Colorado’s Republican Delegates Divided On Eve Of National Convention

July 13, 2016
Photo: Colorado's Republican Delegates Divided On Eve Of National Convention(Mark J. Terrill/AP)
Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump will again be in the spotlight at next week's national convention.

Unlike recent national conventions, when the Republican party meets in Cleveland July 18-21, there's the potential for high drama.

Although pledged to follow the party's wishes, delegates from across the country are threatening to break away in an effort to prevent the presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, from leading the GOP into the November election.

One of the leaders of the "Anybody But Trump" movement is Kendal Unruh, a school teacher from Castle Rock. Unruh is hoping she and the other anti-Trump delegates will be able to enforce what she considers an existing rule -- that delegates would be able to "vote their conscience." In turn, that would allow them, if they wished, to unbind from their commitment to Trump.

"This is a matter of saving the party," Unruh said. "[Trump]'s destroyed that -- it's almost as if we were building a house, and he came in and put a sledgehammer to it. We’re trying to save the structure -- we’ll have to rebuild from the damage that he's created.

"I can’t go out and vote for Trump, or tell people he’s best for the party -- they’d be asking me to lie."

According to Unruh, all but "a few" of the state's 37 delegates are still supporting Cruz coming into the convention. Steve House, the chairman of the Colorado GOP, is a Trump supporter who says the "conscience clause" will be unsuccessful.

"I think it will be voted down and Trump will be nominated on the first ballot," House said.

House doesn’t believe Trump’s proposals, like building a wall along the Mexican border or banning Muslims from entering the U.S., hurt his chances in a general election.

“If he was a little bit inarticulate about how he said it upfront, so be it," House said. "But I think the intention is, ‘How do I protect you and your property rights and your right to life.’ And that’s what he’s all about, he’s not about racism.”

House also says the party needs to respect the more than 12 million voters who backed Trump in the primaries.

Unruh and House spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.