Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination tonight. Get all the latest from Cleveland.
–Winners and losers from the final night of the Republican National Convention
–Full text: Donald Trump’s dark speech, annotated
–Ivanka Trump introduces her father — with a personal appeal to women
Nigel Farage, the British member of parliament who led the “Brexit” campaign that has roiled the United Kingdom and sparked days of economic panic, said he only liked part of Donald Trump’s acceptance speech.
The British political leader, who resigned as head of the U.K. Independence Party after last year’s British elections, came to Cleveland to observe the campaign of an American political leader using a similar sales pitch here to win votes.
“I thought the last half was very good,” Farage said of Trump’s speech as he joined thousands exiting the Quicken Loans Arena in Thursday night.
“The first half didn’t quite work for me,” he explained. “Law and order, homicide rates up, yeah, fine, but I’m not sure people living their lives feel in terrible fear everyday. But in the last half he was trying to reach out to those same kind of voters who gave us Brexit. I thought it was very well done.”
Farage was accompanied by two aides, who tried and failed to bat away reporters from the former leader of the U.K. Independence Party.
As the small entourage left the venue, one of Farage’s aides stopped, turned to a large white and blue “EXIT” sign, ripped it off a fence and walked away.
We have captured some of the most notable quotes and moments from tonight. React to some key statements with 😍, 💯, 👏🏼 or 😠.
They just have to officially close the convention now.
We took a 360 camera to this year’s GOP convention. Go here to see some of our favorite scenes, from inside and outside the arena in Cleveland during the Republicans’ convention.
When Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination, his remarks painted an image of a nation in despair, teetering on the brink of utter lawlessness, violence and chaos.
Trump spoke of an administration that would “liberate our citizens from the crime and terrorism and lawlessness that threatens their communities,” going on to mention that “safety will be restored” if and when he is sworn in as president.
Such commentary has been common this week in Cleveland, as the Republican National Convention has leaned heavily on themes of law and order as a series of speakers delivered remarkably foreboding pronouncements about evil, danger, fear and destruction.
But these remarks and the picture they draw isn’t one that fully matches up with what is happening across the country Trump hopes to lead or what is known about recent and historic levels of violence.
“My opponent dismissed the VA scandal – one more sign of how out of touch she really is.”
THE FACT CHECKER | Hillary Clinton has said the Department of Veterans Affairs wait-time scandal was not “as widespread as it has been made out to be,” but her campaign has walked back this statement after she was criticized for downplaying the scandal.
Below is the full exchange from MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” in October 2015. The specific claim Trump is citing is in bold.
Rachel Maddow: The reason they [Republicans] are able to propose something that radical [privatizing the Department of Veterans Affairs] is because the problems at the VA seem so intractable. If I had been running Republican campaign against President Obama last year, I would have run it entirely on the VA — a bureaucracy, a bloated big government program that can’t be fixed, and let’s do right by our veterans. Do you have any new ideas for trying to fix it? You can’t find a person in politics who doesn’t say we shouldn’t do right by our veterans. But for some reason, this can’t get fixed fast enough.
Hillary Clinton: Yes, and I don’t understand that. You know, I don’t understand why we have such a problem, because there have been a number of surveys of veterans. And overall, veterans who do get treated are satisfied with their treatment. … Now, nobody would believe that from the coverage that you see, and the constant berating of the VA that comes from the Republicans, in part in pursuit of this ideological agenda that they have.
Maddow: But in part because there has been real scandal.
Clinton: There has been. But it’s not been as widespread as it has been made out to be.
Clinton was criticized immediately, and her campaign later clarified that Clinton does believe there is a systemic problem of delays in veterans’ access to health care and processing their disability claims. The campaign told The Fact Checker that she was “speaking with reference to Republicans who have sought to use the wait times scandal to suggest the VA is so incompetent as to be beyond fixing, such that the only fix is privatization.”
Still, we awarded her Two Pinocchios for saying that a “number of surveys” show veterans “are satisfied with their treatment.” She was referring to VA satisfaction surveys funded by the VA or a non-scientific survey of veteran attitudes. Independent, scientific surveys show veteran attitudes toward medical care at the VA are mixed.
“Forty-three million Americans are on food stamps.”
THE FACT CHECKER | Trump’s point was that America’s economy has suffered under the Obama administration. But he fails to mention that this is actually the lowest number of people receiving food stamps since it reached its peak in 2013, a sign that the economy is finally improving enough that the delayed impact of economic recovery has reached families who depend on them.
There are 43.6 people enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the official name for food stamps, as of the most recent monthly data available from April 2016. It was the lowest number of monthly enrollees since November 2010, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show.
The number of people receiving SNAP benefits increased after Obama took office in part because of changes in the food stamp program under President George W. Bush, when Congress overrode his veto of the 2008 Farm Bill. That law boosted the purchasing power of food stamps by indexing key elements to inflation.
At the same time, Obama’s stimulus bill also temporarily boosted benefits even more. The Obama administration also announced that it was pushing to expand eligibility, in part on the theory that expanding the food stamp program is also good for the economy because the money is quickly spent.
Of course, the economic aftershocks of the Great Recession, which was in full force before Obama took office, has a lot to do with the increase. There often is a time lag between when economic disaster strikes and when people begin to apply for food-stamp assistance. We explored these reasons in a 2011 fact check.
“Excessive regulation is costing our country as much as $2 trillion a year.”
THE FACT CHECKER | Trump presents an unbalanced figure here.
Various organizations, such as the Small Business Administration, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Competitive Enterprise Institute have come up with similar estimates on the cost of regulations.
But there is one huge element missing—the benefit side of the analysis. Every regulation has costs—but also benefits.
Look at cars, for example. Seat belts are a regulation, but they also result in fewer deaths, which is presumably a benefit. Higher fuel-economy standards raise the initial cost of a car, but also result in savings on gasoline over time.
“America is one of the highest-taxed nations in the world.”
THE FACT CHECKER | As a billionaire, Trump probably personally faces high tax rates. But the statistics don’t lie — the United States isn’t anywhere near the top among industrialized nations.
In 2014, according to comparative tables of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), revenue as a percentage of the gross domestic product — the broadest measure of the economy — was 26 percent for the United States.
Out of 34 countries, that put the United States in the bottom third — and well below the OECD average of 34.4 percent.
Still, it’s an advance that Trump now says the United States is one of the highest taxed nations. He used to assert the United States was the highest taxed nation – when that dubious honor actually belongs to Denmark, with revenue at 50.9 percent of GDP.
“She has supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership–which will not only destroy our manufacturing, but it will make America subject to the rulings of foreign governments.”
THE FACT CHECKER | It’s a matter of opinion that the Trans Pacific Partnership will “destroy” manufacturing – most economists would disagree –but the other part of Trump’s statement is fantasy sometimes promoted by the far-left. TPP, like other trade deals, does establish a commission to monitor implementation. It periodically may make suggestions on changes that are needed in the agreement as the global economy modernizes but those changes have to be carried out through domestic processes.
All TPP members are already part of the World Trade Organization. It settles trade disputes and can allow for monetary retaliation. But the dispute settlement rulings cannot force changes in U.S. laws.
Donald Trump made an overture to the LGBT community in his acceptance speech during the final act of the Republican National Convention.
He recalled the “49 wonderful Americans” who were killed during the recent shooting at the Orlando nightclub.
“As your President, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBT citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology,” he vowed.
His remarks came after those by Paypal founder Peter Thiel, who spoke to delegates on Thursday night saying he was “proud” to be gay and a Republican.
“Remember, it was Bill Clinton who signed NAFTA, one of the worst economic deals ever made by our country.”
THE FACT CHECKER | Bill Clinton was certainly a supporter of NAFTA who pushed approval through Congress. But it was negotiated and signed by President George H.W. Bush. (Here’s a photo.) Moreover, more Republicans than Democrats voted for the deal, as the trade pact was vehemently opposed by labor unions. One key ally for Clinton was then-House Minority Whip (and later House speaker) Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), now a Trump supporter.
Clinton did put his political prestige on the line to get it approved by Congress — even as two top Democrats, House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt (Mo.) and House Majority Whip David Bonior (Mich.), opposed it. In the House, NAFTA passed 234-200; 132 Republicans and 102 Democrats voted in favor of it. The Senate approved NAFTA 61-38, with the backing of 34 Republicans and 27 Democrats.
In both the House and the Senate, more Democrats voted against NAFTA than for it — a signal that the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party was strong even then. Clinton held a signing ceremony for the implementing legislation on Dec. 3, 1993, flanked by former presidents and congressional leaders of both parties. But that’s not the same as negotiating and signing the treaty with Mexico and Canada. The trade agreement went into effect on Jan. 1, 1994.
As we have noted repeatedly before, economists have not reached any firm conclusion on the impact of NAFTA, but many think that claims of massive job losses are overstated. The Congressional Research Service in 2015 concluded that the “net overall effect of NAFTA on the U.S. economy appears to have been relatively modest, primarily because trade with Canada and Mexico accounts for a small percentage of U.S. GDP [gross domestic product].”
“America has lost nearly-one third of its manufacturing jobs since 1997, following the enactment of disastrous trade deals supported by Bill and Hillary Clinton.”
THE FACT CHECKER | Trump picks a high point for manufacturing jobs, in Clinton’s second term, and ignores that fact that nearly 1 million manufacturing jobs have been added since the low point after the Great Recession. It is simplistic to pin all of the blame on trade agreements, when efficiency and technology have also played a major role.
As he’s done for months on the campaign trail, Donald Trump took a moment in his nomination acceptance speech to ask supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to join his campaign.
“His supporters will join our movement, because we will fix his biggest single issue: trade deals that strip our country of our jobs and strip us of our wealth as a country,” said Trump.
Moments later, Sanders’s Instagram account shared a photo of the senator watching the speech, with a minimal amount of interest, and explaining why his voters would not follow the Republican candidate.
That was accompanied by a run of tweets, mocking and fact-checking Trump’s populist rhetoric.
Medea Benjamin, the founder of Code Pink, made an appearance inside the Quicken Loans Arena while Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination.
But the solo protest didn’t last for long or create too much havoc.
According to our reporters, Benjamin held a sign saying “Build bridges not walls.”
She was in an area of the arena reserved for reporters and had to be dragged from the arena by police, yelling that Trump is a racist.
“Decades of record immigration have produced lower wages and higher unemployment for our citizens, especially for African-American and Latino workers.”
THE FACT CHECKER | This claim is quite convoluted, and the impact of legal and illegal immigration on blacks and Latinos is more complicated than Trump describes it.
Trump does not discern between legal and unauthorized immigration. Legal immigration flow has increased in the past four decades, and has remained at roughly 1 million people obtaining lawful permanent resident status every year since 2001. Unauthorized immigrant population increased from about 4 million in 1990 to about 12 million in 2007. But researchers estimate net zero illegal immigration flow from 2007 to 2014, due to the number of unauthorized immigrants leaving the country after the economic recession. Preliminary research from 2015 suggests net illegal immigration may have increased.
In general, economists have found that immigration overall results in a net positive to the U.S. economy and to overall workers. There are slight negative effects, but they are felt most strongly by less-educated and low-skilled workers. Illegal immigration, in particular, tends to affect less-educated and low-skilled American workers the most, which disproportionately comprises black men and recently arrived low-educated legal immigrants.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights 2010 report found that illegal immigration has tended to depress wages and employment particularly for black men. But factors other than illegal immigration contribute to black unemployment, the report found, including high school dropout rate and low job-retention rates.
The competition with other Latinos, particularly Latino immigrants, is the most intense in industries like construction, agriculture, manufacturing and service jobs, said Randy Capps, Migration Policy Institute’s director of research of U.S. programs. But the general consensus among economic research has found that the impact of immigration is primarily net positive.
“My opponent, in Syria – think of this, think of this, this is not believable but this is what’s happening. A 550 percentage increase in Syrian refugees on top of the existing massive refugee flows coming into our country already under the leadership of President Obama. She proposes this despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from.”
THE FACT CHECKER | Trump gets it right on the “550” percentage, but falsely claims there’s “no way to screen” refugees.
President Obama has proposed accepting 10,000 refugees in fiscal year 2016, and in September Clinton said she would like to move toward as many as 65,000. That’s where Trump gets his “550 percent.” Clinton has emphasized there would be careful screening, with an emphasis on those facing religious persecution.
The process of vetting refugees starts with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and then continues with checks by U.S. intelligence and security agencies. It takes one to two years, or longer in some cases. (Our colleagues at PolitiFact described this process in detail.)
“Only weeks ago, in Orlando, Florida, 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist. This time, the terrorist targeted our LGBTQ community.”
THE FACT CHECKER | The FBI has found no evidence so far that the shooter targeted Pulse night club in Orlando because it is a gay club.
The shooting rattled the LGBT community in Orlando and beyond, who felt they were targeted in a hateful attack. But there is no evidence yet that the shooter’s attack was motivated by homophobia, The Washington Post reported on July 16.
When Trump took the stage Thursday night to accept the GOP nomination, the applause inside the Quicken Loans Arena lasted less than two minutes — far less than it normally endures in such settings during a nomination speech.
His remarks about an increase in crime and violence drew a smattering of boos condemning the lawlessness Trump railed against and promised to rail against.
But the crowd got into the swing of things when Trump began targeting Hillary Clinton, who he blamed for a global list of ills.
“Her bad instincts and her bad judgment – something pointed out by Bernie Sanders – are what caused the disasters unfolding today. Let’s review the record. In 2009, pre-Hillary, ISIS was not even on the map. Libya was cooperating. Egypt was peaceful. Iraq was seeing a reduction in violence. Iran was being choked by sanctions.
Syria was under control,” he said
“After four years of Hillary Clinton, what do we have? ISIS has spread across the region, and the world. Libya is in ruins, and our Ambassador and his staff were left helpless to die at the hands of savage killers. Egypt was turned over to the radical Muslim brotherhood, forcing the military to retake control.”
“This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction and weakness.”
“Nearly 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records, ordered deported from our country, are tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens.”
THE FACT CHECKER | This number sounds worse than it really is. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in fiscal 2015 deported nearly 140,000 convicted criminals. ICE has estimated that there are 953,507 noncitizens with final orders who are still in the United States, of whom 182,786 have been convicted of crimes; 178,126 have not been detained.
The actual crimes committed by this group are not documented, so Trump cannot easily claim all of these illegal immigrants are threatening.
The Migration Policy Institute, using a dataset of all 3.7 million deportations that were carried out between fiscal 2003 and 2013, found that the largest category of convictions for criminal deportees was immigration crimes, accounting for 18 percent of criminal removals between FY 2003-13. The three next largest crime categories were FBI Part 1 crimes (a definition that includes homicide, aggravated assault and burglary, 15 percent of criminal removals during the period), FBI Part 2 crimes identified by MPI as violent offenses (14 percent) and FBI Part 2 crimes identified by MPI as nonviolent offenses (14 percent).
“When that same Secretary of State rakes in millions of dollars trading access and favors to special interests and foreign powers I know the time for action has come.”
THE FACT CHECKER | Trump has criticized Clinton’s record as secretary of state and donations given to the Clinton Foundation, as outlined in Peter Schweizer’s book, “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.”
Schweizer raises many questions about donations to the Clinton Foundation, led by Bill Clinton, while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. But critics, including Schweizer, have not been able to prove quid pro quo.
“In fact, her single greatest accomplishment may be committing such an egregious crime and getting away with it – especially when others who have done far less have paid so dearly.”
THE FACT CHECKER | Trump likes to say “others” have gotten punished for far worse than Hillary Clinton’s private email server, but there are few known cases that are comparable to hers. But Clinton’s case lacked malicious intent and other nefarious actions that are prerequisites for criminal charges.
The example Trump usually uses is General David Petraeus. Petraeus knowingly leaked classified information in his personal notebooks for release to the public through his biographer, then lied to the FBI when he got caught. FBI Director James Comey said the Petraeus case “illustrates perfectly” the type of case the Department of Justice would be willing to prosecute: a combination of obstruction of justice, intentional misconduct and vast quantities of classified information. Those elements weren’t there in Clinton’s case.
Much of Donald Trump’s convention seemed designed to reinforce his credentials with the right and shore up the GOP base.
But in his speech Thursday accepting the nomination, he did something he’s been doing overtly on the campaign trail for some time — appealed to the progressive supporters of Bernie Sanders to come his way.
He mentioned the Vermont senator twice, once to reinforce his claims about presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Clinton’s “bad instincts and her bad judgment – something pointed out by Bernie Sanders – are what caused the disasters unfolding today,” he said.
Trump went on to say Sanders “never had a chance” to beat Clinton because the system was “rigged” against him. And he asserted that Sanders’s fans would join his own campaign “because we will fix his biggest issue: trade.”
“Millions of Democrats will join our movement, because we are going to fix the system so it works for all Americans.”
“In 2009, pre-Hillary, ISIS was not even on the map. Libya was cooperating. Egypt was peaceful. Iraq was seeing a reduction in violence. Iran was being choked by sanctions. Syria was somewhat under control.”
THE FACT CHECKER | This is an interesting list but aspects are not factually correct.
The Islamic State of today is simply an outgrowth of al-Qaeda in Iraq. It was established in April 2004 by longtime Sunni extremist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, according to the National Counterterrorism Center. Zarqawi was killed by a U.S. airstrike in 2006, and afterward his successor announced the formation of the Islamic State — more than two years before George W. Bush left office.
The Islamic State certainly gained strength and territory from the civil war in Syria, but Clinton as secretary of state had pressed to funnel arms to the rebels; she was rebuffed by the president.
Libya, Syria and Egypt were run by dictators in 2009, but it’s odd to somehow suggest the 2011 uprising in those countries against the repressive regimes had much to do with U.S. policy.
As for sanctions against Iran, they did not really begin to bite until new ones were imposed by the Obama administration under the direction of Hillary Clinton.
“In Libya, our consulate – the symbol of American prestige around the globe – was brought down in flames.”
