The Latest: GOP panel kills effort to ‘unbind’ delegates


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Campaign 2016 ahead of the Republican and Democratic National conventions (all times EDT):

9:50 p.m.

A committee at the Republican National Convention has defeated an effort by conservatives who want to let delegates vote for any presidential candidate they’d like.

Thursday’s vote by the convention’s rules committee was a major blow to forces trying to derail Donald Trump’s nomination at the GOP gathering next week.

The 112-member panel is dominated by top party officials and delegates loyal to Trump.

The proposal’s author is Colorado delegate Kendal Unruh. She has said she’ll try to force a vote on her proposal in the full convention next week — a vote she’ll also be likely to lose.

__

9:05 p.m.

Tim Tebow won’t be at the Republican National Convention after all.

The former football star was to be among the biggest names at next week’s GOP convention in Cleveland.

But he says in a Thursday night Facebook post that his attendance was simply a rumor. He commented roughly 12 hours after Donald Trump’s campaign announced his status as a convention speaker.

Tebow says: “I just got back from the Philippines, and I wake up this morning to find out that I’m speaking at the Republican National Convention. It’s amazing how fast rumors fly. And that’s exactly what it is, a rumor.”

Tebow says he’d do “anything for America.” But that won’t include appearing in Cleveland next week on Trump’s behalf.

Tebow says he’ll focus his time instead on helping children through his foundation.

8:55 p.m.

A committee holding early meetings at the Republican National Convention has decided to vote sooner than expected on an uphill drive by opponents of Donald Trump to “unbind” delegates so they can vote for any presidential candidate they’d like.

The convention rules committee had planned to hold a vote on that proposal Friday. But working late into the evening, the panel voted to hold that roll call Thursday evening.

The proposal by Colorado delegate Kendal Unruh would let delegates vote their conscience and back any contender, not the one they were committed to by state primaries and caucuses.

When the full convention holds its meetings next week, Unruh and other conservatives hope that change would let the gathering block Trump’s nomination to be GOP presidential candidate. But they are unlikely to prevail.

__

7:35 p.m.

Donald Trump is insisting that he has yet to settle on a running mate.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee says in an interview on Fox News Channel, “I haven’t made a final, final decision.”

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has emerged as a late favorite for the job, but Trump advisers caution that the businessman had not made a final decision and could still change his mind.

Trump tells Fox that Pence has done a wonderful job in Indiana, but adds that fellow finalists Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich as “fantastic” people.

Trump has canceled a Friday news conference where he planned to make public his VP choice, citing the truck attack in France that has killed dozens.

Trump says that it’s “crazy what’s going on” and says, “We have to get awfully tough and we have to get very, very smart.”

___

7:13 p.m.

Donald Trump says on Twitter that he is delaying the announcement of his running mate following the deadly truck attack in France.

After a day of speculation about who might join Trump atop the Republican Party’s presidential ticket, Trump tweets on Thursday night: “In light of the horrible attack in Nice, France, I have postponed tomorrow’s news conference concerning my Vice Presidential announcement.”

Trump had been scheduled to unveil his pick at an 11 a.m. news conference at a hotel in midtown Manhattan.

Late Thursday, a truck drive onto the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers who’d been gathered to watch Bastille Day fireworks in Nice, France. Authorities say dozens of people are dead.

___

6:20 p.m.

Talks aimed at averting some battles at the Republican National Convention between GOP leaders and conservatives have broken down.

That increases the chances of a confrontation between the two sides next week when the full convention meets in Cleveland.

The longshot effort by conservatives to “unbind” delegates and let them back any candidate they want was not addressed by the talks. That issue is seemingly headed toward a fight next week.

Leaders of the Republican National Committee spent hours Thursday meeting with conservatives who are pushing populist changes in party rules that would weaken leadership powers. The two sides could not reach agreement.

Conservatives hope to force votes on their proposals by the full convention. Party leaders say they’ll be able to defeat them, but they’d hoped to avoid battles on national television.

__

4:40 p.m.

Sen. Ted Cruz is refusing to condemn a rebellion against Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention as the fiery Texas conservative weighs his political future against the prospect of a national Republican embarrassment.

Cruz’s continued public silence, as his loyalists actively plotted to undermine Trump on Thursday, irked Trump allies and Republican leaders alike, all eager to avoid a public spectacle when the four-day gathering formally begins on Monday.

Yet having accepted a speaking slot on the main stage, there are signs the 45-year-old senator is willing to cooperate with Trump’s campaign — privately, at least — even as he works to sustain his popularity among anti-Trump conservatives.

___

2:52 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is assuring Senate Democrats that she will pick a “very qualified” vice presidential candidate during their weekly luncheon on Capitol Hill.

The former secretary of state was asked during the private luncheon who she would choose as her running mate, prompting a roar from the audience and promises that they wouldn’t tell anyone.

Clinton says after the luncheon that she had a “great conversation” with them and talked about ways to bring economic opportunity to the nation and “build a strong Democratic party.”

Lawmakers say Clinton’s former Democratic opponent, Bernie Sanders, received applause at the lunch. The meeting also included potential Clinton running mates like Tim Kaine of Virginia, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

___

2:37 p.m.

Newt Gingrich says he still has not heard from Donald Trump about his running mate selection.

In a brief interview with The Associated Press, Gingrich said he was still expecting to hear from the Republican nominee Thursday. Gingrich told the AP earlier in the day that he had expected to receive word from Trump sometime after 1 p.m.

____

2:29 p.m.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says that Donald Trump’s impending vice presidential decision ultimately comes down to whether he wants a fellow “pirate” or a “relatively stable, more normal person.”

