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Republican National Convention Kicks Off In Cleveland


I'm Robert Siegel reporting from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Donald Trump promised some excitement at the convention that began here today, and he got it. It may not be the kind that he wanted. Chaos broke out on the floor of the hall as delegates opposed to Trump tried to force a roll call vote to change the rules of the convention.


UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: Roll call vote, roll call vote, roll call vote...

SIEGEL: NPR political correspondent Mara Liasson is here with me in Cleveland. Mara, describe what happened.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: What happened was there was chaos, but it was just a little, itty, bitty bit of chaos.

SIEGEL: (Laughter).

LIASSON: The never-Trumpers had collected, they said, the signatures that they needed - a majority of nine state delegations - to force a roll call vote on the rules. You only need seven state delegations. They tried to force the vote, but the chair said, nope, we're not going to do it. First he called a voice vote and said that the ayes had it, but then he said three of those states had dropped out. So they - instead of having nine, they only had six, so they didn't meet the criteria.

SIEGEL: And at issue was the idea of a rule that would permit delegates to vote their conscience.

LIASSON: Yes. They would have lost it.


LIASSON: But it would have at least exposed the extent of anti-Trump sentiment here.

SIEGEL: So the Rules Committee report was adopted after some controversy.

LIASSON: Correct.

SIEGEL: Then came the report of the platform committee.

LIASSON: Which also was adopted. The platform moves towards Donald Trump on many issues, including trade and immigration. But it also goes farther to the right on social issues than Donald Trump has gone.

SIEGEL: Yes. It's very, very tough on lesbian, gay issues. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Mara Liasson is a national political correspondent for NPR. Her reports can be heard regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazine programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Liasson provides extensive coverage of politics and policy from Washington, DC — focusing on the White House and Congress — and also reports on political trends beyond the Beltway.