- The Washington Times - Friday, July 15, 2016

Donald Trump’s campaign chairman on Friday declared victory over #NeverTrump forces after the Trump campaign and GOP delegates beat back efforts on Thursday to free up delegates bound to support Mr. Trump for the Republican presidential nomination.

“As I’m telling people today, never Trump is nevermore,” Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort said on CNN’s “New Day.” “I mean, they’re just gone.”

Mr. Trump won enough bound delegates through Republican primaries and caucuses to be able to clinch the party’s nomination on the first ballot at the GOP nomination.

Some were holding out hope to force through a rule that would free delegates to support the candidate of their choice, but the Republican National Convention’s rules committee late Thursday turned aside such a push.

“What we did yesterday in rules was really not only the right thing to do, it was the moral thing to do, but politically it was easy to do because the delegates … were saying OK, what are the issues?” Mr. Manafort said. “Should we unbind the delegates? Should we tell the record number of Republicans who voted in primaries you don’t matter?”

“Even people who weren’t supporting Trump who were on that committee said no, you can’t do that,” he said.

“And then the other part was vote your conscience,” Mr. Manafort said. “Well, you had your chance to do that on primary day in your state.”

Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer said later on the program that the push had always been overhyped.

“Despite the media hype, I’ve said for months now that it was a series of tweets and conference calls and nothing more, and yesterday every measure failed,” Mr. Spicer said. “It was a handful of individuals that were trying to make trouble, but the will of the grassroots of our party came through.”

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