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McDaniel, Schuette oppose bid to dump Trump

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing — Michigan Republican Party chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel says any effort to deny businessman Donald Trump the Republican presidential nomination at next month’s national convention would “disenfranchise” GOP primary voters.

She was joined by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who also said this week he opposes changing the rules at the convention.

McDaniel came out in opposition this week to the so-called “Dump Trump” movement among a smattering of national convention delegates who want to change the party’s rules and let delegates bound to vote for Trump cast their ballot for somebody else.

The dump Trump revolt includes two Republican National Convention delegates from Michigan — grassroots activists Wendy Day of Howell and Barbara Bookout of Grand Rapids. Day helped manage Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s Michigan presidential campaign.

“I think it would be very hard to change the rules midstream and to go to states like Michigan and say you ran a taxpayer-funded primary for no reason,” McDaniel said in a Monday interview with The Detroit News. “I think it would disenfranchise our voters.”

McDaniel, who is a Trump delegate, is the niece of 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who for a while was the de facto leader of a “Never Trump” movement during the primaries that failed to deny the New York real estate tycoon the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.

Trump won Michigan’s March 8 presidential primary with 36.5 percent of the 1.3 million Republican votes.

“The voters have spoken. Trump won 41 of the nominating contests,” McDaniel said. “I don’t know how you could disenfranchise those voters by suddenly changing the rules.”

McDaniel said the party would be fractured if Republican National Convention delegates denied Trump the nomination at the July 18-21 convention in Cleveland.

“That would be very difficult to comprehend and come and support a party that does that,” she said. “I don’t think that’s somebody that’s going to go forward.”

Schuette, the head of Michigan’s campaign for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, seemed even more emphatic.

“That’s going zero, going nowhere,” the Republican attorney general said Tuesday during a wide-ranging interview with Capitol reporters.

Schuette has repeatedly condemned Trump’s controversial comments about women, minorities, Hispanics and bashing the prisoner-of-war record of Arizona Sen. John McCain.

“All those things are deplorable,” he said Tuesday.

Despite the misgivings, Schuette said he still favors Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton as president.

“The point is, Donald Trump’s going to be the Republican nominee, he’s going to square off against Hillary Clinton and I’m not going to do anything to help Hillary,” Schuette said. “I’m going to vote for Trump. I don’t want Hillary Clinton in the White House.”

clivengood@detroitnews.com

(517) 371-3661

Twitter: @ChadLivengood