While all of South Carolina’s 50 GOP convention delegates are pledged to Donald Trump, there are still plenty of party faithful who are not happy about it.
South Carolina’s delegation leaders were not among those who joined in a minor protest revolt against party leaders Monday. Delegates from at least six states, particularly Virginia and Utah, insisted for a roll call vote on the rules instead of a voice vote. The challengers initially believed they had a majority of delegates in nine states — more than the required seven to force a roll-call vote. However, convention leaders said three states had withdrawn their petitions, dropping the total to just 6 state delegations.
One of the most vocal anti-Trump Republicans traveling with the delegation has been Robby Norwood of Spartanburg. Norwood is not a delegate, but traveled to Cleveland as a guest of the South Carolina GOP. Norwood told Greenwood affiliate WCRS on Tuesday that the real estate mogul has excited the party’s base — but he thinks not in a good way.
“What scares me is that he’s hit the ‘angry mob’ nerve and this looks more like the French Revolution than the American Revolution,” he said. “And that was made evident on the convention floor (Monday), when you had all these angry people on both sides. It looked ugly.”
South Carolina requires convention delegates to vote for the winner of the state’s GOP presidential primary. Another delegate is LaDonna Ryggs, a Greer activist who ran Trump opponent Ted Cruz’s unsuccessful Palmetto State campaign. Despite her previous support for Cruz, Ryggs said she’ll support Trump when the time comes.
“He did win and he won fair and square,” Ryggs said Monday. “In South Carolina, he got every district and will have all 50 votes on the first ballot.” Trump is expected to be formally nominated as the party’s nominee Tuesday night. South Carolina’s lieutenant governor Henry McMaster will give the nomination speech.
Columbia delegate Sandra Bryan said the floor unrest “was nothing like four years ago or other conventions.” But she’s not losing hope that the GOP can still rally behind the party’s likely choice. “What I see happening is more positive going to come out of this,” she told WCRS. Those were very strong speeches last night (at the convention). I think we’re going to move forward.”
Norwood is among those making a last-ditch effort to dissuade the nominees from sticking with the state’s choice if Trump fails to reach the required majority on first ballot Tuesday. Norwood insisted he and others are not responsible for dividing the party, it’s Trump’s controversial statements and not-always-conservative positions.
“The cause of the division in the party is because conservatives like me who have principles over party will never vote for a man like that,” he said.