Gingrich is one of the three finalists the presumptive GOP nominee is considering for his running mate.

He’s speaking on Facebook live about the intricacies of the vetting process and sharing his thoughts on the two other finalists: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Gingrich suggests that he has yet to hear from Trump about his decision.

He says, “We’ll find out what Donald Trump decides to do.”

___

1:25 p.m.

Hillary Clinton has arrived at a weekly luncheon with Senate Democrats where she is expected to brief them on her presidential campaign.

The presumptive Democratic nominee said Thursday, “it’s great to be back here in the Senate.” She received loud applause from the Democratic members.

Clinton was joined at the lunch by some of her former colleagues as well as potential vice presidential choices, including Tim Kaine of Virginia, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

Her onetime Democratic presidential rival Bernie Sanders was also at the lunch. He endorsed Clinton in New Hampshire on Tuesday.

Clinton was scheduled to campaign in Virginia with Kaine later in the day.

___

12:00 p.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says Indiana Gov. Mike Pence would be a good pick for Donald Trump’s vice president.

Ryan says it’s no secret he’s a big fan of Pence’s and holds him in very high regard.

Ryan tells reporters Thursday: “I hope that he picks a good movement conservative. Clearly Mike is one of those.”

The Wisconsin Republican says he doesn’t know what Trump will do, and “I hope he makes a good pick and clearly that would be a good one.”

Trump’s vice presidential announcement is expected soon with the Republican National Convention getting under way in Cleveland next week.

___

11:55 a.m

Hillary Clinton is vowing to expand upon President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration despite the Supreme Court’s recent deadlocked ruling.

Clinton says in a speech at the League of United Latin American Citizens’ national convention that she will put a comprehensive immigration bill before Congress in her first 100 days of office.

She says the high court did not “actually rule on the substance of the case” and it’s within the authority of the president to temporarily stop the deportation for millions of people living in the U.S. illegally.

Clinton says she will create a “simple, straight forward system” in which people with sympathetic cases or a history of serving their communities can make their case and become eligible for deferred action.

The Democratic presidential candidate was also meeting Thursday with Senate Democrats and campaigning with Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, a possible vice presidential pick.

___

11:52 a.m.

Newt Gingrich says he is hosting a “Facebook Live” event Thursday afternoon to discuss the Republican “vice presidential picks and the VP selection process.”

Gingrich is one of the finalists to join Donald Trump on the November ticket. Earlier Thursday, the former House speaker told The Associated Press that he expects to hear from Trump shortly after 1 p.m. about whether he’s been chosen. Gingrich’s Facebook event is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Gingrich, who has been active on the social media venue, hosted a Facebook Live event with Trump earlier this month.

___

11:18 a.m.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence quickly exited a planned speaking event in Indianapolis shortly after releasing details about a new economic development initiative.

The Republican governor is considered a top contender to become Donald Trump’s vice president pick. Pence and his entourage swiftly exited the building and climbed into a waiting motorcade.

His office and his re-election campaign have not released details of any other planned events after several days of repeated public appearances.

___

11:12 a.m.

Senior U.S. national security officials say they are worried about the potential for violence at the Republican National Convention to be held in Cleveland next week.

During congressional testimony Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh (jay) Johnson says he’s concerned that demonstrations outside the convention hall may get out of hand.

Johnson says he will be inspecting the security around the convention hall during a visit Friday. He says he says similar concerns about the Democratic convention to be held in Philadelphia. He’ll be visiting that site next week.

Johnson tells the House Homeland Security Committee there will be 4,000 U.S. government security personnel in Cleveland.

FBI Director James Comey says anytime there is a large, national event there is concern that radical people and groups may be drawn to it.

___

10:56 a.m.

A pivotal committee of delegates at the Republican National Convention has abruptly taken a recess of several hours, just as it was beginning to consider rules changes proposed by conservatives and foes of presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Some delegates said the Trump campaign and top GOP officials were trying to see if they could strike a compromise with conservatives trying to let delegates back any candidate they want and offering other rules changes.

A leader of those conservatives is Ken Cuccinelli, who was a campaign adviser to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s now abandoned presidential campaign. GOP Chairman Reince Priebus and top Trump campaign officials were also in the convention center.

___

10:24 a.m.

Newt Gingrich says he expects to hear from Donald Trump about his vice presidential decision as early as Thursday afternoon.

In a brief interview with The Associated Press, Gingrich says he expects the decision sometime after 1pm. He says he had not heard from the Trump campaign Thursday morning.

Gingrich, the former House speaker, is among Trump’s top choices, along with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Gingrich praised Trump for running a “very fair, open process” and said he looked forward to the businessman’s decision.

Trump and his running mate will make their first joint appearance Friday in New York.

___

10:16 a.m.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she regrets her “ill-advised” public criticism of Donald Trump.

Ginsburg says in a statement issued by the court on Thursday that judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office. She promises to be more circumspect in the future.

Ginsburg told The Associated Press last week that she did not want to think about the prospect of Trump winning the presidency. She escalated her criticism in subsequent media interviews.

She came under attack for her comments in recent days, leading to Thursday’s statement.

___

8:40 a.m.

Donald Trump’s campaign and party leaders seem poised to defeat GOP renegades trying to derail the billionaire’s presidential nomination. But it’s unclear they’ll prevail before the dispute flares into a potentially angry and embarrassing floor fight next week.

The two sides on Thursday were beginning what could be a two-day faceoff at early meetings of the convention’s rules committee. That panel’s initial votes are expected to demonstrate how firmly Trump and GOP Chairman Reince Priebus control the convention, which meets in full next week.

comments powered by Disqus