If you skim articles like the one below in Politico, you would think that the RNC rules committee, and the entire Republican Party, was tearing itself apart. Typical quote is (emphasis added):
The vote bitterly divided the party, pitting a small group eager to advance the proposal against RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and his allies, who warned that implementing the change would further inflame Donald Trump, who has accused the committee of overseeing a “rigged” process that’s stacked against him.
As a guest attendee and member of the audience, I saw no bitter division either at the Rules Committee or the meeting as a whole. The Party was in good spirits and saw Governor Kasich, Senator Cruz, and Dr. Carson for Donald Trump with equal respect and interest. I heard officials for all campaigns and RNC Members from across the country on board with supporting the nominee, whoever that may be.
As far as what the actual substance of the Rules Committee hearing, it was a debate of whether the convention should run under the rules of the United States House of Representatives or “Roberts Rules.” In other words, this was not for or against a candidate, nor was it debating any sort of substantive change in the Party’s principles.
It was a debate discussed respectfully with everyone truly getting along. Of course, the media loves a fight, so it is only in the last sentence of thePolitico article that summed up what the meeting was really like:
“There’s been a little bit written in the press about the work of this committee,” [Committee Chair] Ash said. “Let’s be clear about one thing: This committee has done a good job standing together.”
As far as the substance, the Democrat Convention and every Republican Convention in the Party’s History except 1884 have been run under House rules. As RNLA Chair Randy Evans and Board Member John Ryder stated:
“We’re basically in the seventh inning of a ballgame, and I don’t think it’s right to change the rules of the game in the middle of the game,” argued Randy Evans, an RNC member from Georgia. “Any change we make would be viewed with a very large degree of cynicism.”
John Ryder, a member from Tennessee who is the RNC’s counsel, warned that it would “subject this committee to enormous political criticism.”
The committee agreed by a voice vote that I was told unofficially was 54-2. No real controversy. However, it did provide a lot of media establishment types a chance to hype a fight. Problem was, there really wasn’t one.