The new rules originally allowed the likely presidential nominee to choose which delegates would represent them at the convention — taking that power from state parties, which prompted sharp opposition from tea party activists. In a concession, party leaders agreed to remove the language, instead saying delegates who support candidates other than the one they are obligated to support shall have their votes nullified.
The change appeased some state party activists who didn't like the idea of candidates mandating which delegates could attend the national convention. But it didn't satisfy supporters of Texas Rep. Ron Paul or many tea party activists.
"Most of the tea party activists are really unhappy about this," said Oregon delegate Russ Walker. "We feel it's kind of cast a black cloud over the success we had with the platform."
The tea party can be traced to 2008, when voters started protesting spending.
The group broke through nationally in 2009 as opponents to federal legislation expanding access to health care, and then fueled a wave that carried Republicans to enough victories in the House for control.
Now, many tea partiers say the GOP owes them.
"It would have been nice to see some more of a tea-party presence," said Nevada Republican James Smack. "We can't win without them."
Associated Press writer Stephen Ohlemacher in Washington contributed to this report.
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