Rule 9: How Does the RNC Rule Work if Donald Trump Drops Out?

donald trump apologizes, donald trump apology, donald trump apologized

A screenshot from Donald Trump’s videotaped statement on Friday night. (Twitter)

What happens if the Donald Trump quits the presidential race or the Republican National Committee wants to force him out?

Enter the arcane RNC rule: “Rule 9.”

Trump insists, of course, that he is not going anywhere. But does the RNC’s Rule 9 allow them to oust him anyway? It’s complicated.

Legal experts say that RNC rule 9 allows the Republican National Committee “to fill any and all vacancies which may occur by reason of death, declination, or otherwise of the Republican candidate for President of the United States” and the party can “reconvene the national convention for the purpose of filling any such vacancies.”

Read it here:



The Washington Post reports that the RNC can’t just call Trump and tell him to leave the race. They have to follow the RNC rules.

Reince Priebus, RNC Speakers Day 4, Republican National Convention, RNC Chairman

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. (Getty)

However, some experts believe that there is enough ambiguous language in Rule 9 to allow the RNC at least an argument for deposing Trump from the ticket even if he doesn’t want to go. Trump has insisted Saturday that there is “zero chance” he will quit the race, but a growing chorus of top Republicans is demanding he step aside for running mate Mike Pence.

The furor erupted after The Washington Post unearthed a 2005 videotape showing Trump making crass comments about women to then Access Hollywood host Billy Bush.

The Daily Beast says that some experts consider the word “otherwise” in the rule ambiguous enough that RNC officials might be exploring whether it would allow them to boot Trump, but the intent of Rule 9 was really designed to replace a candidate who was ill or deceased.

Donald Trump, Donald Trump Playboy cover, Donald Trump North Carolina

Donald Trump with his 1990 Playboy Magazine issue at a Raleigh campaign stop in July 2016. (Getty)

However, ABC News reported back in August, when dropping out speculation also raged after Trump’s criticism of gold star father Khizr Khan, that “officials say there is no mechanism for forcing him to withdraw his nomination” and “Trump would have to quit on his own.”

Thus, this is a complex and uncertain question that could revolve around the meaning of and intent behind the word “otherwise.”

Politico reports that top RNC lawyers have been studying Rule 9 all weekend but concluded Trump would have to voluntarily quit. However, the legal analysis is still underway, Politico said.

The bottom line: It’s an open question whether the rules allow the RNC to boot Trump as its nominee or Trump would have to withdraw on his own volition. And it’s very late in the game to start figuring that out because early voting has started and ballot access rules would make it tough, if not difficult, for someone else to get on the ballot.

Let’s say Trump quits or the RNC finds a way to replace him. What happens then? says the rules allow Republicans two choices in the case of such scenarios: They can reconvene their convention and have the delegates vote again or the replacement choice would be made by “the 168-member committee” of the RNC.

That committee “could decide with each member getting a portion of votes based on the population of the state they represent. Number 2 seems like a more likely scenario,” reports Lawnewsz.

That means 168 high-level Republican party officials would possibly be choosing a new nominee.

Read more here:

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  1. Trump should just look Hillary in the eyes tomorrow and tell her she’s a lying bitch then look directly into the camera and promise us the American people that if we will elect him president, then he will use all his power and all his money to ensure her lying selfish ass goes to prison!

    • “Trump should just look Hillary in the eyes tomorrow and tell her she’s a lying bitch . . .” Tim, we already know that Trump is vile towards women . . .no need to waste his time and ours tp show us who is again . . . as far as Hillary, what is she supposed to have done that warrants prison?

  2. The RNC, Fox News and all the other “establishment” types are now reaping what they sowed. Cruz was the man…but now it’s too late. The ironic thing is Trump was never going to be a serious president (just like the time Howard Stern was running for governor of NY…sounded funny at the time until he too had to withdraw when the serious of his finances came into play). Republican party is officially dead…

  3. ‘otherwise’ obv refers to the reason for the vacancies themselves. since it’s impossible for all of them to be listed otherwise:pun: any other interpretation results in a worse case for them, regardless…

  4. October 8, 2016

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    Mary, Refuge of Holy Love says: “Praise be to Jesus.”

    “I have come to comment on the purposeful destruction of someone’s reputation. Everyone has the right to enjoy a good reputation. Calumny is still a sin whether it is leveled against a political nominee or a visionary. God’s Laws do not change to accommodate evil motives.”

    “You must, in Holy Love, make allowances for something that was carelessly said. You must not presume that something stated as fact by a person of influence is Truth without checking the facts.”

    Read James 3:7-10+

    Synopsis: Abuses (sin) of the tongue are a restless and deadly evil that cannot be tamed and considered as doing good.

    For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by humankind, but no human being can tame the tongue – a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brethren, this ought not to be so.

    +-Scripture verses asked to be read by Mary Refuge of Holy Love.
    -Scripture taken from the Ignatius Bible.
    -Synopsis of Scripture provided by Spiritual Advisor.
    | top |

    October 9, 2016

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    Mary, Refuge of Holy Love says: “Praise be to Jesus.”

    “Dear children, it is never too late to place God in the center of your hearts and allow Him to take charge of the present moment. A good example of this was the historic storm which brushed by your coast in the last few days. Some lost their lives here – many more in the Caribbean. More damage and loss of life would have occurred without prayer. If you do not allow God His rightful place in your hearts soon, He will lift His Hand of Protection from your hearts and your lives.”

    “The world is moving at a momentous pace away from God’s Will. Even gender is no longer God’s Choice, but man’s. The most dangerous place in the world is the mother’s womb. Yet, while tampering with God’s Will, mankind is astonished by the onset of terrorism, and increased natural disasters. He foolishly believes he can control the climate. He only has recourse to God in the hour of desperation.”

    “Much of this could be stopped in an effort from the pulpit. This is where the spirit of love of popularity and money wins priority. Many are answerable for this abuse of authority.”