GOP Bosses Offer Olive Branch to Avert Floor Fight

GOP bosses offered a late night olive branch to delegates to avert a floor fight this morning at the RNC Convention. Romney supporters and GOP leaders agreed to back down from a proposed rule change that would have allowed presidential nominees to choose the delegates they want at national conventions.
Chron.com reported:

The GOP bosses offered an olive branch to delegates in late night sessions Monday to avert a floor fight on changing the party rules.

Republican leaders moved Monday to quell an uprising by Texans and Ron Paul supporters that threatened to steal the spotlight from GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and expose rifts in the party right as its nominating convention got under way.

Under a compromise reached late Monday, Romney supporters and GOP leaders agreed to back down from a proposed rule change that effectively would have allowed presidential nominees to choose what delegates represent them at national conventions.

The proposed change was aimed at muting the power of insurgent candidates such as Tea Party favorite Ron Paul but prompted an uproar from Texas Republicans, who select their delegates through successive votes in conventions at precincts, then districts and finally statewide.

Butch Davis, a member of the RNC Rules Committee who fought off the proposal, said the existing Texas system often elevates grassroots activists and party faithful toiling in the trenches, but the proposed change would have instead allowed GOP leaders and presidential candidates to hand-select delegates and reward donors with delegate spots.

“We believe in Texas as a principle that no presidential candidate nor the RNC should be able to tell Texas who can or cannot be a delegate to the national convention,” Davis said.

“This isn’t Reagan versus Ford, Goldwater versus Rockefeller,” Davis added. “This is George Washington versus King George.”

And Texas Republican Vice Chairwoman Melinda Fredricks had flatly told RNC rules committee members Sunday night that the Lone Star State would stand its ground…

…In an e-mail obtained by Hearst Newspapers (available below), Republicans who led the fight against the proposed change said the GOP leaders “heard the concerns of the conservative grassroots voices in our party” and amended their proposal.

“This will allow Republicans of all stripes to come to the convention united and focused on defeating Barack Obama in November,” they said.

Under the deal, delegates who are bound to a presidential candidate that hasn’t bowed out of the race or released them to vote for another contender are barred from casting a vote for a different person. During this convention, the change effectively would mean a delegate bound to Mitt Romney could not instead opt to throw his or her support behind Ron Paul, who has not freed his delegates.

Hat Tip Meg

Steve Deace has more on this controversy.

Michelle Malkin is all over the story with several updates.

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