THE FACT CHECKER | Trump falsely calls the Benghazi facility a “consulate” and a “symbol of American prestige” but it was merely an unofficial and temporary facility that had not even been declared to the host government – which is a key reason it did not get the security that was needed.
“This was just prior to the signing of the Iran deal, which gave back to Iran $150 billion and gave us absolutely nothing – it will go down in history as one of the worst deals ever made.”
THE FACT CHECKER | Trump frequently misstates the facts about the Iran deal, making it sound like the United States simply shipped $150 billion of taxpayer’s funds to Iran.
This was always Iran’s money, frozen in banks around the world, but $150 billion is the high estimate of the money that could be received. The Treasury Department says the figure is in the range of $100 to $125 billion, but the usual liquid assets would only be about $50 billion, as the rest of the assets are either obligated in illiquid projects (such as over 50 projects with China) that cannot be monetized quickly, if at all, or are composed of outstanding loans to Iranian entities that cannot repay them.
For its part, the Central Bank of Iran said the number was actually $32 billion.
Reasonable people can disagree on the merits of the Iran deal, but it’s a stretch to say “nothing” was received. Iran’s nuclear program was certainly put on ice for at least a decade.
“Household incomes are down more than $4,000 since the year 2000.”
THE FACT CHECKER | This is a stale statistic, based on 2014 Census data, which ignores the fact that incomes have risen sharply in the last two years.
A more up to date figure is obtained from the nonpartisan economic consulting firm Sentier Research produces a monthly report using data from the Census Bureau’s monthly household survey.
The most recent report, released on the day of Trump’s speech, shows median annual household income in June was $57,206, slightly below the income of $57,826 in January 2000, in 2016 dollars. So it is essentially flat, not down $4,000.
“Another 14 million people have left the workforce entirely.”
THE FACT CHECKER | This is yet another misleading figure. The number of people who have left the workforce has certainly increased since 2009, though this is usually expressed as the labor participation rate, not raw employment numbers. The labor participation rate has dropped under Obama, from 65.7 percent in 2009 to 62.7 percent, but experts say just over half of the post-1999 decline in the participation rate comes from the retirement of the baby boomers. Economists estimate just 15 percent of the drop in the labor force stems from people who want a job and are of prime working age (25-54).
“2 million more Latinos are in poverty today than when the President took his oath of office.”
THE FACT CHECKER |Trump is being misleading here, turning a good news story into something negative by using raw numbers and using 2008 as a base, than than 2009, when Obama took office. From March, 2009 to March, 2014, the most recent year available, the number of Latinos in poverty has increased 750,000, according to the Census Bureau. But the overall number of the Latinos has grown by by nearly 7 million so the percentage in poverty has declined from 25.3 percent to 23.6 percent.
“Fifty-eight percent of African-American youth are not employed.”
THE FACT CHECKER | The official unemployment rate for black youth is about half of what Trump says it is.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate among blacks 16 to 19 years old was 31.2 percent in June 2016. This official unemployment rate refers to jobless people who are actively looking for jobs, as a percentage of the total available workforce of people who are working or are looking for jobs.
What Trump may be referring to, as our friends at PolitiFact Virginia noted, is the BLS employment-population ratio. This is a broad measure that refers to the ratio of of the number of people employed compared to the total population, including people who are not looking for jobs. The employment-population ratio for blacks 16 to 24 years old was 42 percent in June 2016, so Trump maybe using the flip side of that — 58 percent, for the unemployment-population ratio.
“One such border-crosser was released and made his way to Nebraska. There, he ended the life of an innocent young girl named Sarah Root. She was 21 years old, and was killed the day after graduating from college with a 4.0 grade point average. Her killer was then released a second time, and he is now a fugitive from the law.”
THE FACT CHECKER | Sarah Root is a relatively new anecdote of Donald Trump’s, though her story has been cited often by other immigration hardliners.
Root, 21, died in a car crash 16 hours after she graduated summa cum laude from Bellevue University in Nebraska. She was driving home and was struck by a man whose blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit, and was speeding in a truck.
The man was Eswin Mejia, 19, who was in the United States illegally. He was born in Honduras and arrived in America at age 16. He was released on bail, and fled. Authorities have not been able to find him, as of July 2016.
Mejia had several run-ins with law enforcement, but officials said he was not detained because he was not an “enforcement priority” and had no prior criminal convictions, according to the Des Moines Register.
“The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50 percent compared to this point last year.”
THE FACT CHECKER | This is wrong.
The number of law enforcement officers killed on the job has increased 8 percent compared to this point in 2015. He may be referring to the total number of officers killed in shootings, which has increased 78 percent. This includes the recent shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge.
The overall number of police deaths has decreased in the past two decades. For the past 10 to 15 years, traffic-related incidents (including criminal pursuit and instances where officers are intentionally struck by offenders) have been the leading cause of death among police officers.
“The number of new illegal immigrant families who have crossed the border so far this year
already exceeds the entire total from 2015. They are being released by the tens of thousands into our communities with no regard for the impact on public safety or resources.”
THE FACT CHECKER | This is another cherry-picked number. In the fiscal year that began in October, 51,152 families have been apprehended at the southwest border through June, compared to 39,838 in fiscal year 2015, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (There are three months left in the fiscal year.) But overall apprehensions, including unaccompanied minors, is running slightly higher than 2015 but is far less than 2014, 2013 and 2012.
There are Central American families arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border who are being allowed into the country pending review of their cases in immigration court. If they are being released it is because they have requested asylum or intend to because they are fleeing extreme violence, instability, and endemic poverty in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
“Homicides last year increased by 17 percent in America’s 50 largest cities. That’s the largest increase in 25 years. In our nation’s capital, killings have risen by 50 percent. They are up nearly 60 percent in nearby Baltimore.”
THE FACT CHECKER | Trump cherry-picks data to paint a worse picture of homicide trends, when in reality, they have been declining for decades.
In 2015, there was an uptick in homicides in 36 of the 50 largest cities compared to the previous years. The rate did, indeed, increase nearly 17 percent, and it was the worst annual change since 1990. The homicide rate was up 54.3 percent in Washington, and 58.5 percent in Baltimore.
But in the first months of 2016, homicide trends were about evenly split in the major cities. Out of 63 agencies reporting to the Major Cities Chiefs Association, 32 cities saw a decrease in homicides in first quarter 2016 and 31 saw an increase.
The problem with cherry-picking such data is that crime trends are measured over decades of data. Many factors — even weather — can drive crime numbers up or down at a given short period of time. In reality, homicides and overall violent crime, in both raw number and rates per population, have been on a decades-long decline in major cities.
“The debate over the size, scope and causes of the homicide increase in 2015 has been largely free of systematic evidence,” according to a June 2016 Department of Justice report.
“Decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this Administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement.”
THE FACT CHECKER | It’s not clear what Trump is referring to here. Perhaps this is a reference to Obama’s clemency initiative, granting early releases to prisoners with non-violent drug offenses who have been serving mandatory sentences. Some critics of Obama’s clemency policies have said they were concerned about the application process for clemency and whether the prisoners properly met all the criteria.
Trump also may be referring to the current efforts to overhaul the criminal justice system, specifically on sentencing policies. Legislation is making its way through Congress and has been pushed strongly by the White House. But this effort has bipartisan support, and has brought together an unlikely coalition that includes Koch Industries and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Some of Donald Trump’s most memorable lines from the campaign trail have been seemingly off-the-cuff ones, which reporters who follow him like to call “Trumpisms.” A hallmark of a true Trumpism is that it often doesn’t fully make sense and is rather funny.
The advantage of delivering a prepared speech, as Trump is expected to do tonight, is that he can deliver a Trumpism that’s deeply meaningful and key to his campaign, rather than just being friendly.
The most memorable line tonight: “I AM YOUR VOICE,” written in all caps in his prepared remarks.
Here’s how he first introduces the line, which is repeated later in the speech:
“My message is that things have to change – and they have to change right now. Every day I wake up determined to deliver for the people I have met all across this nation that have been neglected, ignored, and abandoned. I have visited the laid-off factory workers, and the communities crushed by our horrible and unfair trade deals. These are the forgotten men and women of our country. People who work hard but no longer have a voice. I AM YOUR VOICE.”
Donald Trump’s daughter described her father as “the people’s champion” while introducing him in remarks that set up his own speech, which will be an attempt to cap off a tumultuous convention on a high note.
Ivanka Trump touched on many of the themes her father has invoked throughout the campaign — America winning again, platitudes of effort and strength, anecdotes referencing his real estate business — while also seeking to humanize him, by mentioning him as someone who is “in your corner when you’re down.”
She made a hard pitch to close the gender gap by repeatedly emphasizing the number of women who work at the Trump Organization and the fact they’re paid the same amount by men. But she went even further, saying women who work for him and become mothers are “supported” and not “shut out,” vowing that if he becomes president, he would help adjust labor laws to help women who become mothers.
“Policies that allow women with children to thrive should not be novelties, they should be the norm,” she said. “Politicians talk about wage equality, but my father has made it a practice at his company throughout his entire career. He will fight for equal pay, for equal work,” she said, adding that she would fight alongside him for the same issues.
While discussing this, she also sought to improve her father’s standing with groups he has antagonized in the past. Trump called her father “color-blind and gender-neutral,” comments that came as the elder Trump has been repeatedly questioned for many comments on issues of race and gender.
“Like many of my fellow millennials, I do not consider myself categorically Republican or Democrat,” said Trump, who was introducing her father and performing what is typically the spouse’s role in introducing the nominee.
Trump said she typically votes based on what she believed was best for her family and country, though she obviously said that this year there wasn’t much of a choice for her.
Thomas Barrack Jr., the real estate developer and close friend of Donald Trump, used his speech on the final night of the Republican National Convention to fill out the image of the real estate mogul whom most Americans think they already know.
“You’re not going to hear one negative thing out of my mouth,” Barrack said, instead telling several stories he said revealed the soft, compassionate side to his friend of 40 years.
The first involved a trip to Atlantic City, when Trump wrote a personal note to the ill son of a doorman, and the second the death of his father, Fred Trump. The tragedy forced Trump to consider questions of “relevancy” and “mortality,” Barrack said, and led him to reflect on how he might carry on his family’s legacy.
Barrack’s speech marked a departure from earlier remarks, which were largely devoid of personal stories about the Republican nominee.
But maybe his most memorable line of the night was that he was the “anchovy” on Ivanka Trump’s salad, given that she was set to speak after he was.
During his remarks to delegates Thursday night, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel made history by declaring that he was proud to be gay.
“Every American has a unique identity,” he said from the stage. “I am proud to be gay, I am proud to be an American, but most of all, I am proud to be an American.”
His remarks were greeted with loud cheering and applause from parts of the the arena. It was a sign of what an unusual speaker Thiel was for this event, as before and after this announcement, he was dismissive of what he called “fake culture wars” and referred to a debate over “who gets to use which bathroom” as a distraction from real problems. (The official GOP party platform states that marriage is only being between a man and a woman, and it also includes an oblique reference condemning the Obama administration’s push to let schools accommodate transgender students.)
Thiel, who has been in the news recently for bankrolling an attempt to drive Gawker Media out of business, decried the state of the country as one in decline.
“Our economy is broken,” he said. “If you’re watching me right now, you understand this better than any politician in Washington, D.C.”
He suggested in his comments that economic issues are pivotal and, much like Trump, was critical of Hillary Clinton and the idea that America should enter into unnecessary wars.
[Being a gay Republican: ‘Is this a party that even wants me?’]
A Facebook spokesman said Thiel is attending the convention in his personal capacity, adding, “He is not attending on behalf of Facebook or to represent our views.”
When he got the invitation last week to be an official speaker at the convention, Thiel decided it would be a good opportunity to explain why he is backing the real estate mogul, according to a person familiar with his thinking.
Thiel’s support for Trump has not translated into contributions to his campaign or an allied super PAC. As of now, he has no plans to make such donations, according to the person familiar with his thinking.
Matea Gold in Cleveland contributed to this report.
On the convention floor about an hour before Donald Trump was supposed to speak, at least one member of Congress was looking for a serious speech.
“I just think at some point you have to move beyond political theater,” said Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), who said he was hoping for a substantive address.
And given all the hiccups at this convention, Sanford said he was hoping for a distraction-free evening and that “another shoe does not drop.”
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus urged Republicans in his speech on Thursday night to “hold on, help is coming.
Priebus started by slamming Hillary Clinton and repeatedly accusing her of lying. In response, the crowd chanted “lock her up!” as they have been all week.
Then he moved on to touting Donald Trump, who will speak later on.
Priebus, who has presided over a fractured party all week, asked Republicans to “stand united.”
He said the country needed leadership that would “put American citizens first.”
In her speech Thursday night, Lisa Shin tapped into Donald Trump’s “Make America One Again,” theme, sharing details of her parent’s immigrant experience and touting the ideals of American enterprise and opportunity.
“Over 40 years ago, my parents left South Korea to come to America,” said Shin, a New Mexico delegate and founder of Korean-Americans for Donald Trump.
“They knew that America was an exceptional and generous country where immigrants could become American citizens, participate in American democracy, and live the American dream.”
“Hillary Clinton is a direct threat to the American dream.”
Shin has been outspoken in her support for Trump despite his oftentimes anti-immigrant language and proposals.
Trump’s plan to slow the number of undocumented immigrants entering the country is a constant source of contention, especially among Latino voters. Though Trump has repeatedly stressed that his seeming hostility toward immigrants is limited to those entering the country without documentation, many remain unconvinced.
Shin rejects the idea that Trump peddles a form of xenophobia, instead portraying him as a champion of the American dream, which extends to those, like her parents, who immigrated from other countries.
“There is only clear choice for America,” Shin said, “and that choice is Donald J. Trump.”
This is a CNN video showing a conversation between the late Jerry Falwell Sr. and CNN”s Christiane Amanpour. In the tape, Falwell tells an apocryphal story about a U.S. Marine who meets Chelsea Clinton and tells her he’s afraid of “Osama, Obama and yo’ mama.” Fallwell died in 2007. His son, Jerry Falwell Jr., told a version of the same story during Thursday night’s fourth night of the Republican convention.
On the final night of the Republican National Convention, designed to illustrate that Donald Trump can bind up the nation’s wounds, the campaign dispatched two female surrogates to portray the real estate mogul as a healer.
One quoted Abraham Lincoln — the first president of a party whose divisions have been on full display this week in Cleveland.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee said all must join in the responsibility of piloting the country, in a reference to a speech Lincoln delivered in this city in 1861.
“We’ve had enough division and enough heated rhetoric that serves to only drive a wedge between us and our neighbor,” she said, describing Trump as a leader willing to “speak truth to power,” with the ability to “bring us together.”
Mary Fallin, the first female governor of Oklahoma, sounded a similar theme, recalling the example provided by her mother, who was the mayor of Tecumseh, Oklahoma.
The remarks were warm-up acts, in a way, for Ivanka Trump, the nominee’s daughter, who is expected to showcase her father’s softer side.
Liberty University president Jerry Falwell, Jr., said Donald Trump has the conservative bona fides to run the country, and that those who vote for a third party or abstain from voting are casting a ballot for Hillary Clinton.
“I truly believe Mr. Trump is America’s blue-collar billionaire. He’s down to Earth, he loves America and the American people. He is a true patriot and champion of the common man.”
Falwell said that Trump is following in the footsteps of the nation’s founding fathers and praised Trump as “one of the greatest visionaries of our time.”
Brock Mealer was one of few unfamiliar names tapped to speak on the closing night of the 2016 Republican National Convention Thursday.
In his short speech, Mealer told the audience at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena about the 2007 car accident that killed his father and left him with critical injuries, rendering him unable to walk.
“I endured eight and a half hours of surgery,” Mealer said. “When I awoke, the surgeon came into my room with more devastating news. My spinal cord damage was about the worst she had ever seen.”
Mealer, now a motivational speaker, compared his unlikely recovery to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Both men had a one percent chance of success, said Mealer, who walked on stage with the help of a small cane.
“Mr. Trump, welcome to the club,” Mealer said, painting Trump’s nomination as the result of a similarly hard-fought battle.
In referring to Trump as a fellow underdog, Mealer helped present the real-estate mogul as the face of inclusivity
Trump took plenty of hear after his comments last November mocking New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski for his arthrogryposis.
Within seconds of taking the stage on Thursday night, Donald Trump was expected to say: “Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation. The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country. Americans watching this address tonight have seen the recent images of violence in our streets and the chaos in our communities.”
That’s a pretty heavy message for such a celebratory night. But, as I wrote in an article published this morning, this gloomy view of America has been at the center of Trump’s campaign.
Trump promises that if he becomes president, all of these problems will dissolve and he will fulfill his “Make America Great Again” slogan.
But his current assessment of the state of the union is one of the most dismal and depressing messages ever pushed by a major party nominee, and has been amplified by a long line of convention speakers this week.
There are not many things that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump agree on. But their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership is one of them
Yet hours before Clinton is expected to announce her decision about who she will choose as her vice presidential running mate, a leading contender, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), had some positive words for the deal.
“I see much in it to like,” Kaine told a reporter for the Intercept on Thursday. He noted that the treaty is an “upgrade” of labor standards, environmental standards, and intellectual property protections.
Kaine also voiced concerns about the “dispute resolution mechanisms” in the bill and said that he does not know how he will vote if the trade deal comes up for final approval.
Clinton has said she opposes bringing TPP up for a vote in the lame duck session of the Senate.
TPP is a legislative priority of President Obama — a close ally of Kaine’s — and was once supported by Clinton. But it has suddenly become anathema in the unusual political environment that is the 2016 presidential election.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) campaigned strongly against the trade deal in the Democratic primary. And Donald Trump, abandoning his party’s longstanding support for free trade, has called it a “rape” of the United States.
Earlier this week, Kaine joined 15 other Democratic senators and all Senate Republicans in signing a letter asking the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to exempt community banks and credit unions from regulatory requirements. The revelation raised that hackles of Sanders supporters and progressive groups.
And his continued support for TPP gives progressive and the labor base of the Democratic Party more reason to quibble with Clinton’s choice, if she selects Kaine.
