Grassroots Backlash Against Romney Campaign’s Rules Changes

Cheers as Romney aide Ben Ginsberg withdraws an amendment designed to keep minority in shadows.

Charles Dharapak / AP

TAMPA — The Republican National Convention Rules Committee revolted against the Romney campaign on Friday, after more than six hours of domination by top Romney lawyer Ben Ginsberg.

Ginsberg, who had forced through a series of amendments to make it more difficult for an insurgent candidate to earn delegates to the national convention and earn a spot on the convention ballot, tried to raise the threshold for obtaining “minority reports.”

The reports, designed to represent a significant minority in a committee before the full convention, require 25 percent of a committee to be compiled. Ginsberg attempted to raise that threshold to 40 percent, making it nearly impossible for a minority to band together to have their grievances heard.

Ginsberg immediately faced backlash from members of the committee, who objected that it was one step too far in his heavy-handed management of the committee.

Drew McKissick, a delegate from South Carolina objected, noting that the rules change could also apply to that same contentious rules committee meeting if approved.

“He is systematically trying to prevent minorities from having even any remote opportunity of being heard,” followed Virginia delegate Morton Blackwell to rave applause from the committee. “This is wrong, it’s gonna hurt us, it’s gonna hurt our presidential candidate.”

After being publicly rebuked, Ginsberg withdrew his amendment, prompting further cheers from the committee.

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