Mitt Romney Officially The Republican Nominee For President

It's official.

To the surprise of nobody, Mitt Romney is now officially the nominee of the Republican Party for President of the United States:

TAMPA –Mitt Romney became the Republican nominee for president on Tuesday afternoon, passing the required threshold of 1,144 delegates in a roll-call vote of convention delegates here.

Romney’s nomination–long assured, after he triumphed in a bitter and expensive primary fight–became official at 5:40 p.m., with 50 votes from New Jersey. Later Tuesday, the same delegates are expected to nominate Romney’s chosen running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for vice president.

“Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!” the convention crowd chanted afterward. More than 160 other delegates went to other candidates. Many of Romney’s rivals had released their delegates to vote for the presumed nominee.

In the final tally, Romney ended up with more than 2,000 delegate votes with roughly 200 votes being cast for “others,” with most of the “other” being votes for Ron Paul from various state delegations, including Iowa where the majority of the votes went to Paul. Under the rules governing the convention, however, Paul’s votes were not officially counted in his favor because he did not have the support of a plurality of delegates from at least five states. One of the “other” votes, though, actually went to Buddy Roemer, the former Louisiana Governor and Congressman who ran a quixotic campaign for the Presidency that essentially began and ended in New Hampshire.

Some cable commentators this afternoon have expressed the opinion that failure to officially count Paul’s votes could result in bad blood between the GOP and the Paul supporters, but it seems pretty clear to me that they were making these comments without any knowledge of what the GOP’s nomination and convention voting rules actually are. Of course, this isn’t the only conflict between convention organizers and Paul supporters:

[T]he usual happy choreography of a convention roll-call came on a day of headaches for GOP bosses. Unhappy supporters of Texas Rep. Ron Paul, another presidential candidate, booed and chanted as the party adopted rules that could weaken their power in future elections. During the roll call, Ron Paul supporters from Nevada gave their five delegates to Romney with obvious reluctance.

When those rules were put to the convention for a vote, Paul supporters shouted “No,” and “Seat Maine now!” They shouted down one speaker, and forced Republican party chairman Reince Priebus to wield his gavel and demand order.

“The ayes didn’t have it!” Jon Burrows, a delegate from Texas, said after one of the votes. “They’re just railroading this thing through.”

These moments are unlikely to prove a major distraction for the convention: network TV cameras will not turn on until 10 p.m.

But they signal a problem that is likely to reappear: supporters of Paul, a Texas congressman, have entered local Republican parties in large numbers. Their goal was to push the party toward Paul’s libertarian ideals, and possibly toward his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). But the mainstream party member seems unwilling to give Paul’s backers the power they want.

(…)

The day’s session began at 2 p.m. Even before then, however, there were signs of the un-mended rift between Romney’s supporters and the minority of delegates supporting Pau .

Paul arrived on the convention floor with a great stir, and his supporters and Romney’s shouted at each other. “Let him speak!” Paul supporters said, referring to the decision to keep Paul away from the convention podium. “Romney!” others chanted back.

Paul’s supporters are annoyed with proposed rule changes that might weaken their power in the next election cycle. The rule changes would weaken state-level party conventions, small gatherings where Paul supporters have had more success than in popular votes.

“They’re trying to stage a coup and make the grassroots completely irrelevant for the future,” said alternate delegate and Paul supporter Jeremy Blosser, 36, of Fort Worth, Texas, wearing his delegation’s white cowboy hat as he waited for the opening gavel early Tuesday afternoon. A lot of people, he said, “are upset about these credentials shenanigans.”

Surprisingly, the rules fight was far less contentious than many thought it would be. There were reports on Twitter that opponents of the new rules had obtained sufficient signatures to present a minority report out of the Rules Committee, but that never materialized and the only thing that happened when the Rules Committee report was voted on was a somewhat raucous demonstration by opponents of the new rules, which was countered by a similarly raucous demonstration by Romney and party supporters. Those hoping for a floor fight were disappointed.

Romney’s nomination may seem pro forma, but it has at least one important legal consequence. As of this afternoon, the Romney/Ryan campaign is now legally authorized to begin spending the approximately $186 million it has in the bank for the General Election campaign. That, I think, is the real reason the GOP decided to go ahead and do the nomination process out of its traditional order, so they could start pouring money into production companies and such and get ads ready that will be on the air as soon as the Democratic National Convention beings next Tuesday.

The battle has begun, get the popcorn.

Update: In an a similarly pro forma vote, the convention delegates have nominated Paul Ryan as the nominee for Vice-President of the United States.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Me Me Me says:

    The battle has begun? It began and ended months ago. The only question remaining is whether Romney’s kamikaze White Power strategy will destroy the party.

  2. michael reynolds says:

    Wait, he won? My money was on Ron Paul. Damn.

  3. michael reynolds says:

    Just learned that Mitt Romney’s official title within his church is not “bishop” but “high priest.” So, there you go: our very first high priest presidential nominee.

  4. James in LA says:

    On the plus side, the nomination of Paul Ryan assures a full debate after which his policies can be roundly dismissed. The extent to which the word NO is heard really depends on the coattails.

  5. al-Ameda says:

    Oh well, I was hoping for a Santorum insurrection.

    I am looking now forward to the hagiogrphic portrayal of Mitt Romney, “The man from the Cayman Islands”

  6. Neil Hudelson says:

    Have you ever heard of the phrase “Spoiler Alert?!” I had tivo’d this thing. Thanks, Doug!

  7. Commonist says:

    “So, there you go: our very first high priest presidential nominee.”

    And, Maddow willing, the f***ing LAST high priest presidential nominee.