Fran Tarkenton, the Hall of Fame quarterback, gave shout-outs to the Minnesota Vikings and Georgia Bulldogs and talked about legendary coach Vince Lombardi during a boisterous opening to his remarks. He quickly pivoted from a Lombardi story to worries about the economic recovery and criticisms of Washington.
“What the hell’s going on here?” Tarkenton said. “We are stuck. We’re stuck in frustration, mired in anger and fear.”
Tarkenton described the last eight years as a grim period, saying that he believes Donald Trump — who he says he has known for nearly half a century — is a man who “gets stuff done.” He described Trump as someone who knows “how to be a teammate” and get the best out of people. Bringing it back to sports, he added: “Let’s go and win this game together.”
Most people at the Republican National Convention made up their minds long ago about this election. But there’s at least one voter here who’s still undecided: a 97-year-old veteran of the Second World War.
Sydney Walton was watching Melania Trump’s speech on Monday night, at home in San Diego, Calif., when his son, Paul, thought: Why should his father, in his advanced age, watch history on a screen when he could see it unfold in the flesh?
The pair woke up Tuesday and made for the airport, purchasing a standby ticket on Southwest Airlines – still without passes to the convention itself. The father-son pair got the last two seats on a flight to Baltimore, the younger Walton said, then boarded a plane to Cleveland. It was on that flight, he said, that they met a woman whose cousin was in charge of credentials for the event. With his father’s unique story, Walton was able to wrangle passes to the Quicken Loans Arena.
They landed in Cleveland at 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday night and were at the arena by 10 p.m., in time to see the major remarks of the night. They were back on Wednesday to see Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana and the vice-presidential nominee, and tonight will watch Donald Trump address the country as the presidential nominee.
“It feels good,” said Walton, who sat in a wheelchair in the public square, wearing a black cap identifying him as a veteran. “We’re part of the USA. I love this country.”
Walton was 21 and a student at a community college in New York when he decided to enlist, before the United States entered the war. He wanted to fight Hitler and his plan for a master race. When American forces landed in the China Burma India Theater, Walton was stationed in India. Upon his return, he finished his undergraduate studies at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, focusing on chemical engineering, and then studied geology at Yale University.
It was four years ago that the younger Walton decided to give up a hotel he owned in San Diego and become his father’s full-time caretaker. They go where they want when they want, visiting 21 different countries in the past four years, Paul Walton said.
This is the elder Walton’s first political convention, and he said he isn’t sure which candidate he will support. The pair plans to drive to Pittsburgh tomorrow and then on to Philadelphia, where they will attend the Democratic National Convention next week.
Paul Walton said his father is drawn to Trump because he has committed to protecting veterans and projects tough leadership. At the same time, he thinks his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, is a model diplomat and he respects the Democrat she would succeed: President Obama.
They’ve seen no other veterans of the Second World War at the convention, Paul Walton said. But there’s no place he’d rather be with his father, he said, because the 97-year-old fought for the preservation of freedom and democracy and deserves to see it up close now.
“Four walls and a TV – no way in hell I’m going to let my dad do that,” Walton said, predicting his father would live long enough to attend the conventions four years from now.
He said he thought a peripatetic existence would allow his father to “go out with a bang.” But, he added with a laugh, “he won’t go out!”
Sheriff Joe Arpaio urged the country to embrace Donald Trump because he is the “only candidate” who will “get tough with illegal immigrants.”
And of course, Arpaio noted, Trump will “build the wall,” between the United States and Mexico to keep out undocumented immigrants.
Arpaio — who is perhaps the best known sheriff in the country because of his anti-immigration rhetoric and stands — may seem a strange choice for Trump to showcase at a convention that could conceivably persuade independents and non-Republicans to consider his candidacy.
But as The Fix’s Philip Bump noted earlier today: “Recent polling makes clear that his position on immigration isn’t really an asset anymore.
In the most recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, Trump trails Hillary Clinton with Democrats, independents, whites, nonwhites and even white men with a college degree when asked who they trusted more to handle immigration. Among Republicans and white men without college degrees, he still leads Clinton — but he’s already winning with those voters anyway. As we transition to the general election, he needs to expand his base, not remind them why they love him. Everyone knows his position on immigration and most people prefer his opponent as a result. That suggests that reminding people of his position isn’t going to be helpful.”
Arpaio spoke second during prime-time and was well-received by the delegates in the Quicken Loan Center. It’s unclear how he’ll be perceived by TV viewers at home.
Nope, this isn’t a fight of the ages playing out on the stage at the Quicken Loans Arena.
Instead, it was a face-off among protesters in Public Square in downtown Cleveland on the final day of the Republican National Convention.
Joel Achenbach and Louisa Loveluck were there:
Pat Mahoney, 25, is a communist. Matt Meister, 41, is an anarcho-syndicalist. They’re both members of the Industrial Workers of the World, and local activists, and they and a gaggle of like-minded folks who wanted to spread their revolutionary beliefs in Public Square on Thursday afternoon. It didn’t quite go as planned, to the extent that they had a plan at all.
The capitalists kept accosting them, and the police kept separating the two groups, and so the communism-vs.-capitalism debate became a migratory and improvisational march, randomly snaking through downtown, going in big circles, with occasional pauses for an exchange of views, which is to say, shouting matches.
Also along for the ride: an unbelievable number of police officers and state troopers.
Here is a list of who will speak for the final night of this week’s Republican convention (besides, of course, Donald Trump).
Donald Trump’s prepared remarks accepting the Republican nomination in Cleveland Thursday night were provided on an embargoed basis. The embargo was broken by other news organizations — therefore we are posting them here.
The full text of the remarks can be found here.
Donald Trump’s prepared remarks accepting the Republican nomination in Cleveland Thursday night were provided on an embargoed basis. The embargo was broken by other news organizations — therefore we are posting them here.
Friends, delegates and fellow Americans: I humbly and gratefully accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.
Together, we will lead our party back to the White House, and we will lead our country
back to safety, prosperity, and peace. We will be a country of generosity and warmth. But we will also be a country of law and order.
Our Convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation. The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country. Americans watching this address tonight have seen the recent images of violence in our streets and the chaos in our communities. Many have witnessed this violence personally, some have even been its victims.
I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end. Beginning on January 20th 2017, safety will be restored.
The most basic duty of government is to defend the lives of its own citizens. Any government that fails to do so is a government unworthy to lead.
It is finally time for a straightforward assessment of the state of our nation.
I will present the facts plainly and honestly.
We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore.
So if you want to hear the corporate spin, the carefully-crafted lies, and the media myths, the Democrats are holding their convention next week.
But here, at our convention, there will be no lies. We will honor the American people with the truth, and nothing else.
These are the facts:
Decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this Administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement. Homicides last year increased by 17% in America’s fifty largest cities. That’s the largest increase in 25 years. In our nation’s capital, killings have risen by 50 percent. They are up nearly 60% in nearby Baltimore.
In the President’s hometown of Chicago, more than 2,000 have been the victims of shootings this year alone. And more than 3,600 have been killed in the Chicago area
since he took office.
The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50% compared to this point last year.
Nearly 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records, ordered deported from our country, are tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens.
The number of new illegal immigrant families who have crossed the border so far this year already exceeds the entire total from 2015. They are being released by the tens of thousands into our communities with no regard for the impact on public safety or resources. One such border-crosser was released and made his way to Nebraska. There, he ended the life of an innocent young girl named Sarah Root. She was 21 years-old, and was killed the day after graduating from college with a 4.0
Grade Point Average. Her killer was then released a second time, and he is now a fugitive from the law.
I’ve met Sarah’s beautiful family. But to this Administration, their amazing daughter was just one more American life that wasn’t worth protecting. One more child to sacrifice on the altar of open borders.
What about our economy? Again, I will tell you the plain facts that have been edited out of
your nightly news and your morning newspaper:
Nearly Four in 10 African-American children are living in poverty, while 58% of African-American youth are not employed. 2 million more Latinos are in poverty today than when the President took his oath of office less than eight years ago. Another 14 million people have left the workforce entirely.
Household incomes are down more than $4,000 since the year 2000. Our manufacturing trade deficit has reached an all-time high – nearly $800 billion in a single year.
The budget is no better. President Obama has doubled our national debt to more than $19 trillion, and growing.
Yet, what do we have to show for it? Our roads and bridges are falling apart, our airports are in Third World condition, and forty-three million Americans are on food stamps.
Now let us consider the state of affairs abroad. Not only have our citizens endured domestic disaster, but they have lived through one international humiliation after another. We all remember the images of our sailors being forced to their knees by their Iranian captors at gunpoint. This was just prior to the signing of the Iran deal, which gave back to Iran $150 billion and gave us nothing – it will go down in history as one of the worst deals ever made.
Another humiliation came when president Obama drew a red line in Syria – and the whole world knew it meant nothing. In Libya, our consulate – the symbol of American prestige around the globe – was brought down in flames.
America is far less safe – and the world is far less stable – than when Obama made the decision to put Hillary Clinton in charge of America’s foreign policy. I am certain it is a decision he truly regrets.
Her bad instincts and her bad judgment – something pointed out by Bernie Sanders – are what caused the disasters unfolding today. Let’s review the record. In 2009, pre-Hillary, ISIS was not even on the map. Libya was cooperating. Egypt was peaceful. Iraq was seeing a reduction in violence. Iran was being choked by sanctions.
Syria was under control.
After four years of Hillary Clinton, what do we have? ISIS has spread across the region, and the world. Libya is in ruins, and our Ambassador and his staff were left helpless to die at the hands of savage killers. Egypt was turned over to the radical Muslim brotherhood, forcing the military to retake control.
Iraq is in chaos. Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons. Syria is engulfed in a civil war and a refugee crisis that now threatens the West. After fifteen years of wars in the Middle East, after trillions of dollars spent and thousands of lives lost, the situation is worse than it has ever been before.
This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction and weakness. But Hillary Clinton’s legacy does not have to be America’s legacy.
The problems we face now – poverty and violence at home, war and destruction abroad – will last only as long as we continue relying on the same politicians who created them.
A change in leadership is required to change these outcomes. Tonight, I will share with you my plan of action for America.
The most important difference between our plan and that of our opponents, is that our plan will put America First. Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo.
As long as we are led by politicians who will not put America First, then we can be assured that other nations will not treat America with respect.
This will all change in 2017. The American People will come first once again.
My plan will begin with safety at home – which means safe neighborhoods, secure borders, and protection from terrorism. There can be no prosperity without law and order. On the economy, I will outline reforms to add millions of new jobs and trillions in new wealth that can be used to rebuild America. A number of these reforms that I will outline tonight will be opposed by some of our nation’s most powerful special interests.
That is because these interests have rigged our political and economic system for their exclusive benefit. Big business, elite media and major donors are lining up behind the campaign of my opponent because they know she will keep our rigged system in place.
They are throwing money at her because they have total control over everything she does.
She is their puppet, and they pull the strings. That is why Hillary Clinton’s message is that things will never change.
My message is that things have to change – and they have to change right now. Every day I wake up determined to deliver for the people I have met all across this nation that have been neglected, ignored, and abandoned.
I have visited the laid-off factory workers, and the communities crushed by our horrible and unfair trade deals. These are the forgotten men and women of our country. People who work hard but no longer have a voice.
I AM YOUR VOICE.
I have embraced crying mothers who have lost their children because our politicians put their personal agendas before the national good. I have no patience for injustice, no tolerance for government incompetence, no sympathy for leaders who fail their citizens. When innocent people suffer, because our political system lacks the will, or the courage, or the basic decency to enforce our laws – or worse still, has sold out to some corporate lobbyist for cash – I am not able to look the other way.
And when a Secretary of State illegally stores her emails on a private server, deletes 33,000 of them so the authorities can’t see her crime, puts our country at risk, lies about it in every different form and faces no consequence – I know that corruption has reached a level like never before. When the FBI Director says that the Secretary of State was “extremely careless” and “negligent,” in handling our classified secrets, I also know that these terms are minor compared to what she actually did. They were just used to save her from facing justice for her terrible crimes.
In fact, her single greatest accomplishment may be committing such an egregious crime and getting away with it – especially when others have paid so dearly. When that same Secretary of State rakes in millions of dollars trading access and favors to special interests and foreign powers I know the time for action has come. I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves.
Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it. I have seen firsthand how the system is rigged against our citizens, just like it was rigged against Bernie Sanders – he never had a chance. But his supporters will join our movement, because we will fix his biggest issue: trade. Millions of Democrats will join our movement, because we are going to fix the system so it works for all Americans. In this cause, I am proud to have at my side the next Vice President of the United States: Governor Mike Pence of Indiana. We will bring the same economic success to America that Mike brought to Indiana. He is a man of character and accomplishment. He is the right man for the job.
The first task for our new Administration will be to liberate our citizens from the crime and terrorism and lawlessness that threatens their communities. America was shocked to its core when our police officers in Dallas were brutally executed. In the days after Dallas, we have seen continued threats and violence against our law enforcement officials. Law officers have been shot or killed in recent days in Georgia, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kansas, Michigan and Tennessee. On Sunday, more police were gunned down in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Three were killed, and four were badly injured. An attack on law enforcement is an attack on all Americans.
I have a message to every last person threatening the peace on our streets and the safety of our police: when I take the oath of office next year, I will restore law and order to our country.
I will work with, and appoint, the best prosecutors and law enforcement officials in the country to get the job done. In this race for the White House, I am the Law And Order candidate.
The irresponsible rhetoric of our President, who has used the pulpit of the presidency to divide us by race and color, has made America a more dangerous environment for everyone. This Administration has failed America’s inner cities.
It’s failed them on education. It’s failed them on jobs. It’s failed them on crime. It’s failed them at every level. When I am President, I will work to ensure that all of our kids are treated equally, and protected equally. Every action I take, I will ask myself: does this make life better for young Americans in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Ferguson who have as much of a right to live out their dreams as any other child in America?
To make life safe in America, we must also address the growing threats we face from outside America: we are going to defeat the barbarians of ISIS.
Once again, France is the victim of brutal Islamic terrorism. Men, women and children viciously mowed down. Lives ruined. Families ripped apart. A nation in mourning. The damage and devastation that can be inflicted by Islamic radicals has been proven over and over – at the World Trade Center, at an office party in San Bernardino, at the Boston Marathon, and a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Only weeks ago, in Orlando, Florida, 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist. This time, the terrorist targeted our LGBT community. As your President, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBT citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology. To protect us from terrorism, we need to focus on three things. We must have the best intelligence- gathering operation in the world. We must abandon the failed policy of nation- building and regime change that Hillary Clinton pushed in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria.
Instead, we must work with all of our allies who share our goal of destroying ISIS and stamping out Islamic terror. This includes working with our greatest ally in the region, the State of Israel. Lastly, we must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place.
My opponent has called for a radical 550% increase in Syrian refugees on top of existing massive refugee flows coming into our country under President Obama. She proposes this despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from. I only want to admit individuals into our country who will support our values and love our people. Anyone who endorses violence, hatred or oppression is not welcome in our country and never will be. Decades of record immigration have produced lower wages and higher unemployment for our citizens, especially for African-American and Latino workers. We are going to have an immigration system that works, but one that works for the American people.
On Monday, we heard from three parents whose children were killed by illegal immigrants Mary Ann Mendoza, Sabine Durden, and Jamiel Shaw.
They are just three brave representatives of many thousands. Of all my travels in this country, nothing has affected me more deeply than the time I have spent with the mothers and fathers who have lost their children to violence spilling across our border. These families have no special interests to represent them. There are no demonstrators to protest on their behalf.
My opponent will never meet with them, or share in their pain. Instead, my opponent wants Sanctuary Cities. But where was sanctuary for Kate Steinle? Where was Sanctuary for the children of Mary Ann, Sabine and Jamiel? Where was sanctuary for all the other Americans who have been so brutally murdered, and who have suffered so horribly?
These wounded American families have been alone. But they are alone no longer. Tonight, this candidate and this whole nation stand in their corner to support them, to send them our love, and to pledge in their honor that we will save countless more families from suffering the same awful fate. We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration, to stop the gangs and the violence, and to stop the drugs from pouring into our communities.
I have been honored to receive the endorsement of America’s Border Patrol Agents, and will work directly with them to protect the integrity of our lawful immigration system. By ending catch-and-release on the border, we will stop the cycle of human smuggling and violence. Illegal border crossings will go down. Peace will be restored. By enforcing the rules for the millions who overstay their visas, our laws will finally receive the respect they deserve.
Tonight, I want every American whose demands for immigration security have been denied – and every politician who has denied them – to listen very closely to the words I am about to say. On January 21st of 2017, the day after I take the oath of office, Americans will finally wake up in a country where the laws of the United States are enforced.
We are going to be considerate and compassionate to everyone. But my greatest compassion will be for our own struggling citizens. My plan is the exact opposite of the radical and dangerous immigration policy of Hillary Clinton. Americans want relief from uncontrolled immigration. Communities want relief. Yet Hillary Clinton is proposing mass amnesty, mass immigration, and mass lawlessness. Her plan will overwhelm your schools and hospitals, further reduce your jobs and wages, and make it harder for recent immigrants to escape from poverty. I have a different vision for our workers. It begins with a new, fair trade policy that protects our jobs and stands up to countries that cheat.
It’s been a signature message of my campaign from day one, and it will be a signature feature of my presidency from the moment I take the oath of office.
I have made billions of dollars in business making deals – now I’m going to make our country rich again. I am going to turn our bad trade agreements into great ones. America has lost nearly-one third of its manufacturing jobs since 1997, following the enactment of disastrous trade deals supported
by Bill and Hillary Clinton. Remember, it was Bill Clinton who signed NAFTA, one of the worst economic deals ever made by our country. Never again. I am going to bring our jobs back to Ohio and to America – and I am not going to let companies move to other countries, firing their employees along the way, without consequences.
My opponent, on the other hand, has supported virtually every trade agreement that has been destroying our middle class. She supported NAFTA, and she supported China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization – another one of her husband’s colossal mistakes. She supported the job- killing trade deal with South Korea. She has supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP will not only destroy our manufacturing, but it will make America subject
to the rulings of foreign governments.
