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Republican Anti-Trump Delegates Gear Up To Make A Stand At Convention

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

An increasing number of prominent Republicans have bluntly criticized Donald Trump for his criticism of a federal judge on the basis of ethnicity. But very few have withdrawn their support so far. A few delegates still refuse to support Donald Trump, and they hope to prevent him from being nominated at the party convention in July. One of those delegates is from Colorado, Kendal Unruh. She joins us now from her home in Colorado. Thanks so much for being with us.

KENDAL UNRUH: Hi, thanks for the opportunity.

SIMON: I understand as a member of the rules committee, you're introducing a - what's called a conscience clause. That means what?

UNRUH: What this is going to do is this is going to allow that when the secretary takes the votes of the delegates, rather than mandating that they are automatically recorded for Trump, a delegate may then use this clause to stand behind and allow either a personal or a religious conscience and to exercise that freedom of conscience without any retribution.

Included in this cause, because of the recent reflections upon the presumptive nominee, they may cite as a personal reason - that includes the discovery of any grievous acts of conduct, including but not limited to criminal behavior, scandal, acts of extreme prejudice and/or expressions of support of positions in gross violation of a party platform.

SIMON: I still get back to the fact that the Republican Party invited voters to come into the Republican primary process and choose a candidate, and they did. So how can you deny the candidate who won the most votes the nomination?

UNRUH: I'm not denying him the nomination. The people that are still supporting Trump have absolutely every right to still support Trump. This might not change the outcome. This is providing an avenue for a different choice. You're entrusting people to vote based upon any new information that may have come up that was not available at the time of the primary outcome, to then readjust and cast that ballot according to your conscience.

SIMON: There were, I believe, at one point 17 candidates for the Republican nomination for president. What happens if you successfully prevent Mr. Trump from winning the nomination on the first ballot? Do you have a candidate you'd favor? How do you prevent 17 other people from crawling in? All of these questions must run through your mind if you're being practical about it.

UNRUH: Sure. There's a long history replete with delegates truly being able to make a choice. You're asking me who I want at that point. I don't have a picture on the box of what it's going to look like. But I can guarantee you if the groundswell is there, there is going to be somebody who will jump in and take advantage of the discontent that the delegates have exhibited towards this presumptive nominee.

SIMON: Kendal Unruh, who is a Republican delegate from Colorado and a member of the Republican rules committee that will meet in convention this summer. Thanks very much for being with us.

UNRUH: Thank you for the time. I appreciate the forum. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.