Donald Trump has been boasting for months that this year’s Republican National Convention will be nothing like the boring conventions of elections past. And now it seems the GOP is delivering on that promise, though perhaps not in the exact way its presumptive nominee had intended.
On Monday, just as the RNC was kicking off its four-day extravaganza in Cleveland, Ohio, a fight erupted on the convention floor after Trump critics attempted to force a roll call vote on the party’s proposed rules.
At issue: The rules require pledged delegates to vote in accordance with the results of their state’s primaries, which would essentially guarantee Trump’s nomination.
The “Never Trump” movement was pushing for a recorded vote (instead of just aye or nay votes), after submitting signatures from nine different states or territories. The group needed a majority of votes from seven state or territory delegates to force the roll-call vote. But Rep. Steve Womack, the presiding official, declared the rules approved and attempted to move on.
That did not sit well with anti-Trump delegates who began chanting “Roll Call Vote! U-S-A” as Trump supporters shouted back simply “U-S-A!”
At one point things got so bad, Womack left the stage.
“It’s not clear what happened,” Utah Sen. Mike Lee told CNN afterwards. “At one point the chair walked off the stage. I’ve never in my entire life seen anybody do that.”
Moments later, Womack returned to call for a second voice vote, declaring the “ayes” had won and approving the rules.