Even while Donald Trump moves forward as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, establishment figures in both politics and business have stepped away from the candidate. Some delegates are withdrawing support from Trump and major corporations have decided to bow out in their sponsorship or offer less to the convention this year.
A small but reportedly increasing coalition of delegates say there may be enough Republicans to unite against Trump and make changes to party rules. If they change those rules, then delegates have the ability to vote for anyone at the convention. They would be allowed to vote for someone besides Trump if it violates their moral or religious beliefs. On Thursday, at least 30 delegates from 15 states participated in a conference call on the subject, the Washington Post reported. The convention’s rules committee meets July 14 and 15. Even if the rules committee supported the proposal, a majority of convention delegates would still have to agree, the Post added. The effort is being led by a Colorado delegate who supported Ted Cruz and is a member of the party rules committee, Kendal Unruh.
At a rally in Las Vegas on Saturday, Trump acknowledged the news about delegates organizing against him and said, “So now I hear after beating them fair and square … So how would you like to have someone who wins not only 37 states and no one else was remotely close … sets an all-time record gets 14 million votes over period of nine months and gets 37 states … How would you like to be in a party where Trump wins? Where Trump keeps winning? Where Trump gets the highest ratings in history of television?” Trump commented.
The Trump "We're gonna win" rant to end his speech tonight was amazing – in the top ten of 2016 for sure. pic.twitter.com/7T2EzhqIMg
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) June 18, 2016
“I mean forget about the fact that Republican National Committee put out a statement saying it’s all made up by the press, by these people right here,” Trump said as he pointed to the press as the audience booed. “These are the most dishonest people, not all of them, but I watched CNN yesterday knowing it can’t happen and then, ‘Breaking news there will be this and that at the convention!’ I beat the hell out of them,” Trump said.
When asked whether House Republican conference members should “follow their conscience” on deciding to support Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan told Chuck Todd on Meet the Press, “Oh, absolutely. The last thing I would do is tell anybody to do something that’s contrary to their conscience. Of course I wouldn’t do that. Look, believe me, Chuck. I get that this a very strange situation. [Trump is] a very unique nominee.”
The Republican National Committee has dismissed the reports about delegates organizing against Trump. Its spokesman, Sean Spicer made this statement to the press, “There is no organized effort, strategy or leader of this so-called movement. It is nothing more than a media creation and a series of tweets.”
A number of large companies have decided to stop or reduce their participation in or sponsorship of the Republican National Convention. The list of companies that aren’t sponsoring at all includes JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, United Parcel Service, Motorola, and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc, which all sponsored the last convention, Bloomberg reported. Although the tech giants Google, Microsoft, and Facebook will all be present at the convention, Apple decided to sit this one out, specifically citing Trump’s controversial rhetoric, Politico reported on Saturday.
Although Trump and Apple have had their issues for a while now — he called for a boycott of the company’s products back in February, referring to the company’s refusal to break into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters on behalf of the FBI — Apple specifically referred to his statements about immigrants, people of color, and women as the reason for not sponsoring the convention.