Despite early shows of solidarity, Republican delegates at the RNC displayed a significant level of dissension on the convention’s first official day.
The day’s speakers offered a unified message that highlighted the party’s view of our current government’s failure, but their message was loudly offset by a sizable group of delegates and spectators who are angry about party rules governing the presidential nomination. The delegates, many of whom support candidate Ron Paul, have held that these rules made it impossible for them to vote for any candidate other than Mitt Romney.
This issue has already been the subject of a lawsuit in California, which alleges that party officials tampered with ballots and threatened delegates with legal consequences if they did not vote for Gov. Romney.
Before the start of the convention, delegates in support of Ron Paul promised to create a scene over the rules and, on Tuesday, they delivered one.
For several minutes, the convention ground to a halt as supporters shouted and demanded a redress of their grievances. Even after the majority was quieted and convention business resumed, shouts of “point of order” could still be heard over party speakers.
Though only a minor disruption for the convention, this overt act of dissension could prove a critical distraction for the Republican party and for Romney, as the race for president is currently expected to be a close affair. If even a small number of voters change their decisions as a result of Republican infighting the scope of the entire election could change.
Despite these delegates’ fervor, party business was concluded successfully on Tuesday with the official roll call of delegates and the nomination of Gov. Mitt Romney for president. The night ended with messages from Ann Romney and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who aimed to reintroduce Gov. Romney to Americans while delivering a message that Romney and Ryan are the best candidates to rebuild the U.S. economy.
For more information on the RNC, or to follow the convention as it proceeds, visit www.gopconvention2012.com.