  8. bill says:

    it would be nice to have a proven success story lead the country after 4 dismal years. and, the chinese are against him, must be doing something right! i’m sure they’re funneling as much as they can into obamas camp.

  9. Loviatar says:

    The battle has begun, get the popcorn.

    The whole election is just another form of entertainment for Doug. Unlike others I guess he doesn’t have to worry about:

    – his body being regulated by a cabal of old men
    – a choice between his healthcare or his rent
    – the minimal societal gains he has made since the 60s being rolled back to Jim Crow level
    – his local environment being polluted in the name of cheap oil/coal

    Nope no concern of his if his fellow American has a basic safety net, for him its all about the entertainment factor and whether his marginal tax rate will increase by less than 3%. Unfortunately too many of our “elites” seem to have the same mindset, to them its all a game.

    Enjoy your popcorn Doug.

  10. Me Me Me says:

    @bill:

    it would be nice to have a proven success story lead the country after 4 dismal years. and, the chinese are against him, must be doing something right! i’m sure they’re funneling as much as they can into obamas camp.

    Hah. The only Chinese money coming into this race is that which Sheldon Adelson is laundering through his casino in Macao straight into Romney’s coffers.

  11. @Neil Hudelson:

    Sorry Neil.

    In other news, Darth Vader is Luke’s father.

  12. @Loviatar:

    I have found it increasingly hard to take anything any candidate of either of the major political parties says seriously.

  13. @michael reynolds:

    So the f**k what? I don’t care about Romney Mormonism any more than I cared about Lieberman’s Judaism.

  14. bill says:

    @Commonist: what’s a maddow?

  15. anjin-san says:

    Interesting read:

    Romney Welfare Ad

  16. anjin-san says:

    I have found it increasingly hard to take anything any candidate of either of the major political parties says seriously.

    Both sides do it. Now there’s a bold new concept…

  17. Stan says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “I have found it increasingly hard to take anything any candidate of either of the major political parties says seriously.”

    Who do you take seriously?

  18. Some cable commentators this afternoon have expressed the opinion that failure to officially count Paul’s votes could result in bad blood between the GOP and the Paul supporters, but it seems pretty clear to me that they were making these comments without any knowledge of what the GOP’s nomination and convention voting rules actually are.

    What do the convention rules have to do with whether or not there’s bad blood between various factions of the party?

  19. Franklin says:

    @Doug Mataconis: My downvote for that comment is a joke. But seriously, don’t tell me how The Sixth Sense ends.

  20. Loviatar says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Have you and James got your cover story down yet. Will this be spun as another misunderstood joke or are you going to go for its just a minor incident with a few bad apples.

    RNC Attendee Allegedly Threw Nuts At Black CNN Camerawoman, Said ‘This Is How We Feed Animals’

    An attendee at the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Tuesday allegedly threw nuts at a black camerawoman working for CNN and said “This is how we feed animals” before being removed from the convention, a network official confirmed to TPM.

    .

    P.S.

    Don’t forget the surprised naivete and mild disapproving tone, the spin won’t work unless you really, really sell it

  21. Me Me Me says:

    @Loviatar: Silly Loviatar – the response will be “both sides do it”.

  22. C. Clavin says:

    Wow.lots of posturing for 2016 races tonight.
    And who exactly are they running against? Because they keep describing a fictional opponent.
    Pretty sad performance thus far.

  23. JKB says:

    @Doug Mataconis: In other news, Darth Vader is Luke’s father.

    Really, I heard Han shot first.

  24. J-Dub says:

    @Franklin: I see politically dead candidates, they just don’t know they’re dead.

  25. superdestroyer says:

    Who cares? The idea that Romeny is going to win if laughable. The idea that more than a few Americans are interested in libertarians idea is foolish.

    As politics in the U.S. slides into a fight over entitlements, who benefits, and who pays, the politics in the U.S. is become much more like current day politics in Chicago where the election is almost irrelevant and clouts who control power will be the most important people.

    I wonder when the MSM will decide that covering irrelevant political parties at irrelevant conventions is pointless.

  26. @bill:

    Chinese: Watch out this guy’s, a nut

    Bill: See, he must be a good guy!

  27. I want to talk a little more about the China thing, now that I’ve got some coffee in me.

    When in history has a country (us) suddenly turned on a major trading partner, one with which have thousands upon thousands of open contracts, increased travel and cultural exchange, cross ownership of business and financial assets … and then absent any instance of physical threat, named them the great military competitor?

    The Chinese, who were busy making our iPhones, sewing up our Olympic uniforms, and making our Nikes, have a right be shocked.

    WTF, right?

  28. LOL, “thank you for these nice uniforms, btw, now you are the great enemy.”

  29. grumpy realist says:

    @john personna: There’s a nice little opinion piece in the FT this morning gaming out what might happen if Romney carries out his threats against China.

    It doesn’t end well, let’s just say.

  30. @grumpy realist:

    I’ll look for it. I was just thinking of this, myself:

    Research suggests that conservatives are, on average, more susceptible to fear than those who identify themselves as liberals.

    It’s not an explanation the hosts like, but it seems the only answer. Why worry about a trading partner? Well, you gotta fear something.

  31. it seems pretty clear to me that they were making these comments without any knowledge of what the GOP’s nomination and convention voting rules actually are

    PS – Ron Paul ended up getting a majority of the delegations from six states and thus was elligible to put his name into nomination. The convention immediately changed the rule to require eight states:

    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/aug/28/paul-gets-needed-petitions-have-his-name-added-rnc/

    When the rules arbitrarily change to whatever assures the outcome the group in control wants, don’t insult our intelligence by pretending it has anything to do with legitimate procedure.