I pledge to never sign any trade agreement that hurts our workers, or that diminishes our freedom and independence. Instead, I will make individual deals with individual countries. No longer will we enter into these massive deals, with many countries, that are thousands of pages long – and which no one from our country even reads or understands.
We are going to enforce all trade violations, including through the use of taxes and tariffs, against any country that cheats. This includes stopping China’s outrageous theft of intellectual property, along with their illegal product dumping, and their devastating currency manipulation. Our horrible trade agreements with China and many others, will be totally renegotiated. That includes renegotiating NAFTA to get a much better deal for America – and we’ll walk
away if we don’t get the deal that we want.
We are going to start building and making things again. Next comes the reform of our tax laws, regulations and energy rules. While Hillary Clinton plans a massive tax increase, I have proposed the largest tax reduction of any candidate who has declared for the presidential race this year – Democrat or Republican.
Middle-income Americans will experience
profound relief, and taxes will be simplified for everyone. America is one of the highest-taxed nations in the world. Reducing taxes will cause new companies and new jobs to come roaring back into our country. Then we are going to deal with the issue of regulation, one of the greatest job-killers of them all. Excessive regulation is costing our country as much as $2 trillion a year, and we will end it. We are going to lift the restrictions on the
production of American energy.
This will produce more than $20 trillion in job- creating economic activity over the next four decades. My opponent, on the other hand, wants to put the great miners and steel workers of our country out of work – that will never happen when I am President. With these new economic policies, trillions of dollars will start flowing into our country. This new wealth will improve the quality of life for all Americans – We will build the roads, highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, and the railways of tomorrow. This, in turn, will create millions more jobs. We will rescue kids from failing schools by helping their parents send them to a safe school of their choice. My opponent would rather protect education bureaucrats than serve American children.
We will repeal and replace disastrous Obamacare. You will be able to choose your own doctor again. And we will fix TSA at the airports! We will completely rebuild our depleted military, and the countries that we protect, at a massive loss, will be asked to pay their fair share. We will take care of our great Veterans like they have never been taken care of before.
My opponent dismissed the VA scandal as being not widespread – one more sign of how out of touch she really is. We are going to ask every Department Head in government to provide a list of wasteful spending projects that we can eliminate in my first 100 days. The politicians have talked about it, I’m going to do it. We are also going to appoint justices to the United States Supreme Court who will uphold our laws and our Constitution.
The replacement for Justice Scalia will be a person of similar views and principles. This will be one of the most important issues decided by this election. My opponent wants to essentially abolish the 2nd amendment. I, on the other hand, received the early and strong endorsement of the National Rifle Association and will protect the right of all Americans to keep their families safe.
At this moment, I would like to thank the evangelical community who have been so good to me and so supportive. You have so much to contribute to our politics, yet our laws prevent you from speaking your minds from your own pulpits. An amendment, pushed by Lyndon Johnson, many years ago, threatens religious institutions with a loss of their tax-exempt status if they openly advocate their political views.
I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and protect free speech for all Americans. We can accomplish these great things, and so much else – all we need to do is start believing in ourselves and in our country again. It is time to show the whole world that America Is Back – bigger, and better and stronger than ever before. In this journey, I’m so lucky to have at my side my wife Melania and my wonderful
children, Don, Ivanka, Eric, Tiffany, and Barron: you will always be my greatest source of pride and joy.
My Dad, Fred Trump, was the smartest and hardest working man I ever knew. I wonder sometimes what he’d say if he were here to see this tonight. It’s because of him that I learned, from my youngest age, to respect the dignity of work and the dignity of working people. He was a
guy most comfortable in the company of bricklayers, carpenters, and electricians and I have a lot of that in me also.
Then there’s my mother, Mary. She was strong, but also warm and fair-minded. She was a truly great mother. She was also one of the most honest and charitable people I have ever known, and a great judge of character. To my sisters Mary Anne and Elizabeth, my brother Robert and my late brother Fred, I will always give you my love you are most special to
I have loved my life in business. But now, my sole and exclusive mission is to go to work for our country – to go to work for all of you. It’s time to deliver a victory for the American people. But to do that, we must break free from the petty politics of the past. America is a nation of believers, dreamers,
and strivers that is being led by a group of censors, critics, and cynics.
Remember: all of the people telling you that you can’t have the country you want, are the same people telling you that I wouldn’t be standing here tonight. No longer can we rely on those elites in media, and politics, who will say anything to keep a rigged system in place. Instead, we must choose to Believe In America.
History is watching us now. It’s waiting to see if we will rise to the occasion, and if we will show the whole world that America is still free and independent and strong. My opponent asks her supporters to recite a three-word loyalty pledge. It reads: “I’m With Her”. I choose to recite a different pledge.
My pledge reads: “I’M WITH YOU – THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.”
I am your voice.
So to every parent who dreams for their child, and every child who dreams for their future, I say these words to you tonight: I’m With You, and I will fight for you, and I will win for you.
To all Americans tonight, in all our cities and towns, I make this promise:
We Will Make America Strong Again.
We Will Make America Proud Again.
We Will Make America Safe Again.
What would have normally been low-key meetings with constituents for Sen. Timothy M. Kaine (D-Va.) turned into an intense Thursday in the spotlight as more than a dozen reporters tracked the politician who has risen to the top of the pack of possible running mates for Hillary Clinton.
As Kaine made two stops in Northern Virginia, he also batted away new criticism from the left wing of his party over his decision earlier in the week to urge federal regulators to soften requirements for regional and community banks and credit unions.
Activists accused Kaine of being too close to the financial industry and of trying to weaken reforms designed to protect consumers.
The senator brushed those suggestions aside.
“People are going to say whatever they want, but I’m strongly for the regulation of the financial industry,” said Kaine. “If you spend a lot of time over regulating credit unions and community banks, you are basically letting a lot of the big guys off easily.”
— Fenit Nirappil
CLEVELAND — As the very youngest of all 2,472 delegates gathered in Cleveland this week, 17-year-old Jack Salm is playing the critical role of Republican millennial. In other words, he’s tech support.
Just ask Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, a fellow Virginia delegate to the Republican National Convention and the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
“He already has shown his value as a young person — he fixed my phone,” Thomas said. “My phone was on the blink and I looked around. I had all these different people trying to help. And this kid, this guy, this man-patriot got it all fixed.”
Salm shrugged off the adulation — “It was just locked on the lock screen,” he said — and has stayed modest amid the enormous attention he’s been getting as the RNC’s official 2016 whippersnapper.
Salm gets to vote this year by just a whisker, not that any are visible on his baby face. He turns 18 on Nov. 5, a mere 72 hours before Election Day. He makes Kyle Kilgore, son of Virginia state Del. Terry Kilgore (Scott), look like a late bloomer for attending his first convention at the ripe old age of 22.
But Salm, who washed cars and launched a “go fund me” campaign to underwritehis convention trip, didn’t get his delegate slot because somebody thought it would be cute.
This week’s dramatic Republican National Convention has helped unleash a gusher of cash for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, which said it raised $3.5 million in a 24-hour period.
In a statement, the campaign noted that the total was reached as Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, the vice-presidential nominee, addressed the crowd Wednesday, crediting him with igniting “the passion of grass-roots conservatives.” More than 750,000 new donors have contributed to the campaign in the past 30 days, the campaign said.
Rep. Steve King was part of a two-hour discussion about the origin of his views on subgroups Wednesday evening.
The conversation, facilitated by two prominent black conservatives, comes just days after King made controversial statements questioning the contribution of non-white groups to civilization in an interview with Esquire’s Charlie Pierce. His “Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?” question sent the Internet into a frenzy.
Ali Akbar, director of the Black Community Forum Foundation, was one of the the facilitators of the the discussion. He and ACORN whistleblower Anita Moncrief reached out to King to try to understand the points he was trying to make.
The existing relationship between Moncrief and King eased the way for the discussion about his comments, which have created a firestorm for which King wasn’t prepared, Akbar said.
The conversation took place in a condo near the Quicken Loans Arena, with about seven people in attendance.
Akbar and Moncrief laid everything out on the table for King, explaining why people were offended, and asking what conversation about race the congressman wished to have.
“It was very frank and open,” Akbar said. “This wasn’t us trying to punish him as black Americans. It wasn’t him trying to tell us how to act as a white American.”
Akbar said there has been miscommunication about what King intended. King’s remarks were rooted in his frustration about American exceptionalism being attacked, and Akbar said that the conversation led to an inclusive discussion about civilizations across cultures.
Common ground among the seven people, four of whom are of color, happened about an hour and a half into the dialogue. King showed and explained bracelets he was wearing: One represented a soldier killed by an illegal immigrant and the other represented a woman who had been killed by an illegal immigrant.
“The bracelets that he wears shows that policies have consequences. Not closing the borders leads to the loss of life of Americans,” Akbar said.
Akbar’s groups are working with King to host a live-streamed cast or a forum open to the media, where King will meet with people of color to explain the intent of his views as he did yesterday.
“Congressman King did not say anything overtly racist,” Akbar said. “I don’t think he owes any specific group an apology. He does owe clarity and a medium where he fully articulates his thoughts.”
This is it.
The last night of the 2016 Republican National Convention.
Speakers at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland will focus on how to “Make America One Again,” highlighting Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s plans to unite the country and placate any social unrest.
Prime-time speakers on tonight’s lineup include:
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin
Once a potential vice-presidential pick, Fallin has long been a vocal supporter of Donald Trump, officially endorsing him in early May.
The Oklahoma governor is co-chair of the convention’s platform committee, which meets to determine and outline the core tenets of the Republican Party. A staunch social conservative, Fallin has come under fire in recent weeks for her opinions on LGBT and abortion rights, issues Trump has repeatedly shied away from addressing.
It will be interesting to see what Fallin chooses to focus on in her speech, especially as Republicans continue to try to brand themselves as the party of inclusivity.
Priebus has made appearances on and off stage throughout the week introducing various speakers, but tonight he will address the crowd himself. The Republican National Committee chairman is a native Wisconsinite with ties to notable Wisconsin Republicans and fellow convention speakers Paul Ryan and Scott Walker.
Though initially wary of a Trump nomination, Priebus has appealed to party leaders for unity, often condemning any mention of a third-party option or convention coup.
Jerry Falwell Jr.
Son of the late Rev. Jerry Falwell — founder of the Moral Majority and Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. — Falwell Jr. is well-known in conservative, Christian circles.
During the Republican primaries, Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz competed fiercely for Falwell’s endorsement, and the evangelical support that would come with it.
Thiel, Silicon Valley super-investor and co-founder of PayPal, will be the first openly gay Republican convention speaker since former Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) in 2000.
A prime-time headliner, the libertarian-leaning Thiel is expected to voice his pride in being an openly gay man, and advocate for broader Republican acceptance of LGBT rights.
The last of the Trump children to speak at the convention, Ivanka is her father’s ace in the hole. In previous campaign appearances for the now-official Republican presidential nominee, Ivanka has seemed honest, collected and thoughtful.
Just this morning, Donald Trump tweeted how proud he is of his children this week, all of whom portrayed him as a devoted father and true American family man.
And then, the big one. The finale.
Tonight will end with Donald Trump’s acceptance of the Republican presidential nomination, marking the official beginning of his general election campaign. Trump will no doubt express his gratitude to the delegates, friends, family members and former candidates who spoke on his behalf — looking at you, Ted Cruz.
With the close of the convention, Republicans will likely focus even more intensely, if at all possible, on painting Hillary Clinton as a corrupt insider unfit to hold public office.
No, the “Lock her up” chant isn’t going away any time soon.
CLEVELAND — Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence have indicated that they are open to appearing at events for a super PAC seeking to raise at least $100 million, a reversal of Trump’s staunch opposition to big-money groups throughout the GOP primaries.
Trump and his running mate have both expressed willingness to headline fundraisers for Rebuilding America Now, according to Ken McKay, the group’s chief strategist. Such appearances are permitted by the Federal Election Commission, as long as the candidates do not solicit more than $5,000.
The commitment by the Republican ticket comes amid a flurry of signals to supporters that the campaign has blessed the super PAC, one of half a dozen entities that have been jockeying to be recognized as the main pro-Trump vehicle. That dynamic has confused donors, who have held back from writing large checks because they were uncertain which group could be trusted — and whether Trump even wanted them to support such organizations.
But this week, it became clear that Rebuilding America Now, which was founded by Trump friend Tom Barrack, is the vehicle of choice in the view of the Trump campaign. Pence offered an explicit statement of support for the group that was shared during a presentation to several dozen donors at the Ritz-Carlton on Wednesday.
“Supporting Rebuilding America Now is one of the best ways to stop Hillary Clinton and help elect Donald Trump our next president,” read a statement from the Indiana governor that was displayed during a PowerPoint presentation, according to McKay. In addition, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort — a close friend of Barrack — called in to the event to register his endorsement of the group’s efforts.
“We’ve made great progress,” McKay said in an interview Thursday. “I do think we have a nod from the campaign, to the extent that is legally permissible.”
DOYLESTOWN, Pa. — Even Republicans not backing Donald Trump’s presidential nomination have problems with Sen. Ted Cruz’s decision to use his address to the GOP convention Wednesday night to urge listeners to “vote your conscience” rather than to endorse the GOP candidate.
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who has declined to endorse Trump and remained in his neighboring state during the GOP convention in nearby Cleveland, said Thursday that Cruz’s speech was out of step with political decorum and suggested that it was another in a long line of moves the controversial Texas Republican has taken that agitate his colleagues.
“There’s a right way to present that and there’s a wrong way, there’s a right time and a wrong time. In my view, when it’s an uncontested convention, the night belongs to the nominee, so I think it was inappropriate for Ted Cruz to do what he did,” Toomey told reporters in this 270-year-old borough 40 miles north of Philadelphia.
On Monday afternoon, the conspiracy-minded radio/video host Alex Jones was blindsided as comedian Eric Andre crashed his rally outside the Republican National Convention. One day later, as Jones darted around Cleveland looking for protests, one of his reporters was hit by another comedian — Tim Heidecker, who’d been perfecting his own Jones impression.
“I’ve got pills here!” Heidecker said as the reporter threatened to drop-kick him. “Join us here at the Republican National Convention, because we’re going to take our party back!”
“He’s had his 10 seconds of fame,” said Jones. “We’ve been trolled, or whatever.”
Indeed he had been — though Heidecker didn’t really need the fame. The co-creator of a series of dada shows on “Adult Swim,” currently the star of the surrealist spy comedy “Decker,” Heidecker was frequently recognized on the streets despite a sunglasses-and-cap semi-disguise. He and Vic Berger, an increasingly popular Vine artist known for distorting video of politicians into seven-second nightmares, were working on two specials for the comedy special “Super Deluxe.” In them, Berger would play “a dum-dum” version of himself, interviewing powerful people and trying to get Donald Trump to respect him by getting Chubby Checker inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Heidecker and Berger talked about the project, and how to find comedy in the mundane, in an interview at The Washington Post’s Cleveland event space.
Donald Trump was roaming through the cramped, suite-level hallway of the Quicken Loans Arena late Wednesday. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) had just jolted the convention with his refusal to endorse him and the delegates below were agitating.
But Trump was “beaming,” according to Laura Ingraham, who spoke with him.
“I asked him, ‘How do you feel?’ ” Ingraham, a nationally syndicated conservative talk-radio host, recounted in an interview Thursday. “He said, ‘Phenomenal. Phenomenal!’ He was smiling. He was beaming. He said, ‘It couldn’t have gone any better. Phenomenal.’ ”
Ingraham told Trump that he must be joking, that he could not be pleased with his bitter primary rival, who was booed as he left the stage. But Trump, she said, kept smiling wryly and gesturing with his thumb up, telling friends and advisers that he was happy with the way the political drama had unfolded.
“People around us in the boxes were buzzing about Cruz not being gracious but Trump was just glowing and everyone kind of noticed that, the way he was handling it, and thought he was hilarious. We thought it was awesome,” Ingraham said. “It was obvious that he wasn’t angry or upset at all.”
Not long after, the Texas senator was denied entry to a box nearby occupied by billionaires Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, according to a person familiar with the circumstances.
When asked Wednesday whether the Trump campaign encouraged the booing of Cruz, campaign chairman Paul Manafort said, “It must have been organic.”
During Tuesday evening’s roll call vote, delegates from the District of Columbia watched in horror as their 19 votes — split between Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) — were counted for Donald Trump. A protest on the floor, and a call for a “poll of the delegation,” did nothing to reverse the ruling.
In response, 11 delegates issue a letter of official complaint, one of several gripes they’ve had with this year’s process. They watched Rina Shah, the second-highest vote-getter among the delegates who ran in D.C.’s caucus, be stripped of credentials after she made lightly critical remarks of Trump on TV.
“We are deeply disappointed that the RNC reversed itself in order to unilaterally award the DC delegation’s votes to a candidate who did not earn those votes,” write the delegates in the letter.
Despite that, most of D.C.’s delegation — like most delegations — will stay in Cleveland to watch Trump become the party’s nominee.
“Most will attend to witness history,” said Chip Cunningham, one of the frustrated delegates. “Two or three of our 11 are returning to D.C. today.”
Their letter is below.
The undersigned delegates from the District of Columbia to the 2016 Republican National Convention issued the following statement today from Cleveland, Ohio:
We strongly object to the Convention Secretary’s decision Tuesday evening to transfer all 19 of DC’s delegate votes to Presidential nominee Donald Trump.
On March 12, 2016 nearly 3,000 DC Republicans participated in the DC Republican Party’s Presidential Primary Election, many waiting hours to cast their vote. The results were clear and uncontested: Senator Marco Rubio earned 10 delegates and Governor John Kasich earned 9 delegates. No other candidate received enough votes to earn any delegates to the national convention. The DC delegates agreed to be bound to vote respectively for Senator Rubio and Governor Kasich at the national convention.
