Trump has left party in 'a big dumpster fire' - campaigner

Trump has left party in 'a big dumpster fire' - campaigner

A leading Republican figure in the anti-Trump movement says the presumptive presidential candidate has ruined the party's brand.

Republicans have converged on Ohio this week for the party's national convention, where Donald Trump will be named the Republican candidate in the November election - but not without a fight.

A rebellion was on the cards, with a number of states planning to vote against Mr Trump's nomination.

The group failed in their final push to dump Trump. A vote which would have allowed delegates to back a candidate of their choice failed when three states reportedly backed out of the plan.

It led to an open revolt on the convention floor.

Kendal Unruh, a Colorado delegate and leader of the Never Trump movement, told Newshub it was still possible to stop Mr Trump for getting the nomination.

Trump has left party in 'a big dumpster fire' - campaigner

Kendal Unruh (Getty)

She says it will take bravery on the part of the delegates to go against Mr Trump.

"The point is he literally can be denied the threshold if there's enough courage in this room to stand on their conscience, not worry about the rules," she says.

Ms Unruh says Mr Trump has ruined the Republican brand.

"He's destroying all of the down ballot races, and so we're losing the Senate, we're losing Congress, we're going to lose to Hillary Clinton.

"We've lost our brand, we've lost what it means to be a conservative, and it's just a big dumpster fire and everything's tossed in there and it's gone up in smoke."

Meanwhile, outside the Quicken Loans Arena, protesters for and against Mr Trump faced off a few blocks from the site of the Republican National Convention in downtown Cleveland, shouting slogans at each other but avoiding physical confrontation.

Dozens of protesters were separated by a wall of police that looked equal in number.

Trump has left party in 'a big dumpster fire' - campaigner

Black Lives Matter protesters outside the convention earlier this week (Getty)

To one side of the police line at the foot of the Key Tower, Cleveland's tallest building, demonstrators shouted: "Black Lives Matter".

From the other side came: "You're a bunch of anarchists."

The exchanges marked the first emotionally charged demonstration at the 2016 Republican National Convention, where security forces are on alert for potentially disruptive conflicts.

A combination of intense rhetoric by Mr Trump, recent police shootings of African-Americans in Baton Rouge and the Minneapolis area, and the killings of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge has raised tensions in the run-up to the convention.

Alicia Street, 31, a Black Lives Matter activist from Ferguson, Missouri, told Reuters that police appeared to outnumber the protesters.

"We don't need all these police. This is just free speech," Street said shortly after a group of pro-Trump protesters left the area. "They are going to make people afraid."

Smaller demonstrations were held elsewhere in the downtown area. At least two protesters were seen carrying firearms.

A group of people identifying themselves as "anti-gay Christians" shouted at a rival group. One person carried a sign that read, "Stop being a sinner and obey Jesus".

A speaker at an anti-Trump rally was arrested, but police said it was unrelated to the campaign.

One protest leader, Kait McIntyre, 27, said organisers from her group had sought permission for weeks to march outside the protest zone and only recently received it from the city.

"We wanted to get within sight and sound of the actual convention. We wanted our voices heard," she said.

As Republicans spilled into Cleveland, 2012 nominee Mitt Romney had an equally crucial task: entertaining his grandchildren at his lakeside summer house in New Hampshire.

Trump has left party in 'a big dumpster fire' - campaigner

Mitt Romney (Supplied)

US Senator John McCain of Arizona, the 2008 Republican nominee who has endorsed Trump despite the latter's insults, attended an ice cream party with his wife, Cindy, and volunteers in his re-election campaign in Prescott, Arizona.

"Working out of my office in Miami this week," former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who dropped out of the Republican presidential race in February, said in an email to Reuters.

Mr Bush had been the most active in attacking Trump on the campaign trail and has said he will not be voting for either Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton on November 8.

His brother, former president George W. Bush and father, former president George H.W. Bush, were also not at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

These are some of the big names from a long list of prominent Republicans who are not venturing this week to Cleveland, where Mr Trump is to be formally nominated on Thursday after a rough-and-tumble Republican primary fight that ripped wounds in the party that have yet to heal.

Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort told reporters the convention is a "healing time" for the party and that Republicans will leave Cleveland united, but he criticised Ohio Governor John Kasich for not participating in an event in his own backyard.

And Republicans have moved past the Bush era, he added.

"They're part of the past. We're dealing with the future," he said.

Mr Kasich, a one-time rival of Trump's for the nomination, is making the rounds in Cleveland without endorsing Trump or speaking at the convention.

Some of the party's best diverse talent was missing from Cleveland or limiting their participation, including US Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a Cuban-American, and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, an Indian-American.

Trump has left party in 'a big dumpster fire' - campaigner

Marco Rubio (Reuters)

Rubio was in Fort Myers, Florida, talking about how to tackle toxic algae polluting some of the state's waterways. He is to deliver a short videotaped message to the convention on Wednesday, however.

Ms Haley is to speak at a breakfast for the South Carolina delegation in Cleveland on Wednesday.

Mr Romney, who has been a prominent voice among the anti-Trump forces, was in New Hampshire with 36 members of his family for their annual summer gathering, a spokeswoman said.

Former vice president Dick Cheney was in Wyoming helping the congressional campaign of his daughter, Liz Cheney, and former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, who was talked about as a possible vice presidential running mate for Mr Trump, was at home in Palo Alto, California.

"Writing her book about democracy!" said her chief of staff, Georgia Godfrey.

US Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, an eye doctor, was providing free eye care in Paducah, Kentucky. US Senator Lindsey Graham was in his home state of South Carolina for the week.

Newshub. / Reuters