With Donald Trump’s poll numbers sinking into a death spiral, dozens of Republican delegates are now openly plotting a coup to overthrow him at this year’s Republican National Convention.
The Washington Post has scored an interview with GOP delegates who are leading the effort to allow delegates to vote their consciences at this year’s RNC so they can choose someone other than Trump. The rule change would allow delegates to unbind themselves based on “personal or religious conscience.”
Kendal Unruh, a Republican delegate from Colorado, says that their plan is to stop Trump from becoming the nominee first and then hoping the delegates can then pick a consensus non-Trump candidate afterward.
“This literally is an ‘Anybody but Trump’ movement,” he told the Post. “Nobody has any idea who is going to step in and be the nominee, but we’re not worried about that. We’re just doing that job to make sure that he’s not the face of our party.”
Iowa GOP delegate Cecil Stinemetz also warned that there was nothing the GOP could do to stop Trump from further embarrassing the party if it made him the nominee.
“Trump just continues to embarrass himself and his party and this is not going to let up,” he told the Post.
The Post’s sources say Unruh’s campaign kicked off on Thursday with a conference call with “at least 30 delegates from 15 states.” Given that there are going to be more than 2,400 delegates at this year’s RNC, the group will need a lot more than 30 delegates to stage a coup. All the same, this kind of open plotting against a presumptive presidential nominee is unprecedented in recent history.
“I’ve woken up every day struggling to accept that he’s going to be our candidate,” veteran GOP operative Steve Lonegan told the Post in explaining why he thinks overthrowing Trump might be a good idea. “He’s spent more time talking about getting Bernie Sanders voters to vote for him than conservatives. What do you think he has that Bernie Sanders’s supporters would like? A secret socialist agenda?”