Prominent members of the fading #NeverTrump movement are pouring cold water on a last desperate bid to change the convention rules to deny Donald Trump the Republican nomination.
An article in Business Insider Saturday claimed that “The ‘Never Trump’ movement has emerged from the ashes” following Trump’s controversial comments about the judge presiding over the Trump University civil case. The article quoted spurned anti-Trump Republicans like former Jeb Bush staffer Tim Miller, whose candidate lost badly under his watch in South Carolina and who now is calling for the Republican Party to “amend the rules” to stop Trump in Cleveland. Radio hosts Hugh Hewitt and Erick Erickson and consultant Rick Wilson also weighed in on the possibility and purported likelihood of such a Cleveland plot.
But quotes from knowledgeable Republican sources, buried in the lower paragraphs of the article, dispute the very premise of the piece.
“I haven’t heard anything more concrete than idle and wishful musings!” said Never Trumper Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, which officially went “Against Trump” before the Iowa caucus.
The most damning quotes in the piece come from Morton Blackwell, the face of the conservative Leadership Institute, who is a member of the permanent Republican National Committee Standing Committee on Rules.
“This stuff, obviously, is titillating … but it’s not a serious thing,” Blackwell said. “If the rules were changed in order to facilitate the nomination of somebody other than Trump, it would be only after a ferocious battle at the Rules Committee in Cleveland, followed by a ferocious battle on the floor of the convention…That has to be debated on the floor of the convention. It would be a terribly ugly fight. I don’t think that those who want to change the rules will change the rules, but if they did manage to change the rules, it would badly split the party.”
“I’ll put it this way,” Blackwell said. “Rounded off to the nearest whole digit, it’s a zero chance. Maybe 0.00001%. It’s not going to happen.”
#NeverTrump figurehead Glenn Beck, who battled and fasted his way to stop Trump through the Indiana primary, also said recently on Facebook that a last-minute rule change to get rid of Trump would “cause chaos and more hatred.”
“There’s a lot of talk about the GOP now dumping Donald Trump at the convention,” Beck said on his radio program. “I cannot believe this is true. I think this is wishful talking for people who don’t support Trump, but I don’t think it should be wishful talking and hoping because I think it leads to great trouble.”