In a statement Wednesday, the Clark County GOP criticized Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and the RNC, saying they have “weakened the party by subverting the principles on which it was built.”
“We hope that our Republican colleagues in local and state parties across the nation will join with us in expressing our outrage at having our role in the nomination process usurped by a select few individuals,” the statement said.
RNC spokesman Darren Littell said Priebus remains solid behind Romney.
“Chairman Priebus is 100 percent committed to defeating President Obama and electing Mitt Romney to the White House this fall,” Littell said.
Wednesday’s statement followed a 184-182 vote Tuesday night in Las Vegas by the Clark County GOP Central Committee on a resolution condemning the RNC and Priebus for what the local party said was a violation of national rules governing when the party can assist a candidate.
The resolution took Priebus to task for announcing in April — while Paul was still actively campaigning — that the RNC had chosen Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, as the party’s presumptive nominee and that the RNC would work closely with the Romney camp to coordinate efforts.
“We will ensure that our finance, political and communications teams are fully synchronized,” Priebus said at the time. “I am excited that these two top-notch operations will start to integrate and present a unified team to defeat Barack Obama.”
Late Wednesday, newly elected state GOP Chairman Michael McDonald sided with Priebus and the RNC.
“The chairman of the Republican National Committee ... has the authority to take the necessary steps to support a candidate to ensure Republicans win the presidency in November,” McDonald said in a written statement, suggesting the Clark County group “may have misinterpreted” the RNC rule about candidate endorsements and financial assistance in state races.
“Certainly we do not need to wait for Tampa before assisting our presumptive nominee,” McDonald said, adding he looks forward to working with Priebus and the national party “as we build a top-notch ground game” to beat Obama.
Paul this week effectively ended his presidential bid, saying he would not campaign in remaining primary states, but he urged his supporters to continue working at the state party level to champion his causes and take their libertarian message to the national convention in Tampa, Fla.
At the Nevada Republican convention earlier this month, backers of the Texas congressman won the bulk of delegates to the national convention in August. Under existing rules, they are bound to cast their first-round nominating votes based on the outcome of the Nevada caucuses in February — 20 delegates for Romney, eight for Paul.
In the unlikely event Romney can’t sew up the nomination in the first go-around, Nevada’s delegates would be free to vote their choice, and 22 of the 25 at-large delegates support Paul.