Deal Will Likely Prevent Floor Fight at Republican National Convention

Aug 27, 2012 8:57pm
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A compromise on Republican Party rules will likely prevent a convention floor fight on Tuesday.

Republican National Committeeman James Bopp, who had led a movement to oppose a new delegate rule on the convention floor, confirms to ABC News that he has agreed to a deal on compromise language.

A new RNC rule would have allowed presidential candidates effectively to choose their own bound delegates. States typically determine delegate allotments through primaries, then meet later at state conventions to pick those individuals. Under the new rule, state parties would give up some power to choose, among themselves, who gets to attend future GOP conventions as voting delegates.

Bopp had led a movement to defeat this rule on the convention floor Tuesday.

Instead, Bopp has agreed to compromise language. The RNC Rules Committee will meet Tuesday to approve the replacement language, Bopp told ABC News.

“The leadership of the Republican National Committee and the Romney for President campaign has heard the concerns of the conservative grassroots voices in our party and has crafted an amendment to the Rules adopted on Friday to address these concerns,” Bopp wrote in an email to Republican National Committee members. “At the same time, the revised language closes a loophole in our party rules, which previously failed to include a penalty for delegates who break their promise to vote for a particular Presidential candidate as required by state law or state party rules.”

Bopp explained the impetus for the proposed change, in the first place, as fear that Ron Paul supporters bound to Mitt Romney would break party rules and instead vote for Paul. The rule sought to prevent that risk at future conventions, Bopp said.

The compromise language simply states that delegates must vote for the candidates to whom they are bound, Bopp said. If not, they’ll be kicked out of future conventions and votes will be cast on their behalf.

The deal likely will not, however, allay some concerns of Ron Paul supporters.

The same new rule effectively bans future implementations of Paul’s campaign strategy — of organizing and amassing delegates at state conventions — by requiring states to allocate delegates by statewide vote. Bopp’s deal does not change that.

While no countermeasure will likely come up on the convention floor, Paul supporters will likely still be unhappy with the new rules. In Tampa Paul has 320 delegates supporting him out of 2,286 total, according to Paul Campaign Manager Jesse Benton.

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