5:50 p.m. Gov Nikki Haley’s office confirms she was told in advance that a 2013 Republican Governors Association video of her would be shown at the Cleveland convention.
Because of her differences with Donald Trump, Haley has chosen not to speak at the Republican National Convention this week. Delegates still got to see her on video screens inside the arena’s jumbotrons Monday afternoon.
5:45 p.m.: The Republican National Convention is in recess until shortly before 8 p.m. The first part of the day was taken up largely by convention business, including an uproar over efforts to force a roll call vote on a package of rules adopted late last week by the RNC Rules Committee.
Greenville Delegate Stephen Brown early in the day Monday was trying to collect enough signatures to submit South Carolina as one of the seven states seeking a floor vote, the threshold by which such a vote would be forced.
Brown didn’t ultimately get the necessary number of co-signers.
As it so happened, nine states submitted petitions to RNC leadership, but three ultimately withdrew their requests, meaning there wasn’t enough support to proceed in any case.
Reactions to the effort to force a roll call vote, spearheaded by former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, drew mixed responses from inside the South Carolina delegation.
“As a Virginian, I have always supported Ken Cuccinelli’s usually logical decisions,” said Jane Page Thompson, a delegate from Aiken. “However, I think that he, in the pursuit of political glory and vice presidency or presidency, has decided to take the wrong side of the right cause.”
Brown told The Post and Courier that he was “disappointed” after the culmination of the crusade, which caused something of a meltdown on the convention floor.
Brown said the drama wouldn’t have ensued if convention leadership had just let delegates have their vote, intended to demonstration a dissatisfaction with a small number of RNC members getting a say on party rules at the expense of grassroots participation.
“Thankfully it was asked, ‘who’s proud to be an American,’ which is all of us,” Brown said, “because I’m very disappointed to be a Republican when you see a show run that way.”
3 p.m.: Gov. Nikki Haley is not speaking at the Republican National Convention this week, but delegates still got to see their governor speak in a special Republican Governors’ Association video screened on the arena’s jumbotrons on Monday afternoon.
2:50 p.m.: Word is spreading that 10 states have produced enough signatures from within their delegations to force a vote on the rules package adopted last week by a smaller panel of specially appointed Republican National Committee members. Advocates of the effort hope that if the official party rules get an up-or-down vote on the convention floor by all the delegates, the rules will fail, meaning the Rules Committee needs to go back and consider revisions. Some of the Republicans in this movement want to wrest the nomination from Donald Trump by “unbinding” pledged delegates, while others want to thumb a nose at the “establishment” they say has undermined the grassroots.
Greenville delegate Stephen Brown said earlier he was simply trying to get a roll call vote in a display of “good governance.” Sources within the state delegation said Brown had not collected enough signatures to be one of the 10 states in this effort.
1:40 p.m.: The Republican National Convention is underway. South Carolina delegates were excited to see their spot on the floor of the Quicken Loans Arena, or the “Q,” as it’s being called. S.C. pastor and televangelist Mark Burns, a noted Donald Trump supporter and African-American, will be delivering the benediction at the close of the first of the session of Monday’s convention business, sometime before 7:50 p.m. Reports indicate that Burns will also speak in prime time later in the week in the wake of racial tensions, particularly between the black community and law enforcement officers.
Donald Trump’s wife, Melania Trump, is scheduled to speak this evening. News has broken that Trump will be making an unexpected appearance on the convention floor to join her.
11 a.m.: Some S.C. Republicans are coming around to Donald Trump later in the game. One of these Republicans is State Rep. Alan Clemmons, who said he really only got excited about the presumptive presidential nominee within “the last 10 days.” Clemmons was a member of the Republican National Convention Platform Committee, where he helped overhaul a major change in the party’s position on Israel. “I have come to realize that Mr. Trump with regard to the security of the United States and with regard to the security of the United States’ best ally, Israel, we are on the same page philosophically,” Clemmons, sporting a lapel pin featuring an American and Israeli flag, told The Post and Courier.
Clemmons said he had a chance to work directly with Trump and his senior advisers to draft the change to the party platform with regards to Israel, removing reference to a two-state solution and affirming the U.S.’s unequivocal support for Israel in peace negotiations with neighboring regions.
10:45 a.m.: Stephen Brown, a delegate from Greenville, is rushing to meet a deadline. He needs the majority of South Carolina delegates to sign a petition calling for a full vote on the convention floor on the Republican National Convention rules package Rules Committee members voted on at the end of last week. The Rules Committee was expected to be contentious, with anti-Trump delegates looking to make changes to existing policies that would result in possibly wresting the nomination from Trump’s hands. Brown said this wasn’t about Trump, but rather about transparency and “good governance.” A certain number of states also need the majority of their delegates to sign petitions to make this happen, and no word yet what the status is.
10:15 a.m.: After the breakfast program’s conclusion, S.C. GOP Chairman Matt Moore tells The Post and Courier, with a laugh, the obvious: “Senator Cotton is looking to make friends in South Carolina,” the third presidential primary election in the sequence as well as the “first in the South.”
9:30 a.m.: U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., familiar to South Carolina Republicans from his appearance at the Silver Elephant Dinner a few months back, delivers remarks at the delegation breakfast. He makes some jokes about his haircut during basic training at Fort Jackson — makes bald U.S. Sen. Tim Scott look like he has a “flowing mane” but nobody holds a candle to the coif of U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy — and deplores efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention camp that could culminate in relocating detainees to Naval Consolidated Brig Charleston.
Cotton keeps to the breakfast’s foreign policy theme while weaving his own story into the narrative. He slams Democrats for preparing to nominate a candidate who should have been indicted and references current events, saying “racist cop-killers have assassinated police officers of different races as they try to keep our families, and our communities, safe.” He praises American exceptionalism and says he wants to help “take American forward.” Is this a man who wants to be president? He captivated the South Carolina delegation during his remarks but left immediately thereafter without taking questions from South Carolina press.
9:10 a.m.: U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., delivers remarks to the group at breakfast. He has brought literature: House Speaker Paul Ryan’s “Better Way” Republican agenda.
8:45 a.m.: Gerri McDaniel, a key field organizer for Donald Trump in South Carolina and grassroots activist who organizes the state’s Tea Party conventions, tells The Post and Courier she believes her fellow delegates are coming around to the presumptive GOP nominee, despite the fact that the majority of delegates and alternates in Cleveland this week did not vote for him.
“When I worked for (Newt) Gingrich in 2012, when he lost, it took me a week to recover,” McDaniel said. “I grew up, and I’m hoping the same will be true for people here who understand this country is way rose now than it was four years ago.”
She said there was a “Kindness” about Trump that others don’t get to see, largely because “the media can’t accurately depict him.”
8:30 a.m.: The S.C. delegation started Monday with a buffet breakfast of eggs, potatoes and pastries. Despite complaints about the long lines to get into the Republican National Convention’s kick-off party outside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Sunday night — three metal detectors for literally thousands of guests as protestors reportedly threw debris from road work nearby — the consensus appeared to be that the inconvenience was worth it. Delegates gushed over the sunset view over the harbor, performances from Three Dog Night and barbecue from a food truck.
Please check back for updates from Cleveland as the day continues.
Emma Dumain is The Post and Courier’s Washington correspondent.