Tuesday evening, the DC Republican delegation formally declared its votes on the national convention floor for Senator Rubio and Governor Kasich — consistent with the wishes of DC Republican voters. Unfortunately, the Republican National Committee Convention Secretary decided to take advantage of conflicting language in the DC Republican Presidential Convention and Delegate Selection Plan to (contrary to the longstanding interpretation of the DC delegation) unfairly determine that all 19 of DC’s votes would be registered in support of Donald Trump.
Members of the DC Republican delegation immediately and loudly objected on the convention floor to the RNC’s discretionary ruling. The DC delegates’ objections were ignored. Until Tuesday evening’s roll call vote, the national RNC leadership clearly supported the principle that all delegates’ votes should be counted consistent with the wishes of voters as expressed in the primaries, state conventions and caucuses. Affirmative binding of delegates to election results was also expressly adopted in the approved rules that specifically govern this Convention.
We are deeply disappointed that the RNC reversed itself in order to unilaterally award the DC delegation’s votes to a candidate who did not earn those votes, thereby effectively nullifying the results of the DC March primary election and the will of the voters.
We strongly object.
Signed by the following delegates from the District of Columbia — all of whom were elected by DC Republican voters on March 12, 2016:
A few minutes before 1:30 p.m. Thursday, the night he will accept the Republican nomination before millions, Trump emerged on stage at the Quicken Loans Arena.
He was surrounded by agents and aides, who congregated near the lectern. He was joined by his daughter Ivanka in a bright red dress; her husband Jared Kushner; speechwriter Stephen Miller; press aide Hope Hicks and others. Campaign Chair Paul Manafort guided Trump as the candidate listened to the stage director.
A copy of the opening of Gettysburg Address was in the teleprompter. Trump looked out and glared playfully at the media. “I love the media,” Trump bellowed into the microphone, as his voice filling the room. “They’re so honest. They’re such honorable people.”
Reporters and cameramen on the floor laughed.
Then someone shouted a question about how he likes the city.
“I love Cleveland,” Trump said, cracking a smile and praising the police.
Trump milled around on stage for a few more minutes — talking with family and glancing around the mostly quiet arena — taking it all in.
A Trump adviser told The Washington Post that Melania and son Barron are en route to Cleveland from New York and will be here for Trump’s speech.
Matt Scully and John McConnell, two former George W. Bush speechwriters who have consulted with the Trump campaign in recent weeks, deny having any role in writing Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.
Scully and McConnell were mentioned Thursday as co-writers by reporter Jonathan Alter, citing an unnamed source. Following that report, The Washington Post reached out to Scully for clarification.
“We were not involved, at all, in the writing” of Trump’s acceptance speech, Scully said in a brief phone interview. He declined to answer further questions about the campaign’s speechwriting process.
Scully and McConnell, who work together, did contribute suggestions for Melania Trump’s speech Monday, but their draft was scrapped by the campaign, and Meredith McIver, a longtime Trump Organization employee, took responsibility for the majority of the speech and the subsequent plagiarism controversy.
Stephen Miller, a former aide to Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), is the main speechwriter for Trump’s address, according to several Trump advisers.
Miller was spotted Thursday alongside Trump as the candidate did a run-through on stage at the convention arena.
As Trump looked out at the empty arena and got his bearings, Miller huddled with Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has been instrumental in crafting several of Trump’s speeches on foreign policy.
Miller’s writing is known for its populist flair and focus on law-and-order issues, especially crime and immigration.
Donald Trump told top GOP donors Thursday that he made the right choice in letting Ted Cruz speak Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention because the boos Cruz faced showed the party was unified behind the mogul, according to two Republicans who were in attendance.
Addressing donors at a lunch meeting on the sidelines of the convention here in Cleveland, Trump said that he, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and campaign chairman Paul Manafort knew what they were doing when they let Cruz speak. He argued that the drama that erupted on the floor highlighted Cruz’s selfishness and lack of team play.
“I am not going to call him ‘Lyin’ Ted’ anymore, but he did sign the pledge and it was pretty definitive. He isn’t a team player,” Trump said, according to the Republicans who attended and spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a private gathering. Trump was referring to Cruz’s pledge during the campaign to support the eventual nominee.
Trump and his allies appeared to be insulating themselves from criticism that they had mismanaged their convention’s programming by allowing Cruz to take the stage when they knew in advance that he had no intention of endorsing Trump.
Priebus attended the Thursday lunch. So did Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who is Trump’s running mate.
A Trump spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the GOP presidential nominee’s remarks.
Cruz was jeered loudly during the end of his convention speech after he encouraged Republicans to vote their “conscience.” He barely mentioned Trump during the address, angering the mogul’s supporters who chanted at him to endorse the nominee.
Text of Cruz’s address was delivered to party officials only shortly before its delivery, a person familiar with the process said.
At the Thursday lunch, Trump also criticized former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who skipped the convention and are not backing him.
“If I got beaten as bad as Kasich got beaten by me, I wouldn’t support him either,” Trump said of Kasich, according to one of the Republicans who attended.
Trump praised Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Texas governor Rick Perry, who voiced support for Trump during their convention remarks. Rubio delivered brief remarks in a prerecorded video and did not attend.
Trump also took a dig at Mitt Romney, saying that he would work tirelessly unlike last time, when the other guy disappeared for the final month.
It’s a point Trump often makes, as he urged Romney to be a more omnipresent figure in media in the stretch run of the 2012 campaign — with appearances on late-night television and other mass-market shows. His advice was rebuffed.
He’s not yet Hillary Clinton’s running mate, but liberals are starting their attacks on Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.).
Those who backed the campaign of Clinton’s former rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), are up in arms over what they call Kaine’s “pro-banking lobbying.”
Anne Gearan has more:
Kaine signed a bipartisan letter Monday urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to “carefully tailor its rule-making” regarding community banks and credit unions so as not to “unduly burden” these institutions with regulations aimed at commercial banks. At issue are compliance rules under the post-recession banking law known as Dodd-Frank.
Kaine was also one of four senators to sign a second letter Monday on behalf of regional banks seeking relief from a daily reporting requirement of liquidity. …
“Let’s be really clear: It should be disqualifying for any potential Democratic vice presidential candidate to be part of a lobbyist-driven effort to help banks dodge consumer-protection standards and regulations designed to prevent banks from destroying our economy,” [Democracy for America head Charles] Chamberlain said.
Sorry, Bernie Bros. Your champion, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, doesn’t plan to disrupt the Democratic convention in Philadelphia next week by failing to fully embrace Hillary Clinton.
John Wagner reports:
A spokesman for Bernie Sanders said Thursday that when the liberal senator from Vermont addresses the Democratic convention, he plans to echo many of the themes he touched upon last week during a rally in New Hampshire at which he formally endorsed Hillary Clinton.
“He’s not Ted Cruz, in so many ways,” said Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs, referring to the conservative Republican senator from Texas whose address Wednesday night is now the talk of the GOP convention.
The Virginia senator was trailed by reporters Thursday in Northern Virginia as he made a strong case for the contributions of immigrants to the United States after a meeting at a church.
From Fenit Nirappil’s report:
“… he offered few clues about the status of the running mate search or his thoughts about a Clinton-Kaine ticket. …
‘Kaine, a fluent Spanish speaker and former governor of Virginia, said Democrats and Republicans are offering voters starkly different approaches to the treatment of Latinos and immigrants, and warned that the GOP under nominee Donald J. Trump is alienating a large swath of the population.
” ‘There’s going to be a mandate that’s going to be sent that will say on this clear difference the American public has a preference, and the preference isn’t division and isn’t treat Latinos as second class whether they immigrated yesterday, or they are a Latina governor of New Mexico or are a respected federal judge,’ said Kaine.”
CLEVELAND — The Brexit champion and former leader of Britain’s Independence Party is here in Cleveland.
Farage was feted Wednesday at a lunch celebrating Brexit in which he didn’t directly endorse Trump but talked about how the businessman appeals to those who feel left behind by globalization.
Now that he no longer heads the Independence Party, Politico reports that Farage intends to tour Europe encouraging other country’s to follow Britain’s example.
CLEVELAND — The largest rally of the day is gathered outside Quicken Loans Arena. Several hundred strong, Stand Together Against Trump has come out as a group founded by doctors fearing the effect Donald Trump’s presidency might have on their workplaces.
The mood is convivial, and marching here under blazing sunshine, they had chanted all the way: “Tell me what democracy looks like,” a man said through his megaphone. “This is what democracy looks like.”
Quips abounded that American democracy was looking “pretty ugly right now.”
Debbie Rovito, a Cleveland nurse of 47 years, said she had come to oppose the notion that some people were less deserving of walking into a U.S. clinic than others.
“Our profession is based around the concept of dignity — we don’t discriminate against Muslims, against immigrants, like Trump does,” she said.
CLEVELAND — Larry Helminiak and his son Matthew took different sides in the Ted Cruz-Donald Trump rivalry during the primary, but they agree now about this: Cruz made a big mistake Wednesday by not endorsing Trump.
Matthew, a Cruz supporter from Maryland, said Thursday that the senator from Texas missed a major opportunity to help unite the Republican Party with his Wednesday speech, which ultimately drew boos from the crowd.
“The problem is that Cruz gains nothing from what he did,” he said. “He could have laid out his constitutional argument, laid out all his priorities and all the things he believes, but he’s one sentence short. He would be the hero of America if he added one sentence that said, ‘For all these reasons, we don’t have a choice in November but to vote for Donald Trump, because the alternative is Hillary.’ If he had put that one sentence on the end, they would have had to drop the balloons last night.”
Larry, who is a Trump delegate for Maryland, said Cruz should have been faithful to his pledge to endorse the eventual winner of the primary.
“Every second of the speech, I was waiting for him to say, ‘I intend to fulfill my commitment to the winner,’ and it never came,” he said. “He promotes religion and character and the Constitution until it comes to keeping his word. My only suspicion is that he is setting himself up for 2020 in case Hillary wins.”
His son described the speech as “watching a guy commit political suicide right in front of a crowd of 20,000 people.”
Larry said he wasn’t swayed by Cruz’s defense this morning at a breakfast with the Texas delegation, when the senator said he’s “not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father.”
“If he didn’t want to endorse, then he shouldn’t have come to the convention,” he said. “The convention is to bring the party together, not to take 20 minutes to try to tear it apart. I was against what Trump said about Cruz’s wife and father — it was all very silly. But that was primary stuff. He needs to get over it.”
The Texas delegation breakfast turned contentious as Ted Cruz, who refused to endorse Republican nominee Donald Trump, addressed the cowboy-hat-clad group this morning, further sowing discord into a party that has had trouble uniting behind its nominee.
A man stood up, holding a sign reading “Clinton/Cruz 2020.” Cruz was continually heckled throughout his remarks, with people calling for unity and reminding Cruz that he and other nominees agreed in a debate to back the Republican nominee.
“The day that was abrogated was the day this became personal,” Cruz said.
Cruz is a politician who handles heckling well; he often seems to relish it, telling people who interrupt him that he doesn’t want to engage in a screaming match but that they have the right to say what they want. Cruz then, like the lawyer that he is, lays out his argument.
“I addressed the convention because Donald Trump asked me to. And when Donald asked me to, he didn’t ask me to endorse,” Cruz said. He argued that it would have been “the easiest thing in the world to cut and run.”
“That ain’t gonna happen,” he said.
Cruz took questions from the delegations that turned hostile. Why didn’t he stand behind the pledge to endorse the nominee?
“I expect you to keep your word,” a woman chastised him.
“You’ve got to get over it,” said another.
“This is not a game. This is not politics. Right and wrong matters,” Cruz said.
Cruz explained that he is standing on principle and that he laid out how he expects the party to win in his speech last night — and that the party will lose if going into the election “the dominant word is Trump or of the dominant word is Hillary or email server, we’re going to lose”
After Cruz finished speaking, chaos broke out among the delegates. Some cried. Others yelled at one another. Accusations of cowardice were tossed around.
“If he said that about your wife or your dad, I hope you’d do the same thing. I hope you’d have some character,” Texas delegate Steve Toth said to delegate Thomas Mathis.
“Put your fingers down,” Toth said.
The two continued to fight.
“You’re calling me a coward, sir. Please be nice,” Toth said.
CLEVELAND — Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) stayed mum Thursday about new indications he is still under consideration to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate but offered a long, impassioned defense of the former secretary of state — almost as if he were auditioning for the job right here in Cleveland.
“I’m happy to do whatever the coach asks me to do,” he said, adding that there were “a lot of qualified people” who could fill the role.
“When you see our convention next week, you’re going to see the spirit,” Booker said. He said Clinton was a devout person whose faith is on display in her care for others, in contrast to the “hatred” being aired in Cleveland.
He was speaking at a news conference in Cleveland designed to “denounce the divisive rhetoric” surrounding the Republican National Convention here this week. Alongside him were Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.
Booker said watching the convention has been a painful experience for him.
“It’s as if truth means nothing,” he said, calling the GOP a “counterfactual party.” But what brought him to Cleveland, he said, was “the level and intensity of the hate and cruelty that I’ve seen on the floor and coming out of speakers.”
He took individual Republicans to task for their rhetoric about Clinton, reading aloud former statements praising her from convention speakers including Donald Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Newt Gingrich and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.).
Katie Packer, a Republican strategist who founded Our Principles PAC in a vain attempt to stop the Trump nomination, called the Cruz speech a “Rorschach test.”
“If you can’t stand Trump, like me, you saw it as bold,” she said. “If you love Trump, you saw it as a betrayal. If you don’t like Trump but have been cowed or fallen in line you saw it as self-serving, because you need that to feel better about your own weakness. I think he will be a force to be reckoned with in 2020 because he has a lot of devoted followers who will like that he stood up to the bully. But he also took part in creating this mess so he will have to answer for that. At the end of the day, the GOP is going to need to grow beyond its base to win nationally in a general election, Cruz is not the candidate who will help accomplish that.”
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), who endorsed Marco Rubio in the primary, said that Newt Gingrich did a good job putting Cruz’s remarks in context. But he predicted that Cruz’s refusal to endorse Trump would hurt him.
“The first time I ran for state senate, the incumbent I defeated, who had signed an oath to abide by the primary results, then went against me in the general election,” said Wilson. “So that’s always been important to me: If someone signs an oath, they should abide by it.”
“I think it was a huge missed opportunity, and frankly very sad,” said Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.). “You sensed the emotion and the quizzical nature of the crowd last night. It was kind of like — well, what do you mean? Such a peculiar message to put forward.”
On second thought, Ken Cuccinelli II does have an opinion on Ted Cruz’s speech.
“It’s the first speech I wish I’d been able to vet, because I think we could have easily improved it for the audience in the room,” he said.
The former Virginia attorney general, a prominent Cruz supporter who escorted the former presidential candidate’s wife out of the Q when the crowd grew ugly, stopped well short of saying Cruz should have endorsed Trump in the speech, however.
In fact, Cuccinelli made a reference to “conscience” and seemed to compare Cruz’s non-endorsement to his own failed fight over party rules earlier in the week.
Cuccinelli made the comment to reporters Thursday morning after repeatedly batting down attempts to get his take.
“I love you all but I don’t want to talk to you,” he told reporters who swarmed him as he left a Virginia delegation breakfast.
But after the scrum of reporters grew, he agreed to say a few words without directly addressing Cruz’s non-nod.
“How worried were you for Mrs. Cruz?” he was asked.
Heidi Cruz had been standing near the Virginia delegation during her husband’s speech and was subjected to boos and an employer-based epithet: “Goldman Sachs! Goldman Sachs!”
“It was just an uncomfortable environment,” he said. “It was very threatening from behind us there. So we were out of there quickly.”
Was he disappointed with what some delegates were saying about Cruz? Cuccinelli turned it back to Heidi Cruz.
“I was disappointed with how she was treated,” he said. “I’m one of those people who thinks families are out of bounds. And so that was a frustration of mine.”
Cuccinelli tried to move on, asking reporters, “Can we get to more substance for today?”
A T-shirt question would have to suffice.
Would he sport a Trump T in the Q for the nominee’s big Thursday night address, as state Republican leaders had just urged everyone at breakfast to do to show their united support for the nominee?
“I’m trying to keep this delegation all together and happy. I am not wearing this,” said Cuccinelli, then sporting a peach polo and cargo shorts. “I haven’t figured out what I’m wearing tonight. But I’m going to be there and be supportive. Whether it’s visually or personally, I don’t know yet.”
At that point, another reporter belatedly joined the scrum and asked Cuccinelli the same question that had been asked of him all morning: What was his reaction to Cruz’s speech? And for some reason, Cuccinelli finally gave in.
“If the choice was to — ,” he began. Then he stopped and started over.
“He hasn’t been here,” Cuccinelli said. “So he doesn’t know the word ‘conscience’ has become kind of a buzzword this week in the rules. And I’m a rules person, as you may have noticed. It’s the first speech I wish I’d been able to vet, because I think we could have easily improved it for the audience in the room.”
He started walking away, but was pressed for more.
Meaning he wished the speech had contained an endorsement?
“I haven’t endorsed – so …,” he said as he went out the hotel’s front door. He left it at that.
CLEVELAND — With just hours until Donald Trump formally accepts the Republican presidential nomination, there is growing concern that a sizable number of party delegates might skip out on Thursday’s big event in protest over the drama of the past few days.
Senior convention officials were on guard for word that delegates might opt to skip Trump’s speech and head home early, or at least stay out of Quicken Loans Arena to protest how Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) was treated last night, or in opposition to how Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and his loyalists ran the convention.
Bette Grande, a Cruz delegate and organizer from North Dakota, said she was still deciding whether to attend the final night of the convention.
“It’s not that I would be skipping out on Trump,” she said. “I don’t care to be around his minions telling me when I can cheer and when I can sit down.”
That’s a knock on the convention floor whips — a crew of hundreds wearing white or yellow ball caps who are responsible for keeping the aisles and sightlines clear and for encouraging the crowd to dance and clap. In some instances last night, they were seen trying to tamp down the loud boos Cruz received at the end of his speech.
Among delegates in Virginia — a state with a loyal band of Cruz supporters — the delegation chairman urged his brethren to wear Trump T-shirts Thursday night — a highly optimistic request if he actually thought they were potential no-shows. There was also a request for anyone going home before Thursday’s speech to turn in credentials — a sign of a potential shortage.
