PHOENIX — A group of Republicans, some of which are from Arizona, are reportedly hatching a new plan to block Donald Trump from receiving the party’s nomination.
The Washington Post reports the new coalition of convention delegates appears to be the most cohesive effort thus far to stop Trump’s nomination.
While the plan is being put together by Republicans from outside of Arizona — it is being lead by Kendal Unruh (R-Colo.) — leaders have recruited “regional coordinators” in Arizona. No names were given.
It is unknown if those contacted were among the nine Arizona delegates that have already said they are not going to the convention. Some have said it is because they refuse to vote for Trump, while others have schedule conflicts.
The Post said the coordinators were recruited during a conference call involving at least 30 delegates from 15 states.
Unlike other efforts to stop Trump’s nomination, the latest one is being coordinated by people who can alter party rules. Most of the plotters backed Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential bid, but said he has not directed them to act.
“This literally is an ‘Anybody but Trump’ movement,” said Unruh. “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.”
Should the plan be carried through, planners will likely look to pass a “conscience clause” that would effectively unbind delegates and allow them for whichever candidate they choose.
Trump is aware of the plot. He released a statement to the Post last week to dismiss it.
“I have tremendous support and get the biggest crowds by far and any such move would not only be totally illegal but also a rebuke of the millions of people who feel so strongly about what I am saying.”
The Republican National Committee has also spoken out against the plan, calling it “silly.”
“Donald Trump bested 16 highly qualified candidates and received more primary votes than any candidate in Republican Party history. All of the discussion about the RNC Rules Committee acting to undermine the presumptive nominee is silly.”
Though the plan is generating some chatter online, it would have to overcome several major hurdles to work.
First, the conscience clause would have to be approved by a majority of the convention’s rules committee and then ratified by a majority of delegates.
Generating enough support for the plan may also be an issue, as the party only received a full list of delegates this week.
In response, the anti-Trump plotters plan to fund ads with $2.5 million from the Citizens in Charge Foundation.