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Republican Delegate: My Party Has Gone ‘Beyond the Limit’

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Giovanni Cicione attempted to get a floor vote for a shorter, more inclusive party platform this week in Cleveland. Party politics got in the way.

Republican delegate Giovanni Cicione can't be sure what has happened to his party over the last few days.

"We don't come here for four days of teleprompter speeches," he said.

The Rhode Island lawyer and longtime party member and leader had attempted early in the GOP's Cleveland convention to replace the party platform with a shorter, more inclusive statement of principles--with language that was more welcoming to LGBTs.

His statement never made the convention floor for a vote.

"There was an effort immediately to pull off people from my report," he said. "Day by day, the convention organizers strove to not have that floor debate."

What's followed at the convention are what Cicione called "direct strong arm efforts" to squash debate and "shenanigans" from speakers and delegates.

If the party doesn't pay attention to more inclusive language in the platform and the presumptive Donald Trump/Mike Pence ticket, Cicione fears for Republicans' chances in November.

"I come from a blue state," he said. "I know you have to appeal to a bigger audience. That's lost on a lot of the redder states here. Take Mike Pence. He is not the vice-presidential candidate that helps broaden our base. All he does is shore up conservative support."

While conservative support grows in some corners, party faith wanes in others as longtime conservatives, like Cicione, question belonging to a party that can't appeal to a new generation of voters.

"If the party continues to go the way it's going, I'll be looking for another viable option," he said. "And it's easy to get me to reconsider what I'm going to do in November. The party has just pushed itself beyond the limit."

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