There are signs of possible defections from other states.
Guy Short, a Colorado delegate involved in the days-long rules fight, said he wouldn’t be attending but wasn’t aware of any others who might join him in staying away.
And Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), one of Cruz’s biggest backers, said by text message, “I will be there” — but declined to say whether other delegates might stay away.
Convention officials will undoubtedly move quickly to fill any empty seats — but the scramble shows yet again that the party remains fractured as it nears a critical hour.
David Weigel and Laura Vozzella contributed to this report.
The relationship between Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump turned sharply personal earlier this year — and is a large part of the reason Cruz isn’t endorsing Trump.
At a contentious meeting with the Texas delegation, where a man held up a sign reading “Clinton/Cruz 2020,” Cruz was asked about a pledge he and other candidates took during a primary-season debate to support the eventual Republican nominee.
Cruz, who paints himself as a “consistent conservative” who keeps his word, explained that his decision was personal, not political.
“The day that [pledge] was abrogated was the day this became personal,” Cruz said.
During the height of the primary season, Trump retweeted an unflattering image of Cruz’s wife, Heidi, next to a flattering picture of his wife, Melania, a retired model. Trump also alleged that Cruz’s Cuban-born father may have been involved in the 1963 assassination of then-President John F. Kennedy.
Cruz lashed out at Trump, telling him to “leave Heidi the hell alone” and saying that linking his father to Kennedy’s death is a “disgrace.”
“I’m not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father,” Cruz said Thursday.
The senator from Texas said he wasn’t going to act “like a servile puppy dog and say, ‘thank you very much for maligning my wife and maligning my father.'”
Sen. Timothy M. Kaine of Virginia and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack remain two of the leading contenders for Hillary Clinton’s vice-presidential pick, but Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey is also under active consideration for her ticket, according to a Democrat with knowledge of the process.
Booker, a freshman senator and former mayor of Newark, has drawn relatively little attention throughout Clinton’s vice presidential selection process, but he remains a serious prospect. He was among the roughly half-dozen potential running mates who met with Clinton at her home in Washington last Friday, as first reported Thursday by Politico.
Booker was dispatched to Cleveland to participate late Thursday morning in a news conference “to denounce the divisive rhetoric surrounding Donald Trump’s Republican convention,” according to an advisory by the Clinton campaign. That rhetoric has included calls among delegates to “lock her up.”
[Once again, Hispanics were considered for VP. Once again, they’re expecting to be passed over.]
Booker’s presence in the final group keeps a person of color in the mix following a search that includes Hispanics and one woman, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
The Democrat familiar with the process emphatically denied that Booker remains in contention because he is black. Booker has impressed Clinton for his work as mayor of Newark and as a bold thinker and risk-taker.
The Hispanic finalists, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, have not been told they are out of the running but, after conversations with Clinton, they came away with the impression that they were unlikely to be picked, Democrats said.
Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, could announce her running mate sometime Friday. Early in the day, she is scheduled to appear in Orlando, the site of last month’s mass shooting at a gay nightclub, making it unlikely that an announcement would come before that event.
Kaine is a former Virginia governor and former Democratic National Committee chairman. Vilsack served two terms as governor of Iowa before joining the Obama cabinet.
Kaine is attending two events Thursday in the Washington suburbs of Northern Virginia and has no events scheduled Friday.
Vilsack is on a two-day swing through Missouri to discuss the opioid epidemic. He is expected to return to Washington on Friday, around 5 p.m.
CLEVELAND — Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has a message for Ted Cruz: “Accept the will of the voters.”
After the senator from Texas gave a speech Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention in which he still did not endorse GOP nominee Donald Trump, Huckabee, also a former candidate, assailed Cruz in a Facebook post.
“From where I sit, I didn’t see a statesman step forth for the country’s future,” Huckabee wrote. “I saw a self-absorbed politician grab the microphone and try to line up his own future. Ted walked in tall and walked out small.”
Noting that Trump allowed Cruz to speak at the convention, Huckabee wrote, “Trump trusted Ted and was rewarded with a betrayal.”
“When a person gives his word, he should keep it,” Huckabee said. “When a person is treated with generosity to give a speech, he should either respond with respect or graciously decline. And when a person loses, he should accept the will of the voters and then offer support to the victor of the primary to defeat the anti-gun, pro-abortion, incompetent, dishonest and dishonorable nominee of the Democrat party.”
Ken Cuccinelli II is keeping it zipped, for once, about Ted Cruz.
The former Virginia attorney general had been a prominent surrogate for Cruz when the senator from Texas was still in the hunt for the GOP nomination. He’d been the leader of a string of pro-Cruz last-ditch efforts — to install him at a brokered convention, to change party rules in Cruz’s favor for 2020 or beyond.
Cuccinelli even stepped in as a security escort for Cruz’s wife Wednesday night, when things got ugly on the convention floor in the wake of Cruz’s non-endorsement.
But Thursday morning, as he headed into a hotel breakfast with the Virginia delegation, Cuccinelli waved away reporters who wanted his take on Cruz’s move.
“I don’t want to talk at all,” he said.
That is not to say Cuccinelli — veteran of many a quixotic battle — seemed at all sheepish about Cruz’s gambit.
“Good mooorninnng!” he playfully drawled at the lectern at the front of the room to get the group’s attention.
Yet Cuccinelli made no reference to the previous night’s goings-on. He got right to the business of introducing the morning’s speaker, former presidential contender Ben Carson.
For his part, Carson made no mention of the drama during his remarks. But he didn’t hold his tongue when asked about it afterward. He said he’d been disappointed by Cruz.
“I expected more, quite frankly,” Carson said. “I am surprised because he’s a very intelligent man, and I would have thought that he would have recognized the ramifications of doing anything that might continue the secular progressive movement.”
CLEVELAND — It was one of the most memorable ads of the Iowa caucuses: Phil Robertson, the straggly bearded patriarch on reality-television’s “Duck Dynasty,” took Ted Cruz duck hunting.
But the two men are hardly hunting buddies now. Robertson chastised the Texas senator in an interview here Thursday morning for his refusal to endorse Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.
“I was behind Cruz,” Robertson said. “He lost, I lost. Now he’s out. Once you do that, you need to swallow your pride. The people said, ‘This is the one we want. We don’t want Cruz. We want this one.’ You need to get behind him.”
Robertson continued, “Just because Donald Trump is not as conservative as I am doesn’t mean I can’t work with him, for crying out loud.”
Asked whether Cruz’s turn on the convention stage Wednesday night would keep him from supporting him if he runs for president again four years from now or later, Robertson said, “You never know.”
“We have to be long on forgiveness,” Robertson said. “We need to learn that in America — be able to forgive for whatever words have been said.”
Robertson was referring to a future Cruz campaign, of course, but he also was delivering a directive to Cruz to forgive Trump for the offenses he committed in the heat of the primary battle.
CLEVELAND — Sen. Ted Cruz on Thursday delivered a lengthy defense of his fiery convention speech during a breakfast here with the Texas delegation.
“In that speech last night, I did not say a single negative word about Donald Trump,” Cruz (Tex.) said. “And I’ll tell you this morning, and going forward, I don’t intend to say negative things about Donald Trump.”
He told attendees that he began the speech by congratulating Trump on securing the nomination, and assured attendees that he will not be voting for Clinton in the fall. But he repeated that, although he would listen to Trump’s speech Thursday, he would not be endorsing the real estate mogul.
“I’m going to be listening to how he and the campaign conduct themselves every day from now until November,” Cruz said.
But Cruz was far from conciliatory. He stood by his decision not to honor a pledge that he made last year to support the eventual GOP nominee, saying that the pledge was rendered moot because “I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father.”
“That pledge was not a blanket commitment that if you go and slander and attack Heidi that I’m going to nonetheless come like a servile puppy dog and say, ‘Thank you very much for maligning my wife and maligning my father,” he said.
Craig Shirley, a conservative historian who has written three biographies of Ronald Reagan’s pre- and post-presidential life, has written the definitive story of 1976 Republican National Convention. The drama of the moment when President Gerald Ford clinched the nomination, and Reagan’s impromptu speech endorsing him, have grown along with the Reagan mythos in the popular memory of conservatism.
Asked to rate Cruz’s speech last night, Shirley said that it was too early to judge, but “maybe the best thing to do was not to address the convention.” The problems were numerous, starting with the differing circumstances of 1976 and 2016.
“Had Ford won in the fall over Carter, Reagan’s speech would have quickly been forgotten,” said Shirley. “It has become a touchstone in part because Ford lost and Reagan would eventually lead the new GOP back to preeminence, and then his speech in Kansas City took on new meaning. But only in hindsight.”
Republicans, said Shirley, were more divided in 1976 than they are this year. The Rockefeller moderate wing of the party is largely extinct; had a listener been unaware of the campaign between Cruz and Trump, it wouldn’t have been clear which policies they disagreed on during the primary.
“Plus, Reagan was more subtle, less confrontational and Ford needed Reagan more than Trump needed Cruz,” said Shirley. “All this worked to Reagan’s advantage. Maybe most importantly, Reagan was the one true hero to conservatives in 1976. Today, the movement has many heroes. Reagan lost the nomination by a handful of delegates and even then, blamed skulduggery and ‘bossism’ in Mississippi and Ohio and New York on his primary losses in those states.”
It’s in the interest of Cruz, and his supporters, to make conservatives think of 1976 when they think of 2016. The unsuccessful Reagan campaign changed the direction of the party forever and teed up Reagan’s two-term presidency. But Reagan, whose policy disagreements with Ford were far greater than Cruz’s, did not play the same sort of word games about endorsements and “conscience.” There’s little precedent for a race ending so bitterly, and the loser turning that to his benefit.
“In Cruz’s defense, Trump said a lot of awful things about not just him, but his wife and father,” said Shirley. “If he’d given Trump his unequivocal endorsement, would today everybody be saying he sold his manhood, he sold out the defense of his family, just for political ambition? Possibly.”
If you haven’t heard that stinging label for non-endorser Ted Cruz, you will soon.
And Mike Belefski would like you to know he made it up. Right there on the spot on the convention floor Wednesday night, when the Texas senator snubbed Donald Trump in prime time.
“That’s mine,” Belefski, a Northern Virginia political and business consultant, proudly said Thursday morning. “I test-marketed it last night. Everybody loved it.”
Belefski basked in his clever coinage over breakfast with his delegation.
“Want to patent it?” teased Virginia Del. Kathy J. Byron (R-Bedford).
Belefski, perhaps trying to model the graciousness he thought was lacking in Cruz’s speech, expected the nickname go viral — without his name attached. He told a conservative Virginia radio host to go with it on the air Thursday.
“John Fredericks was going to use it,” he said.
What did it feel like to be at the Republican convention, as the country moved closer to deciding its future?
It felt like a street festival. One celebrating the great American virtues of resentment and loathing.
Outside Quicken Loans Arena this week, everyone was distracting themselves with booze, with corporate-sponsored panels that aped Aspen and Davos festivals, or with the passionate performance of protest. On Monday evening, some of the great tribes of grievance converged at the intersection of East Fourth Street and Prospect Avenue.
From the west, Code Pink activists were carrying antiwar signs.
From the east, College Republicans in pleated khakis heckled anyone who dared waste their lives protesting the great and powerful America.
From the north, bearded wrath-of-God types advanced with megaphones spouting damnation for all.
In the middle, a multiracial group calling themselves Revolutionary Communists hoisted a banner with pictures of citizens killed by police.
A line of police officers cupped around them all in a semicircle. Another line appeared on horseback, forming a stoic row in the street.
It might be one of the strangest of the strange-bedfellow alliances in the Trump campaign: Evangelical scion Jerry Falwell Jr. backs the New York billionaire whose past probably rings like a cautionary tale for the students at Falwell’s conservative Liberty University.
Trump owns casinos. He’s on his third wife. He’s chatted about his sex life on the radio, and partied in the 1980s at the era’s dens of decadence.
Yet Trump has the backing of Falwell, whose father was a televangelist and Moral Majority founder. The answers to why were explored in an interview Wednesday with The Washington Post. Falwell said that terrorism and other pressing concerns have shoved social issues to the back burner for this presidential cycle — even for the most conservative Christians.
“If you look at the polls of evangelicals, in years past, in past elections, the issues that they thought were most important were the social issues,” Falwell said. “Now with all the turmoil in the world, when you look at the list of what evangelicals think is important, there’s no difference between them and other conservatives and even blue-collar Democrats. The social issues come at the bottom of the list after saving our country. After securing our borders. After stopping terrorism. After … getting the debt under control and saving our economy.
The relationship between Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump has been filled with animosity and personal attacks. At the end of the bitter primary season, Trump suggested that Cruz’s Cuban-born father was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and Cruz blasted Trump as a “pathological liar” and “amoral.” Cruz has repeatedly ducked questions about whether he would endorse Trump.
So given the bad blood, why did Cruz show up?
Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said Trump asked the Texas Republican to speak, and he obliged.
Cruz, she said in a text message, “had a chance to lay out a vision for the party.”
He also held a rally Wednesday to thank about 1,200 supporters in Cleveland.
“This is their party,” former Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler said when asked why Cruz would want to speak.
The senator undoubtedly knew his speech would cause waves. Cruz’s chief strategist said the Texas Republican told Trump three days ago that he wouldn’t endorse. The audience appeared rapt until Cruz uttered a line that threw the arena into chaos: “Vote your conscience.”
The speech made one thing clear: Cruz is looking far beyond November, toward the 2020 election.
On the day Donald Trump will formally claim the Republican nomination, Hillary Clinton’s campaign announced early Thursday how she will follow up on her own likely nomination next week. Clinton will hold a public rally next Friday in Philadelphia, where the Democrats hold their convention next week.
Clinton’s rally will take place on Independence Mall in Philadelphia, the day after she formally accepts the Democratic Party’s nomination for president.
Amid the chaos in Cleveland, Democrats have been putting the finishing touches on what is likely to be a starkly different convention in Philadelphia, where a string of political superstars are on the roster to speak: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Vice President Biden, President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, former president Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton and the presumptive nominee herself.
Here’s what it was like to stand by the Trump VIP box last night and creepily stare at Ivanka, Tiffany, Eric and Don Jr. (oh, and Omarosa Manigault) while the Quicken Loans Arena devolved into chaos. Read more here.
“The national debt has nearly doubled in these eight years, and her only answer is to keep borrowing and spending.”
–GOP Vice President nominee Mike Pence
THE FACT CHECKER | Since Obama became president, the total national debt (including money owed to Social Security and other trust funds) has increased from $10.6 trillion to $19.4 trillion, so “nearly doubled” is correct. Pence could have said it has doubled if he focused on debt held to the public, as it has increased from $6.3 trillion to $14 trillion under Obama.
But he misfires when he criticizes Clinton’s proposals. Clinton proposes $1.45 trillion in new spending, but it would be mostly offset by new revenues.
The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which pushes for reducing the national debt, concluded that Donald Trump’s tax and budget proposals would send the national debt soaring over the next ten years—by another $11.5 trillion — while Clinton’s proposals would have a negligible effect. The group said neither candidate had offered a plan to reduce the national debt, but Trump’s plans would add significantly more debt than Clinton.
The group says that under Clinton’s plans, the national debt–now 75 percent of the gross domestic product–would reach 87 percent of the gross domestic product by 2026. By contrast, the national debt would reach 127 percent of GDP under Trump’s proposals.
“It was Hillary Clinton who left Americans in harm’s way in Benghazi and after four Americans fell, said ‘What difference at this point does it make?’”
–Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence
THE FACT CHECKER | Pence really pushes the envelope with this line. Numerous investigations into the Sept. 2012 Benghazi attacks have found that security was inadequate at the Benghazi diplomatic facility, but no evidence has emerged that security requests ever reached Clinton’s level. Lower-level officials dealt with these issues, particularly the security experts, and they often had to balance other needs and interests.
Then, Pence pulls out of context a Clinton’s quote from a contentious exchange during 2013 congressional hearing about the attacks. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) pressed Clinton repeatedly why she did not directly speak to survivors of the attacks to find out if it had been prompted by a protest, as initial media reports indicated.
Her answer was an FBI investigation into the attacks had been launched and that it would have been inappropriate to speak to people who were being interviewed by professionals. Johnson called that “a good excuse” and asserted the administration misled Americans about whether the attacks were preceded by a protest.
Clinton replied: “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.”
Her statement thus referred to Johnson’s questions, not to the incident itself.
“It was Hillary Clinton who helped to undo all the gains of the troop surge, a staggering failure of judgment that set ISIS on the loose.”
–Vice Presidential Nominee Mike Pence
THE FACT CHECKER | This is a carefully-phrased statement –note the use of the word “helped” –that tries to pin the blame on Clinton for a complex dynamic that both pre-dates and post-dates her tenure as Secretary of State.
To a large extent, the Islamic State of today is simply an outgrowth of al-Qaeda of Iraq. It was established in April 2004 by long-time Sunni extremist Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi, according to the National Counterterrorism Center. Zarqawi was killed by a U.S. airstrike in 2006 and afterwards his successor announced the formation of the Islamic State – more than two years before George W. Bush left office.
ISIS certainly gained strength and territory from the civil war in Syria but Clinton as Secretary of State had pressed to funnel arms to the rebels; she was rebuffed by the president.
Obama did pull troops from Iraq at the end of the 2011, which weakened the security situation in the country. The Bush administration signed the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with Iraq in 2008 that established a deadline for the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011. But there was some expectation that the SOFA could be renewed after that, with at least a small U.S. force remaining.
Although key elements of the Iraqi political system were supportive of a SOFA, there was not enough support for approval in the Iraqi parliament. Experts disagree about whether the administration wasted valuable time or sent mixed signals about the level of troops it was willing to commit, but former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in his 2014 memoir pinned the blame on President Obama for failing to use his leverage with Iraq to get a deal. Obama, in his 2012 re-election campaign, frequently touted the fact that U.S. troops had left Iraq.
