The Republican National Convention (RNC) kicked off much like the rest of the Grand Old Party (GOP) race: in complete and utter chaos. The floor of the convention erupted in mayhem as members of a Never Trump group of delegates attempted unsuccessfully to force a roll call vote on the convention rules.
The anti-Trump delegates, led by Senator Mike Lee of Utah, were thwarted from delaying the rules proceedings on the convention's opening night, USA Today noted. At one moment, the convention's podium was empty, prompting Lee to declare the convention had fallen into disorder.
"I have no idea what's going on right now. This is surreal," Lee said, according to ABC News.
The Never Trump delegates reportedly shouted "roll call vote!" and "point of order!" to try to force the vote. A similar attempt failed to succeed last week in front of the convention rules committee.
Former Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli, a supporters of the Never Trump movement, threw his credentials to the floor and claimed the party had pushed through a voice vote despite calls for a roll call vote. "They just blatantly violated the rules," Cuccinelli told reporters.
Fox News reported the Never Trump group claimed they had the signatures from a majority of at least eight state delegations, which could technically permit them to file a report challenging the convention rules. The group specifically hoped to change the rules regarding delegate votes committed to by the primaries and caucuses.
Donald Trump secured the Republican Party nomination after winning more than the 1,237 delegates required. He will be officially nominated by the GOP during this week's convention. While the Never Trump movement would not have been able to take the nomination away from Trump, it nevertheless makes the presumptive nominee look bad.
Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign manager, however, did not appear to take the group seriously. "It's not a movement. It's some rogue, recalcitrant delegates," he told reporters.
Aside from the disorder among delegates, the convention began without major problems. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus banged the opening gavel and started the proceedings with a moment of silence for fallen police officers. Attendees were then treated to a combination of music, patriotism and standard party business.
The opening night of the GOP convention, titled Make America Safe Again, will feature a number of speakers, including Trump's wife Melania, Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, actor Scott Baio and reality TV star Willie Robertson. All of Trump's adult children are expected to speak at the convention ahead of their father's address on Thursday (21 July).