Some Republicans and organizations within the #NeverTrump movement reignited efforts to remove Donald Trump from the GOP presidential ticket Wednesday. Free the Delegates PAC, which worked to unbind GOP delegates during the 2016 Republican National Convention, announced in a press release that it will be working to recall Trump’s nomination under RNC rules.
Free the Delegates, along with former U.S. Senator Gordon Humphrey argue that Trump can be removed from the party’s ticket using RNC Rule 9(a). The rule allows for the filling of nominee vacancies in the event of “death, declination, or otherwise.”
Rule 9(a) reads in full:
“The Republican National Committee is hereby authorized and empowered to fill any and all vacancies which may occur by reason of death, declination, or otherwise of the Republican candidate for President of the United States or the Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States, as nominated by the national convention, or the Republican National Committee may reconvene the national convention for the purpose of filling any such vacancies.”
In this case, Free the Delegates argues that “otherwise” can include a nominee that exhibits “unsoundness of mind.”
Humphrey sees the removal of Trump as more than a move to defeat Hillary Clinton. He believes that the RNC is responsible for the way Donald Trump conducts himself in the face of the upcoming election. Humphrey remarked in a Hill op-ed Tuesday, "[T]he RNC would act under a duty to the Party and a moral duty to the nation to replace the nominee… the RNC has a duty to act. The time is now."
It has been a rough week for the Trump campaign. Due to a variety of missteps during campaign rallies along with the post-convention bump Clinton got, Trump has dropped as much as 10 points in national polls. But it was a largely ambiguous and controversial remark about Second Amendment advocates stopping Clinton Supreme Court nominations that Free the Delegates says is the last straw.
“As both conservatives and Republicans, we are tired of seeing Donald Trump humiliate our nation and our Party… Poll after poll reveal that he will lose the presidency and take the Senate with him as voters slowly come to this realization. Voters will hold Republicans responsible in down-ticket races.” the PAC said in an email to supporters Tuesday.
So far, there has been radio silence from the RNC regarding the movement or whether party leaders will consider recalling Trump's nomination.