“It’s union members, who don’t want a president who promises ‘to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.’ They want American energy and they know Donald Trump digs coal.”
–GOP Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence
THE FACT CHECKER | Pence’s attack on Hillary Clinton’s claim about coal jobs takes her answer out of context. During a March 2016 town hall in Ohio, Clinton was asked by a voter: “Make the case to poor whites who live in Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, who vote Republican, why they should vote for you based upon economic policies versus voting for a Republican?”
Clinton gave a lengthy response, which included the line, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” But that line has been spun out of context since then and used as a soundbite. It was part of her longer answer about helping coal mine workers adjust after they lose their factory jobs. Coal mining jobs have declined in recent years, including in West Virginia. Many reasons have contributed to this decline, including efficiency improvements and the Obama administration’s decision to reduce coal plant emissions.
Her lengthy answer in March 2016 was consistent with themes in her November 2015 policy proposal for revitalizing coal communities. The proposal says that transitioning away from coal-powered plants has already affected mining communities like in Appalachia. Clinton supports the Obama administration’s clean energy plan, and proposed ideas to help improve coal workers’ health and retirement security, and to help with economic development in coal communities.
This was her full answer. The portion that Pence cited is in bold.
Well, first of all, I was happy to carry those states you mentioned, and I carried the white vote in those states too, that voted Democratic now, I don’t want to get carried away here.
Look, we have serious economic problems in many parts of our country. And Roland is absolutely right. Instead of dividing people the way Donald Trump does, let’s reunite around policies that will bring jobs and opportunities to all these underserved poor communities.
So for example, I’m the only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country. Because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business, right, Tim? And we’re going to make it clear that we don’t want to forget those people. Those people labored in those mines for generations, losing their health, often losing their lives to turn on our lights and power our factories.
Now we’ve got to move away from coal and all the other fossil fuels, but I don’t want to move away from the people who did the best they could to produce the energy that we relied on.
So whether it’s coal country or Indian country or poor urban areas, there is a lot of poverty in America. We have gone backwards. We were moving in the right direction. In the ’90s more people were lifted out of poverty than any time in recent history. Because of the terrible economic policies of the Bush administration, President Obama was left with the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and people fell back into poverty because they lost jobs, they lost homes, they lost opportunities, and hope.
So I am passionate about this, which is why I have put forward specific plans about how we incentivize more jobs, more investment in poor communities, and put people to work.
“Today, while the nation suffers under the weight of $19 trillion in national debt, we in Indiana have a $2 billion surplus and the highest credit rating in the nation even though we’ve cut taxes every year since I became Governor. Today we have fewer state employees than when I took office and businesses, large and small, have created nearly 150,000 net new jobs, and we have more Hoosiers going to work than ever before.”
–GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence
THE FACT CHECKER | Since Pence became governor in January 2013, he has cut corporate tax and individual income tax, and repealed the inheritance tax earlier than scheduled. Indiana does have a $2 billion surplus, according to its budget. Indiana has the highest credit rating possible — triple-A — but it’s not the only state with that rating.
Pence has been criticized for cutting spending and building up the reserve while there are unmet budget needs across the state, local news reports show.
Pence mentioned roads during his speech. But he began improving the state’s roads only after an emergency repair of the Interstate 65 bridge led to a month-long traffic problem and caused a political liability, Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. Political ads attacked Pence for saving money in the state’s reserves at the expense of underfunding the state’s infrastructure.
Pence then proposed a plan to improve roads “that relied on borrowing, drawing down state reserves and accounting gimmicks to reach an advertised $1 billion sticker price,” the Star Tribune reported. “In the end, he got just a fraction of that after Indiana’s Republican-controlled Legislature balked. And much of the money set aside for local governments came from local taxes held in state reserves that were already supposed to be returned.”
Indiana has, indeed, added just fewer than 150,000 new jobs since 2013.
But we have repeatedly warned our readers to be skeptical when a state executive highlights employment trends during his or her tenure. There’s a lot happening within a state’s economy that affects state employment trends, which are not necessarily tied to the policy decisions of the governor — especially a governor who’s been in office for a year and half. Moreover, Indiana’s unemployment rate from January 2013 to May 2016 have mirrored national trends.
Are there more Hoosiers going to work under Pence than ever before?
There were about 3 million jobs in Indiana in May 2016, the largest number of people working in the state in at least the past three decades. But Indiana’s population has grown during that time as well. Our friends at PolitiFact rated this claim Half True. As a share of the state’s population, the percentage of Hoosiers going to work was higher in 2000 than in 2016, PolitiFact found.
Newt Gingrich, who has been sparring with the Clintons since he led the Republican-controlled House in the late 1990s, said Wednesday there was a man who could step outside of that political vortex and achieve results: Donald Trump.
What the Republican nominee will do, Gingrich promised in his prime-time address at the Republican National Convention, is tell the truth. And the truth is full of doom-and-gloom.
“We are at war,” Gingrich said.
“We are at war with radical Islamists.”
“They are determined to kill us.”
“They are stronger than we admit.”
“And there is no substitute for victory.”
Gingrich, who came close to being Trump’s running mate, said little about how the rea-estate mogul would achieve this desired victory, skating over the details involved in expanding the military and securing the borders. He said the simple willingness to tell the truth about what’s currently thwarting American interests sets him above the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Gingrich has proven himself willing to echo Trump’s harsh rhetoric about Muslims, though he said Wednesday that “we have nothing to fear from the vast majority of Muslims in the United States or around the world.” In the wake of the terrorist attack that left scores dead in Nice, France, he said American Muslims should be tested and those found to believe in Sharia law should be deported.
His rhetoric was more tempered on Wednesday, but his prediction no less grave for the country’s future.
“The worst case scenario is losing an American city to terrorists armed with weapons of mass destruction,” he said. “Instead of losing 3,000 people in one morning, we could lose more than 300,000.”
Gingrich also did clean-up work for Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), a former Trump rival who was booed off the stage earlier Wednesday when he declined to endorse the Republican nominee.
“Ted Cruz said you can vote your conscience for anyone who will uphold the Constitution,” Gingrich said. “In this election, there is only one candidate who will uphold the Constitution.”
As it became clear that Ted Cruz would not endorse his former rival, the crowd turned against him and began booing his speech to delegates on Wednesday night.
The Texas senator — who exchanged sharp insults with Donald Trump throughout the contentious primary race — did congratulate his erstwhile rival.
But as he wrapped up without formally embracing the GOP nominee, Trump made a surprise appearance in the arena, distracting from Cruz’s speech and seemingly riling up the crowd.
Trump, pulling slightly on his cufflinks and straightening his jacket, appeared at the top of the concrete steps near the back of the VIP box on the arena’s first level. He gazed out at the crowd. As some in the crowd began to notice him, they broke into a roar and others began to boo and jeer Cruz, yelling “Trump! Trump!”
Delegates who could not see Trump’s entrance seemed confused and became distracted from Cruz’s speech. Finally, Trump stepped into the light and began to move down the steps to take a seat for his son Eric’s speech.
Heidi Cruz, the senator’s wife, sat in the arena’s front row with the senator’s dad, Rafael.
Former Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli, a Cruz adviser who led the procedural revolt against Trump’s nomination, said he escorted Heidi from the arena after her husband’s speech because he was concerned for her safety. He said she only had one RNC staffer with her and no security personnel.
“I pulled her away so she could get out. People were closing in on her physically.”
“People in my own delegation started approaching her and yelling at her. Someone pointed at her and said Goldman Sachs.”
He said he was surprised by the reaction.
“I thought everybody would just let Cruz have his 15 minutes. It was intended as a courtesy, but they were just
Many delegates said they were disappointed by Cruz’s non-endorsement and the decision torpedoed his chances should he decide to run again for president.
“Ted Cruz just ensured that he’ll never get elected president of the United States. He’s not a team player,” said Kris Warner, an RNC member from West Virginia. “Donald Trump had earned this and Cruz was given the opportunity by the party and the Trump campaign to be here. People are furious over the fact that he didn’t do what he should have done.”
“I have a lot of respect for Ted Cruz,” said West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who is also a delegate. “But I’ve made the choice that I’m all-in to defeat Hillary Clinton and everyone should be all-in to defeat Hillary Clinton.”
“If you’re a real fighter, a real fighter can take a punch to the face, get up and congratulate the man who beat him in a fair fight. A sore loser is never appreciated,” said Eugene Delgaudio, a delegate from Sterling, Va.
Rep. Steve King of Iowa, one of Cruz’s leading supporters in the primaries, defended Cruz and criticized the mood of the crowd.
“I don’t think there was an expectation that Cruz would give a full-throated endorsement of Trump,” King said. “They were chanting Trump in the face of Cruz and then Donald came down and totally distracted from Cruz. The atmosphere that could’ve been created by a well-crafted speech was ruined.”
He added “I don’t think Iowans would have done that. There’s a mood in here that I don’t like…Their behavior makes it hard for me to support Donald Trump. They were completely disrespectful of Ted Cruz.”
Before the booing began, Cruz gave a sweeping speech laying out his vision for America: religious freedom for all, destroying the Islamic State, a government that gives rights back to the states.
He told people he wants them to go to the polls in November. He urged them to “stand and speak and vote your conscience.”
He did not endorse Trump. He only mentioned the Republican nominee’s name once. And the crowd was not happy.
Toward the end of the speech, the boos got louder, almost drowning out Cruz’s remarks in the arena. Trump then entered the arena, and the attention turned toward him.
The night was a huge one for Cruz, who was in a battle with Trump toward the end of the primary season. He once buddied up to Trump, but the relationship turned frosty earlier this year after Trump dubbed Cruz “Lyin’ Ted,” and turned things personal when he retweeted an unflattering photo of Cruz’s wife and alleged that Cruz’s Cuban-born father might have been involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
At first the crowd was rapt, as Cruz delivered a soaring speech that made it clear he is looking far past the November election.
“Whether Christian or Jew, Muslim or atheist, whether you are gay or straight, the Bill of Rights protects the rights of all of us to live according to our conscience,” he said.
Cruz urged people to vote, but told them to do so farther down the ticket.
“Stand and speak and vote your conscience. Vote … up and down the ticket,” he said.
At that point, the New York delegation started booing. Cruz, who derided Trump’s “New York values,” got in a dig.
“I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation,” he said.
A Cecilia Cdebaca, delegate from New Mexico, 63, was shocked Cruz didn’t back Trump.
“I can’t believe he didn’t endorse Trump. I can’t believe he didn’t endorse him because he claims to be a Christian and maybe Donald Trump was right. Maybe he is Lyin’ Ted,” she said. “Maybe he picks the Bible up and maybe he puts it down and then he lies, because any Christian would forgive because the Bible says you know them by their fruits.”
“Tonight, Ted Cruz has no fruits. Tonight, he was not a Christian man.”
Alisa Timm, an RNC guest from Arizona, said “it’s not okay” that Cruz did not back Trump.
“We are one party and if he is supportive of the American people, the Republican Party and its principles, he should have endorsed Trump,” she said. ”
“If he is in it for his own gain, then he wouldn’t support Trump. I’m terribly disappointed because Ted Cruz had a tremendous influence. I think he blew it — and he blew it for my future vote for him.”
“It’s very disappointing. He wasn’t Reaganesque. As hard as it was in ’76 to endorse [Gerald] Ford after he beat Reagan, Reagan gave his speech at the convention and endorsed Ford and united the party,” said Jonathan Barnett, an RNC member from Arkansas.
“Ted had that opportunity tonight and he didn’t do it. And because he didn’t unite the party and bring people together, I think he’s finished. I think he could never win a national office again. It showed that he’s pretty
Robert Costa contributed.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told Republicans on Wednesday night that Hillary Clinton cannot become president because “America deserves better,” a line he repeated again and again with help from the audience.
And the better option is Donald Trump, Walker said, even though he has fought for months to derail Trump’s campaign.
“The well-connected in Washington are lining up behind Hillary Clinton, because she is one of them. They want more of the same,” Walker said. “Donald Trump is standing with the American people.”
Walker was the first of three of Trump’s former GOP rivals to speak at the convention on Wednesday evening, and Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Ted Cruz (Tex.) were scheduled next.
When Walker dropped out of the race in September, he urged other candidates to do the same “so the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current front-runner,” which at that point was Trump. Walker endorsed Cruz ahead of Wisconsin’s Republican primary, and Republicans in his state helped further the #NeverTrump movement. Cruz won the state, temporarily fueling his chances of beating Trump.
Walker’s strongest applause came when he made jokes at Clinton’s expense, saying that “if she were any more on the inside, she’d be in prison” and that he wouldn’t trust Clinton with his iPhone password, let alone sensitive information.
Walker also talked about his experience in Wisconsin, resurrecting several of the prominent talking points from his short-lived presidential campaign and telling the crowd about how he took on and beat public-sector unions in 2010.
“If conservative reforms can work in a blue state like mine, they can work anywhere in the country,” Walker said, reciting one of his most used lines. “You see… it wasn’t too late for Wisconsin, and it’s not too late for America.”
Walker ended his speech with a spirited back and forth with the audience, asking them why they should vote for Trump.
“Why?” he asked.
“Because America deserves better!” the crowd responded in unison.
“Why?” he asked one more time.
“Because America deserves better!” they replied.
Pastor Darrell Scott is a true orator.
Scott delivered a rousing and enthusiastic speech to delegates on the third night of the Republican convention.
Scott portrayed Republican nominee Donald Trump as a presidential candidate in the mold of the Founding Fathers, quoting from both the Declaration of Independence and the presidential Oath of Office in only a few short minutes.
Scott argued there is no one better to help heal deep fissures in the American populace than Trump.
Trump is the first politician Scott has ever endorsed. And some see his support as proof that Trump is accepting of minorities, including African Americans, despite some questionable rhetoric and tweets that seemed to support white supremacist groups.
“America is a melting pot, we’re a country of diversity: and we stand poised to make history: by standing together as Americans, by standing together as one country,” Scott said. “One nation under God, indivisible. We are here as Americans regardless of race, creed, or color.”
“If conservative reforms can work in a blue state like mine, they can work anywhere in the country.”
–Wisconsin governor Scott Walker
THE FACT CHECKER | This was one of Walker’s favorite line when he was running for president. But we’ve awarded him Two Pinocchios, as it stretches the truth.
While Walker says he fought and won in a blue state, it’s difficult to definitively call Wisconsin a blue state. Color-coding states as such often relies on the state’s record electing presidents. Using that measure, Walker was elected in a state that voted for a Democratic president in both 2008 and 2012, before and after he became governor. But the state leans bluer in presidential years and was not as reliably blue in the elections that Walker won.
By other measures — state legislature, the governor, congressional delegates and U.S. senators — Wisconsin’s hue is a mix of blue and red. In definitively calling Wisconsin a blue state (apparently based on its choice for president), touting his victories in said blue state (even though he didn’t face the presidential voters in those three elections) and then extrapolating his electability on the national level — Walker makes a leap in boasting his record.
An oil billionaire supporting Donald Trump — and reportedly being considered as a possible Cabinet member if the Republican wins in November — evoked the specter of terrorism Wednesday night, painting his preferred energy policies as “a matter of national security.”
“Every time we can’t drill a well in America, terrorism is being funded,” Harold G. Hamm, the Oklahoma oil billionaire and chief executive of Continental Resource, said during his remarks. “Orlando brought this home once again.”
Hamm did not elaborate beyond that on what he viewed as the connection between oil drilling and the shooting rampage in Orlando, which authorities called an act of terror, though they are still seeking to determine what motivated that gunman. He said that growing the oil supply in America is a national security matter before shifting from terrorism to a discussion of his own background and how he went out at age 20 and wound up being worth an estimated $11.9 billion, according to Forbes.
[Read more about how Trump won over Hamm]
During his remarks, Hamm assailed President Obama on everything from his stance on oil drilling to his actions toward Iran and Israel.
According to a Reuters report published before he spoke, Hamm is being considered by the Trump campaign as a possible candidate for energy secretary.
“President Trump will fuel America’s future and become the first president to achieve American energy independence,” Hamm said.
The rapport between Trump and Hamm had an unlikely beginning. The two men had crossed paths over the years, but first got to know each other in late 2012, Hamm recalled in an interview in Cleveland this week.
Hamm was in New York on business and, at Trump’s urging, dropped by Trump Tower to say hello. Over the course of half an hour, the real estate developer quizzed Hamm on oil drilling techniques and energy policy, taking notes as he spoke. Trump even floated the idea that he might run for higher office. Then he observed that Hamm was not wearing a tie.
“You know about Trump ties?” Trump asked, as Hamm recalled. “Did you know they are a best-seller? You ought to have a sample or two.”
Trump took Hamm down to the gift shop in the lobby of Trump Tower, where a rainbow of ties were arrayed in a display. The developer started pulling out ties and handing them to Hamm. “You like red?” he asked. “You like blue? You like yellow?”
Hamm went back to Oklahoma City with a collection of Trump ties. And in early 2014, when he was set to be photographed for a Forbes magazine cover story, he happened to put one on.
A few days later, a package arrived from Trump. Inside were more ties and a note on his personal stationery:
“Dear Harold: Your tie looked great on the cover of Forbes, and the story was even better. You are amazing!
With Best Wishes,
Donald J. Trump
P.S. I am enclosing some more ties for you.”
This April, Hamm endorsed the real estate tycoon’s presidential bid and called him the “business leader’s candidate.” He now serves as one of Trump’s unofficial energy advisers, appearing with him at a policy address in North Dakota, where Trump dubbed him “the king of energy.”
Hamm, who was an energy adviser to 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, said he actually speaks with Trump more frequently than he did with Romney.
“What we talked about, a lot of that has come true over the past four years,” Hamm said. “And so I think he has a great deal of confidence in what I tell him.”
He said he was surprised when Trump asked him to speak at the convention, but “if I could help, I wanted to,” Hamm said.
One speech Wednesday at the Republican National Convention stood apart from the others, not because of its message, but because of the language in which a small portion of it was delivered: Spanish.
