The candidate, his family and close supporters are expected to play starring roles. So will most top congressional leaders. But many Republicans who want to distance themselves from Trump’s incendiary rhetoric are refusing to attend. Past corporate sponsors such as Ford, General Electric and JPMorgan Chase have declined to participate again.
The four-day meeting kicks off July 18 at a downtown basketball arena, with Trump scheduled to formally accept the nomination on July 21. Convention organizers denied reports that several sports figures would be speaking at the convention. There’s still no official word on who will speak or entertain the delegates. Lee Greenwood, who has performed his hit “God Bless the USA” at several GOP conventions, declined through a spokeswoman to say whether he’s attending. Singer Ted Nugent, a Trump fan, is skipping the convention despite numerous invitations to appear “due to our intensive concert touring schedule,” a spokeswoman said…
A plan to allow convention delegates to vote however they want, rather than follow the results of their state’s primary, has earned the support of hundreds of delegates upset by Trump’s impending nomination, according to Free the Delegates, the group pushing for the change.
But a five-member Trump “study committee” is focused on quashing any effort to unbind delegates. According to people familiar with the plans, the quintet includes Trump campaign attorney William McGinley and members of the convention rules committee: Bill Palatucci, a Republican National Committee representative from New Jersey; Alex Willette, an RNC committeeman from Maine; Demetra DeMonte, an RNC committeewoman from Illinois; and Vincent DeVito, a Trump supporter from Massachusetts.