An intriguing report Thursday in the Washington Post revealed that top Republicans leaders huddled at a restaurant in D.C. Monday night to scope out what to do if the GOP convention next summer ended up being contested convention.
With Donald Trump the commanding frontrunner now for months, it wasn't immediately clear why party leaders would be anticipating that the convention would be contested or deadlocked or anything other than a coronation of the new nominee. The scenario being laid out was more of how the party establishment would stop Trump on the convention floor.
"Several longtime power brokers argued that if the controversial billionaire storms through the primaries, the party’s establishment must lay the groundwork for a floor fight, in which the GOP’s mainstream wing could coalesce around an alternative," the Post's Robert Costa writes.
According to the Post, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus dined with 20 party elites but said little during the meeting, although they "did acknowledge to the group that a deadlocked convention is indeed something the party should prepare for."
Sean Spicer, the RNC’s chief strategist and spokesman, told the Post: “The RNC is neutral in this process and the rules are set until the convention begins next July. Our goal is to ensure a successful nomination and that requires us thinking through every scenario, including a contested convention.”
The last time the Republican Party entered a convention without a clear frontrunner and nominee was 1976, the Post noted.