Ralph Alvarado Jr., a Hispanic physician serving in the Kentucky state Senate, ended his remarks with a Spanish-language call to his “Hispanic brothers.” He said their families had fled from countries marked by corruption and replete with lying politicians.
“Please don’t let that misery occur in this country too,” he said. “Vote with me. Vote Republican. And vote for Donald Trump.”
The child of immigrants from Costa Rica and Argentina, Alvarado cast Donald Trump — not Hillary Clinton — as the most capable steward of the American dream.
“Over the past eight years, our president and his apprentice, Hillary Clinton, have talked about that American dream, but they have absolutely no idea how to protect it, foster it, or expand it,” he said. “Today, we have a President who has not only failed to end racial tension, he has made us more divided than ever.”
Alvarado made an impassioned case that the interests of Hispanics align with Trump’s vision for the country, but the real estate mogul remains deeply unpopular among these voters. A staggering 89 percent said they had an unfavorable view of him in a June Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Michelle Van Etten didn’t mention Donald Trump until her very last sentence.
Instead, she focused on her own entrepreneurial spirit, which consisted mostly of circus- meaning, actual circuses —and her fear that the American Dream will become obsolete under Democratic leadership.
Van Etten is a marketing director at independent retailer, Youngevity, which sells health supplements.
Her speech concentrated mainly on the perceived evils of Common Core and the importance of small business.
“We need a president who is businessman not a Hillary-crat,” Van Etten said. “That man is Donald Trump.”
The Washington Post’s Snapchat took to the floor of the Q to find out what it’s like to watch the speeches with a delegation. They’ve got a slightly different view from what viewers at home are seeing.
When you hang with a delegation you get to see some fantastic clothes and accessories. They’re not exactly shy about showing their support in what they wear to the night’s events.
What brought these Californians here? Here’s what some of them said about why they’re supporting Trump.
And of course, they’re there to see the speeches and be part of the action. Here’s what things look like from their perspective.
Follow @washingtonpost on Snapchat for more from the RNC tonight and tomorrow.
In a convention that has been remarkably filled with doom, gloom and anger, a pioneer who had flown a space shuttle stepped to the stage to offer a rare dose of optimism.
Eileen Collins, a retired astronaut who was the first woman to pilot a space shuttle and then the first woman to command a space shuttle mission, evoked her past in calling for the country to remain one dedicated to discovery and innovation.
“We are a nation of explorers,” Collins said. “We know that exploration leads to invention, innovation and discovery.”
Collins’s remarks stood out at a convention that has often devolved into pessimistic predictions about a nation on the brink between lawlessness and order. She did not speak at length about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. There were no mock-trials and no calls about locking Clinton in prison, no animated shouting about law enforcement, no bromides against the media.
Instead, she painted a picture of America as a nation that must step into the unknown, one that she said must “fulfill a leadership challenge” in again reaching for the stars. She referred to Trump’s slogan by saying the nation needs leadership that “will make America’s space program first again,” something she said was needed to push the next people who would follow her beyond our world.
Collins discussed “our country’s heritage of explorers,” and called for leadership that she said would “inspire the next generation of explorers to have that passion.”
Noting that it had been five years since the final American space shuttle flight, she said: “We must do better than that. Countries that are strong are countries that explore, invent and discover.”
As Florida’s top law enforcement officer talked about why she thinks Hillary Clinton should not be president, a chant started in Quicken Loans Arena.
“Lock her up. I love that,” Bondi said during a speech to delegates on the third night of the GOP convention.
The phrase has become the theme of Donald Trump’s Republican convention, with a growing number of Republicans calling for Clinton to go to prison, presumably over her treatment of her emails as secretary of state. Bondi, who said she has dedicated her entire career “to the rule of law,” appeared to join them on Wednesday night.
Trump’s charitable foundation donated $25,0000 to a political committee backing Bondi. Trump’s campaign later said the donation was a mistake
Her speech came the night after Gov. Chris Christie, a former U.S. attorney, turned the convention stage into a courtroom of sorts, rhetorically trying Clinton over her private email server.
Bondi said Clinton shouldn’t be allowed to have security clearance.
“How do you become president of the united states when you have no security clearance?” Bondi asked.
Maryland’s convention delegation took its turn standing for a group photo at Progressive Field in an exercise that sounded easy on paper but ended up as a logistical challenge.
At least one Trump delegate, JoeyLynn Hough, was delayed as police rushed to stop a flag-burning protest near the Quicken Loans Arena.
Hough, who was standing near the agitators at the time, said security personnel temporarily barred access to the convention perimeter because of the incident, which resulted in about a dozen arrests.
“I was impressed with the police presence and how organized they were,” she said, explaining how officers on foot, on bikes and on horseback moved in formation to surround the protesters.
Beyond that commotion, Maryland’s Republican Party officials had to corral the delegation’s 73 members into the appropriate spots at the right time for what felt like a glorified class photo.
The group gathered at about 6 p.m. in a concourse along the third-base line, waiting to be called for their turn standing for a shoot in the premium “Diamond Box” seats located closest to the field.
They looked like a motley bunch compared to the North Carolina group that preceded them, wearing seersucker suits in an apparent show of solidarity and Southern flare.
Eventually, the Maryland delegation marched down the steps to wait in one section of the Diamond Box, at which time they had to be separated into delegates, alternates, national committee members and convention guests.
As the North Carolinians wrapped up, Maryland Republican Party executive director Joe Cluster yelled for everyone in his crowd to sit down.
Seconds later, an organizer from the photography team ordered the members to stand up and walk to the section where they would be photographed, eliciting laughs — and a smile from Cluster.
After all that waiting, shuffling and organizing in the hot sun, the shoot itself lasted just a few seconds, and the convention delegation quickly dispersed.
Real-estate moguls are the new Republican patriots.
Phil Ruffin, a Las Vegas casino magnate and long-time friend of Donald Trump, spent a few minutes Wednesday night ad-libbing praises for his good pal, calling Trump a “fighter and an innovator.”
It was the equivalent of an “I knew him when,” speech.
In their 20 years of working together, even recession woes and piles of debt couldn’t keep Trump from economic success, Ruffin said.
A few months after Trump announced his candidacy last summer, Ruffin donated $1 million to the Make America Great Again super PAC before it was shut down amid controversy.
Trump’s inclusion of close friends and family on the convention stage throughout the week forces the audience, and voters, to get comfortable seeing Trump insiders intertwined in political matters.
Ruffin confessed he was hesitant when Trump first admitted his desire to run for president, but he quickly got on board.
“A tsunami is coming,” Ruffin said, “and it’s name is Donald Trump.”
While the convention continued Wednesday, the Cleveland police said they had arrested 18 people participating in demonstrations outside the venue earlier in the day.
On Wednesday afternoon, tensions had erupted near the Quicken Loans Arena as protesters sought to burn an American flag outside the delegates’ entrance. An eyewitness said the group had linked arms to shield the flag as it singed.
Police swarmed the area — some on horseback, others on bikes — and began to push back the crowds of people in the area, many of them journalists.
Police in Cleveland also chided reporters covering the scene, saying that the “massive media presence” was “making it difficult for law enforcement officers to police demonstrations. According to police officials, all of the 18 people arrested on Wednesday — more than triple the total number of people arrested until that point — were involved in demonstrations.
(While the police had initially said 17 people were arrested, they later said 18 people were arrested.)
Police said the people arrested face charges including felonious assault on police officer, failure to disperse and resisting arrest. Two officers were punched and pushed, police said, suffering minor injuries.
After the incident, a member of the Revolutionary Communists — a small, far-left political group that has been active in protests against how police use force and one of the more visible groups protesting during the convention — said the flag burning was prepared in advance.
“This was a planned action,” said Carl Dix, the group’s founder. “A flag was burned, and then the police descended on people, some people were arrested.”
“We took this action because that flag has flown over horrific crimes of this empire,” Dix said.
Wesley Lowery and Louisa Loveluck contributed to this report.
Don King may not have been allowed to address the Republican National Convention, but the legendary boxing promoter showed up anyhow – for the second day in a row.
And he had a lot to say.
“Reince Priebus said we don’t let convicts speak in the Republican Party,” King said in an interview on the convention floor here Wednesday night. “Beware the bridge band gifts! Go to the scripture.”
King is waging open rebellion against Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman, who nixed presidential nominee Donald Trump’s idea of having King take the convention stage because he has been convicted of manslaughter, among other politically incorrect sins.
“The man asked me. I didn’t ask to speak. Donald Trump called and asked me, ‘Could I speak?’” King said. “And when I got here, Priebus say he don’t let ex-convicts speak. What the hell is that?”
King unfolded a newspaper ad showing photos of himself with several Republican luminaries: former president George W. Bush, statesman Henry Kissinger and Trump.
“What is the Republican Party going through? This ain’t the one I know from Frederick Douglass. It’s horrible, man,” said King, who is black.
“It ain’t going to turn me against Trump,” he continued. “What they’re doing is diabolically going against Trump because they can’t control Trump and they don’t want the Double-D going out there because it’ll be dynamite.”
By “the double-D,” King presumably meant Donald and Don, though he did not specify. He did, however, offer a taste of what he would have said had he been permitted to address convention delegates.
“I would say, ‘Donald Trump is the man with the plan to make America great again, to be able to bring people together, not push them around.’ This, ‘Oh, he’s polarizing.’ No! He’s exposing. He ain’t polarizing! We’re already polarized to the bone.”
Laura Ingraham, the conservative talk show host, used her prime-time address at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday to urge former primary rivals of Donald Trump to throw their weight behind the nominee.
Halfway through a long, rambling warning that “respect” no longer characterized American life, Ingraham spoke to “all you boys with wounded feelings and bruised egos,” saying “we love you, we love, but you must honor your pledge to support Donald Trump. Tonight. Tonight.”
As cheers rang out, she continued: “I hope they’re listening to you.”
Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker are scheduled to following Ingraham in the Wednesday night program, which is organized around the theme, “Make America First Again.”
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) was spotted listening to the third night of speeches in Cleveland. She is not speaking, however, after endorsing Texas Sen.Ted Cruz earlier in the year.
No hard feelings, it seems.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday that Donald Trump will “face the truth” as president and “wipe ISIS off the face of the earth.”
Scott opened his speech by thanking his fellow Republicans for praying for his state following the “horrific and hate-filled terrorist attack in Orlando” last month that claimed the lives of 49 people at a gay club. Scott said that it should not take any more tragedies for the country to start to aggressively confront terrorism.
“I am old enough to remember when terrorism was something that happened in foreign countries,” Scott said. “Not today. How many more times does the evil of radical Islamic terrorism have to occur before the president of the United States will muster the courage to face the truth?”
Later he added: “The war is real. It is here in America. And the next president must destroy this evil. Donald Trump is the man for that job.”
The crowd then started chanting: “Trump! Trump! Trump!”
While many prominent Republicans have endorsed Trump by saying that he’s, essentially, the better option than Hillary Clinton, Scott praised and promoted Trump himself. Scott first met Trump about 20 years ago and endorsed him after he won the Republican primary in Florida. Scott said this is the election when voters can “fire the politicians.”
“This election is not actually about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. In fact, this election is not about you or me, either,” Scott said.”This election is about the very survival of the American Dream.”
What makes Jerry Falwell Jr. — son of the late televangelist and president of Liberty University, an evangelical school in Virginia where the student conduct code says hand-holding is “the only appropriate form of personal contact” — support a twice-divorced casino owner who has made an array of public comments about his sex life?
Falwell says it’s because other concerns — terrorism, for one thing — have supplanted social issues for him and other conservative Christians this time around.
“If you look at the polls of evangelicals, in years past, in past elections, the issues that they thought were most important were the social issues,” Falwell, who will speak tonight, told The Post on Wednesday.
“Now with all the turmoil in the world, when you look at the list of what evangelicals think is important, there’s no difference between them and other conservatives and even blue-collar Democrats,” he continued. “The social issues come at the bottom of the list after saving our country. After securing our borders. After stopping terrorism. After … getting the debt under control and saving our economy.”
Head here for more about why Falwell says he’s backing Donald Trump.
The Republican National Convention will kick off its third night at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland with the theme “Make America First Again.”
Starting at 7 p.m., speakers will stress how important it is for the United States to set an international example, no doubt a nod to one of Republican nominee Donald Trump’s favorite lines, “We don’t win anymore.”
Here’s a brief review of what to expect from some of the headliners at tonight’s session.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott
After endorsing Trump in March, many thought Scott a contender for the vice presidency. The first-term governor called for the Republican Party to unify behind a Trump candidacy the day after he defeated Sen. Marco Rubio in the Florida primary.
Florida has yet again played a large role in how the Republican race shook out, with voters eventually passing on both Rubio and former Florida governor Jeb Bush in favor of Trump.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
As per usual, the speaker list is flooded with former presidential candidates. Just three months after announcing his candidacy in mid-July, Walker suspended his campaign citing concerns about the crowded field.
Though relatively quiet since his withdrawal from the presidential race, Walker is expected to embrace the idea of a Trump presidency tonight, no doubt inspiring more conjecture as to the possibility of Walker taking on a Trump cabinet position.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio
Florida, Florida and more Florida. Though Rubio won’t be at the convention in person, his virtual presence could go a long way toward placating those within the Republican Party still on the fence about supporting Donald Trump.
After Rubio suspended his presidential campaign in March, he seemed dejected and genuinely concerned about what a Trump-led America would look like. It seems he’s come around.
Speaking at the convention will also probably give Rubio a platform to resurrect his senatorial campaign.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz
Despite the heaps of hate and vitriol thrown back and forth between Trump and Cruz during the Republican primaries, the Texas senator will make an appearance on the arena stage tonight.
Up until a few months ago, the two men constantly berated each other to the media and on Twitter, engaging in countless personal attacks.
Cruz has yet to officially endorse Trump as the Republican nominee, but his scheduled speech tonight will likely put all speculation to rest. Unless, of course, Trump decides to bring back the nickname “Lyin’ Ted.”
The Trump family convention continues, tonight starring Donald’s second son. Look for Eric to build on last night’s remarks from Tiffany and Don Jr., painting his father as a family man, beholden to traditional American values.
Newt and Callista Gingrich
Former speaker of the House and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was a staple on Capitol Hill for decades. Trump seriously considered Gingrich as a potential running mate before ultimately choosing Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
Callista Gingrich, president of multimedia company Gingrich Productions, will join her husband on stage.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence
Rounding out Wednesday’s big-name speakers is Trump’s vice presidential pick Mike Pence, a social conservative chosen to try and shore up the conservative wing of the party.
Trump announced Pence as his running mate on Twitter on Friday morning, canceling his planned news conference hours later when news broke of the Bastille Day terror attack in Nice, France.
Since then, any doubts or cold feet about the decision seem to have subsided.
When PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel takes the stage at the Quicken Loans Arena Thursday night, he will make history: for the first time, a speaker at a Republican national convention will announce that he is proud to be gay, according to a person familiar with his remarks.
Thiel, who supports gay marriage, plans to say that while he does not agree with all the policies in the official GOP platform, he believes fighting over cultural issues such as so-called “bathroom bills” is a distraction from more important matters.
Thiel intends to make the case that the most paramount challenges facing the country center on the economy and foreign entanglements. He strongly opposes an expansionist military policy and plans to say that he agrees with Trump that the United States should avoid unnecessary wars.
The billionaire libertarian will be the first openly gay speaker at a GOP convention since 2000, when then-Rep. Jim Kolbe of Arizona addressed the gathering in Philadelphia, where George W. Bush was nominated for the first time. Kolbe steered clear of talking about his sexuality, however, giving brief remarks about trade. Even so, some of the delegates from Bush’s home state of Texas stood up and bowed their heads in prayer while he spoke.
Thiel’s decision to run to be a delegate for Trump in California sent ripples through Silicon Valley, where he is a prominent investor and a board member of Facebook. When he got the invitation last week to be an official speaker at the convention, Thiel decided it would be a good opportunity to explain why he is backing the real estate mogul, according to a person familiar with his thinking.
So far, his support for Trump has not translated into contributions to his campaign or an allied super PAC. As of now, he has no plans to make such donations, according to the person familiar with his thinking.
Tensions flared near the Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday as protesters attempted to burn an American flag outside the delegates’ entrance.
An eyewitness said the group had linked arms to shield the flag as it singed.
Moments later, police swarmed the area – some on bikes, others on horseback. The commotion intensified when police started pushing back the bank of bystanders – many of them journalists – even as people carrying large signs condemning sinners and homosexuals arrived behind them, screaming insults at the protesters.
Police appeared to make at least five arrests – a number which would double the week’s total.
The Revolutionary Communists are a small, far-left political group that has been active in protests against police brutality and has been one of the more visible groups protesting during the Republican convention.
“This was a planned action,” said Carl Dix, the group’s founder. “A flag was burned, and then the police descended on people, some people were arrested.”
“We took this action because that flag has flown over horrific crimes of this empire,” Dix said.
Wesley Lowery contributed to this report.
By midnight, Donald Trump’s campaign must file its latest campaign finance report with the Federal Election Commission, a document that will detail the money it raised and spent in the month of June. The filing, which will land sometime during the third night of the Republican National Convention festivities, should answer a few big questions.
1) Did Trump indeed forgive the nearly $50 million that he lent his campaign?
His campaign announced in late June that he had forgiven his loans to his campaign and converted the money into contributions, a bid to reassure donors that their funds would not be used to pay Trump back. The campaign has yet to file paperwork confirming that the loans have been extinguished, but officials said it would be reflected in tonight’s filing.
2) How much money did he raise directly for his campaign, and how much is from small donors who can be tapped to give again and again?
Trump’s campaign had its best fundraising month ever in June, raising more than $52 million in conjunction with the Republican National Committee. But 30 percent of that money came from mega-donors, whose money largely goes to the party committee. While their contributions help fill the RNC’s coffers, some of the money is earmarked for legal and convention accounts and cannot be used for direct political activity.
What we’re still waiting to see: exactly how much Trump raised directly for his campaign, both through the Donald J. Trump for President committee and two joint fundraising committees set up with the RNC. By our calculations, he will report roughly $26 million in contributions from supporters and another $3.8 million that he gave the campaign.