paul’s surprise delegate wins at district caucuses and state conventions in Missouri, Minnesota, Colorado, and Louisiana, as well as a Paul-friendly takeover of the Alaska GOP.

Paul supporters have managed to stage these state-level coups despite significant resistance from local Establishment Republicans, many of whom are predictably reluctant to relinquish their power to the insurgents. So far, however, the Paul campaign has attributed most of the Establishment’s “shenanigans” to local animosities.

But there is growing evidence that the Romney camp — and the national GOP — are stepping up their efforts to prevent an embarrassing Ron Paul uprising on the floor of the Republican National Convention.

In Maine, for example, the Romney campaign dispatched its top lawyer, Benjamin Ginsberg, to oversee the state convention proceedings this weekend. (It’s worth noting that Ginsberg is best known for his work for George W. Bush during the 2000 Florida recount.)
Even if the nomination is not in play, an army of Paul delegates could cause significant problems for the presumptive nominee, who needs a smooth convention to assuage concerns about his ability to unite and energize the Republican base.

The Law of Unintended Consequences: GOP Style

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane right quick. Back to the late Summer of 2012 to a little place called Tampa, Florida and a little event known as the Republican National Convention.

As I reported back during this time, the GOP, for some unexplained and borderline-obsessive reason, was desperate to “maintain the narrative” that the GOP was a 100% united behind Mitt Romney. They thought it would be a good idea to completely re-write longstanding GOP rules and bylaws to keep Dr. Ron Paul from getting the guaranteed speaking slot that would come with his having captured the plurality of delegates in five states.

So, led by Romney’s lawyer, Ben Ginsberg, and the most awful Republican of all time, John Sununu, the GOP did just that - completely reworking and reshaping the entire power structure of the GOP.

As Rick Ungar mentioned in his column at yesterday, the main reason this was done was to put out that pesky Ron Paul fire and also to ensure a smooth process for Romney’s reelection during the 2016 delegate process.

Of course, there is one little problem there. Romney didn’t win, so now the GOP is stuck with Rule 40 that now mandates that a candidate has to have a majority (rather that plurality) of delegates from eight (instead of five) states.

With the very crowed field that the GOP primary season will almost undoubtedly see, is there a real concern that we might get to the 2016 Convention without the ability to nominate a candidate?

RNC Chair: “We would be fools not to welcome in the liberty movement”

Reince Priebus

During last year’s Republican National Convention, the establishment powers that be successfully pushed a series of rule changes that discouraged grassroots conservatives and Ron Paul supporters.

But after an unsuccessful election cycle, there are some signs Republicans are beginning to see that they need stop alienating the freedom movement. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus explained in a recent interview that the GOP needs to reach out to libertarian-leaning voters:

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus is courting the libertarian-leaning Ron Paul wing of the Republican Party, saying, “We would be fools not to welcome in the liberty movement in this party.”

In a video posted by the pro-Paul on Sunday, Priebus was asked by an interviewer what his message is to Ron Paul supporters. The video appears to have been filmed during the committee’s winter meeting in Charlotte N.C. last week, when Priebus was re-elected Friday to another term as chairman.

“I want to reach out,” Priebus responded. “The fact of the matter is we’re not going to grow our party by closing doors.”

This news was music to the ears of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who is arguably the most libertarian member of Congress. In a statement, Sen. Paul expressed approval of the Priebus’ remarks.

Clint Eastwood returns in new ad for American Crossroads

Clint Eastwood

On the final day of the Republican National Convention, Clint Eastwood turned his speech into a humorous, but also odd, conversation with “Barack Obama,” an empty chair on stage beside him. Eastwood overshadowed Mitt Romney’s night, but the “empty chair” reference to Obama was adopted by many Republicans and meme became a hit on social media sites.

While he hasn’t had huge role in Romney’s campaign, Eastwood is back on the political scene in a new, 30-second ad for American Crossroads, which is spending heavily in swing states. This particular ad is part of the pro-Romney super PAC’s $12.6 million ad buy across seven swing states.

Talking over video of closed manufacturing plant, presumably unemployed Americans, and containers with Chinese written on the side being unloaded off a cargo ship, Eastwood explains, “In the last few years, America has been knocked down. Twenty-three million can’t find full-time work. And we borrow $4 billion every single day, much of it from China.”

As the video cuts to President Obama getting on Air Force One, Eastwood says, “If someone doesn’t get the job done, you gotta hold ’em accountable,” adding, “Obama’s second term would be a rerun of the first an our country couldn’t survive that.”

Eastwood closes by pitching Romney, explaining, “There’s not much time left, and the future of our country is at stake.”

You can view the ad below:

Ron Paul hints that he’s voting for Gary Johnson

It’s no surprise that Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who is retiring from elected office at the beginning of the year, isn’t a fan of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. The two seemed friendly during the race for the GOP nomination as Paul defended Romney when other candidates were attacking his tenure at Bain Capital. There was even speculation that a deal was in the works between the two campaigns.

While his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), endorsed Romney, the elder Paul made it clear during the summer that he was unlikely to do the same. The treatment endured by Paul supporters at the Republican National Conventon may have sent Paul over the edge, as he recently hinted that he may vote for Gary Johnson, via Buzz Feed:

In a Fox Business interview Wednesday, Rep. Ron Paul refused to say who he was planning on voting for — but ruled out voting for Mitt Romney or President Obama, leaving only one plausible option.

“I obviously haven’t announced in support for Romney, so that means that’s very unlikely,” Paul said. “And I don’t think anybody think’s I’m going to vote for Obama. So it’s back to that frustration level in not seeing a dramatic choice in how the system works.”

Clint Eastwood chats about RNC speech, libertarianism, and gay marriage

Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood’s speech last month at the Republican National Convention (RNC) caught many people by surprise. His ad-libbed “conversation” with an empty chair, which Eastwood said was President Barack Obama, managed to overshadow Mitt Romney on the night he accepted the GOP presidential nomination.

Eastwood visited with Ellen DeGeneres yesterday to discuss his new movie, but also some of the reaction to his speech at the RNC, libertarianism, and his view on gay marriage.

The relevant part is within the first three minutes of the video. It was great to hear the reaction from the audience after Eastwood described libertarianism, the political philosophy to which he subscribes:

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