Washington (CNN)Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tasked a pair of longtime party loyalists to fill important convention posts Friday as worries about presumptive nominee Donald Trump continue tearing away at the GOP establishment.
RNC taps establishment stalwarts for convention posts
Enid Mickelsen, an RNC vice chairwoman and former Utah congresswoman, will run the convention Rules Committee -- which is likely to be the site of battling between anti-Trump forces and the Trump campaign if there is a move to try and free up delegates otherwise bound to the New York billionaire.
Priebus also announced that Massachusetts RNC Committeeman Ron Kaufman, former political director director for President George W. Bush, would co-chair the rules panel.
Mickelsen did not immediately return a request for comment Friday afternoon. The post has typically been reserved for party loyalists -- Priebus tapped former White House chief of staff John H. Sununu to oversee the panel in 2012.
Mickelsen offered a withering assessment of Trump in comments to The Salt Lake Tribune earlier this month.
"Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump are going to be people that we point our children toward and say, 'I want you to be just like them when you grow up.' That's not the case in this race, and that's a shame," Mickelsen told the paper.
Former RNC Chairman and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour will run the convention's Permanent Organization Committee, which oversees the formal structure of other convention committees and the convention itself. Barbour, who will co-chair the panel with Wisconsin RNC committeewoman Mary Buestrin, has been a towering figure among party regulars who was courted to run for president himself in 2012, but ultimately ruled against it.
Priebus quickly came out in support of Trump on May 3, just moments after Ted Cruz announced he was suspending his bid, but he has also been protective of the party itself -- warning at the RNC spring meeting that the party's rules would not be bent by either Cruz forces looking to block Trump, or by Trump supporters if they came up shy of the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination.