By Michael O’Brien
TAMPA, Fla. — Republican leaders pushed through contentious changes to delegate rules over the objection of conservatives and supporters of Texas Rep. Ron Paul.
Loud boos erupted Tuesday on the floor of the Republican National Convention as RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, ruled that a voice vote was sufficient to approve credentialing rules for delegates at future conventions.
Delegates shout in protest over changes in Republican party rules that would restrict the impact of grassroots movements, before a vote to adopt the new rules during the second session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 28, 2012.
Chants that sounded like “Seat them now!” did battle with chants of “U-S-A” from supportive delegates seeking to shout the protestors down.
The rules change essentially tightens party control over the manner in which delegates are allocated and bound to candidates.
A delegate rule change by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and House Speaker John Boehner was approved despite the vocal objections of conservatives and supporters of Texas Rep. Ron Paul at the Republican National Convention.
The proposal prompted frustration from some supporters of Paul, whose campaign was able to appeal to the somewhat arcane rules of delegate allocation to win a majority of four states’ delegations, despite having failed to win a single nominating contest.
Other conservatives — including 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin — had protested the move as a power play to shut out grassroots conservatives.
As Priebus and Boehner brought up the controversial rules change for a voice vote, supporters replied with loud “ayes,” and almost equally vocal “noes.”
When Boehner determined, in his capacity as the convention’s permanent chairman, that the ayes had won it, cheers and boos mixed together in the convention hall.
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