Friday, May 25, 2018
Politics

RNC Notebook: Convention-goers get 'No Apology' with regretted line

Notebook

'no apology,' but a certain regretted line

Well, this is awkward. Tens of thousands of people at the Republican National Convention received swag bags with the hardback edition of Mitt Romney's book No Apology. What's the problem? The book includes a regrettable line about his Massachusetts health care reforms: "We can accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country, and it can be done without letting government take over health care." The sentence read in isolation leaves the impression that Romney advocates President Barack Obama's health care law. He distanced himself from "Obamacare" in the paperback version, changing that sentence to read, "And it was done without government taking over health care." Texas Gov. Rick Perry made the rewrite an issue in 2011, suggesting Romney was calling for a national health care policy similiar to his Massachusetts approach rather than as a model for other states.

Ron Paul delegates fight new rules

Rep. Ron Paul's delegates are trying to mount a floor fight over new rules designed to limit the ability of insurgent presidential candidates to amass delegates to future conventions. It is unclear whether they can rally enough support to challenge the rules on the convention floor. Mitt Romney has plenty of delegates to win a floor fight. But the dispute could be an unwanted distraction for party leaders. "This is not the forum in which they want to air the proverbial dirty laundry," said Juliette Jordal, a Paul delegate from Minnesota. The new rules would bind delegates to the outcome of presidential primaries and caucuses, allowing candidates to choose the delegates to represent them at future conventions. Currently, state parties choose national delegates. The convention's rules committee approved the new rules last week. On Monday, a handful of Paul supporters gathered near the rear of the convention hall and waved signs with his name. They said they were upset about the rule changes. "It's going to shut us out of the process," said Oregon delegate Larry Ericksen, a Paul backer compelled by state rules to vote for Romney at the convention. "We deserve a voice in the process."

More worry about Charlie than Isaac

As Isaac veered west, Florida delegates were allowed to focus on what they came for: politics. "We're used to this," incoming state House Speaker Will Weatherford said at a breakfast. ". . . As for these shifting winds, I just wanted to state something: I knew hugs could be powerful, but I really had no idea until yesterday." That was a dig at former Gov. Charlie Crist, who upset delegates Sunday with a Tampa Bay Times op-ed piece endorsing President Barack Obama. As governor, Crist upset his party when he hugged Obama. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam announced Crist was going to speak at next week's Democratic National Convention. The news drew groans from the audience.

Times staff writers Katie Sanders and Michael Van Sickler contributed to this report, which includes information from the Associated Press

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