- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
GOP officials accuse Romney of ‘power grab’
Say he’s trying to rig rules for 2016 delegate selection
Question of the Day
TAMPA, Fla. — Top Republicans are fighting one another over what one party leader called “one of the biggest power grabs” in the party’s history.
Senior GOP officials are accusing the Romney campaign’s chief attorney, Ben Ginsberg, of pushing through a rules change for delegate selection that would give Mitt Romney enormous power over the primary process should he win the White House and seek re-election in 2016.
“It shifts the power to select delegates from the state party to the [party’s presidential] candidate,” Republican National Committee Vice Chairman Jim Bopp told The Washington Times on Sunday. “And it would make the Republican Party a top-down, not bottom-up, party.”
Conservatives, as well as some moderates, said Mr. Ginsberg persuaded RNC Rules Committee members to let Mr. Romney — if he becomes president — decide which delegates will be seated at the 2016 GOP presidential nominating convention. It also calls for letting future presidential hopefuls decide who gets to take the delegate slots they win in each state.
Even though changes won’t take effect until 2016, senior officials fear that it will dampen the enthusiasm of rank and hamper this year’s bid to unseat President Obama.
Mr. Bopp, who called it “one of the biggest power grabs in the history of the Republican Party,” said the issue emerged because of a fight this year over Ron Paul delegates. He said that has been worked out and minor changes can address similar issues in the future.
“Those of us in states where the Republican Party is thriving have a problem with people from states where the Republican Party is on life support telling us how to run our business,” a ranking Southern delegate said in obvious reference to Boston (where many of Mr. Romney’s closest advisers hang their hats, as well as to Massachusetts and the Northeast in general). “They would be better served by taking lessons.”
“It’s not just conservative RNC members heading home and sharing their new reasons to be skeptical, but every grass-roots conservative leader who catches wind of this and understands it,” former Virginia Republican Party Chairman Jeff Frederick said. “Conservative leaders with their own broad channels to communicate [will have] new evidence that the narrative of doubt on Romney — whether he will be ‘radically conservative’ (his words at CPAC this year) as he has promised or whether he’ll be more like the Massachusetts Gov. Romney we all remember.”
“This is an abuse of power that we hope will be changed when the full Republican National Convention adopts our minority report that will restore the old rules that let states decide on delegates,” said Carolyn McClarty, chairwoman of the Oklahoma delegation to the national convention.
Mr. Priebus, considered the most conservative national chairman in recent memory, has been put in a difficult situation. If he sides with the grass-roots proponents on the national committee, he butts heads with his party’s presumptive presidential nominee, which is unprecedented in both parties.
“We can’t let them undo, with one bad change in the rules, the two years of good work Reince has done in opening up this party to the grass roots,” Mrs. McClarty said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
- GOP 2014: Oklahoma's Mary Fallin follows in her parents' footsteps
- GOP 2014: In New Mexico, Susana Martinez the hope for Hispanics
- GOP 2014: Thriving economy, school choice fuel Bobby Jindal agenda in Louisiana
- GOP 2014: Scott Walker survives, Wisconsin thrives
- GOP 2014: From House to Statehouse for Indiana's Mike Pence
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
- Rahm Emanuel: Send illegal immigrant shelter kids to Chicago
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- CURL: Obama, staffers not even pretending any more
- Pentagon running out of time to find mass of missing weapons in Afghanistan
- Family of Marine killed in Afghanistan pushes back against cover-up
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring 'God's Rescue Squad'
- WEST: Those who would rather join the jihadi army than their own nation's army
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq