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Monday, August 27, 2012

Romney Campaign and Activists Reach Compromise on Delegate Rule


TAMPA, Fla. - Mitt Romney's campaign has reached a compromise with conservative activists in the Republican party who had been angered by efforts to change rules for delegate section leading up to the 2016 election.

Lawyers for Mr. Romney last week proposed rules that would give the Republican nominee the power to control who gets picked to be delegates to the next national party convention.

Some delegates objected to the proposal, calling it a power grab that would make it too hard for disparate voices in the party to express their views and shape the party platform every four years.

The dispute threatened to break out into the open on Tuesday when the rules proposed by Mr. Romney came to a vote of the entire convention. A public fight on the floor would expose continuing tensions inside the party and interfere with the political outreach that Mr. Romney hopes to do at the convention.

But aides to Mr. R omney and activists who had opposed the rules said they had reached the compromise late Monday evening.

“Everyone feels good about the compromise hammered out,” said one Romney aide familiar with the negotiations. The aide asked to be anonymous to discuss private conversations, but said, “What you are seeing different sides coming together within the party.”

Jim Bopp, a conservative delegate who had led the opposition to Mr. Romney's proposed rules, issued a statement on Monday saying he was pleased with the compromise.

“The Romney for President campaign has heard the concerns of the conservative grassroots voices in our party and has crafted an amendment to the Rules adopted on Friday to address these concerns,” Mr. Bopp said.

Under the compromise, delegates would be selected by the state and local level without interference or control by the party's presidential candidate. That would allow competing voices inside the convention, both sides said.

But in a nod to the concerns of Mr. Romney's campaign, delegates sent on behalf of a candidate would be required to vote to nominate that candidate on the first ballot. If they tried to vote for someone else, their vote would be recorded for the candidate to whom they were bound.