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Republican National Convention: Day 4 updates

July 22, 2016
The convention draws to a close, with the Trump and Pence families on stage. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

The convention draws to a close, with the Trump and Pence families on stage. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination tonight. Get all the latest from Cleveland.

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  • Peter W. Stevenson
  • ·
  • Ed O'Keefe
  • ·

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.

  • Emily Chow
  • ·

We have captured some of the most notable quotes and moments from tonight. React to some key statements with 😍, 💯, 👏🏼 or 😠.

  • Terri Rupar
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They just have to officially close the convention now.

  • Phoebe Connelly
  • ·
(Dalton Bennett)

(Dalton Bennett)

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.

  • Mark Berman
  • ·

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.

Head to Post Nation to read more.

  • Michelle Ye Hee Lee
  • ·

“My opponent dismissed the VA scandal – one more sign of how out of touch she really is.”

–Donald Trump

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.

  • Michelle Ye Hee Lee
  • ·

“Forty-three million Americans are on food stamps.”
–Donald Trump

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.

  • Glenn Kessler
  • ·

“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.

  • Glenn Kessler
  • ·

“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.

  • Glenn Kessler
  • ·

“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.

  • Rachel Van Dongen
  • ·

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.

  • Glenn Kessler
  • ·

“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].”

  • Glenn Kessler
  • ·

“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.

  • David Weigel
  • ·

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.

  • Rachel Van Dongen
  • ·

Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the activist group Code Pink demonstrates during Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s speech on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention Republican National Convention. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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.

  • Michelle Ye Hee Lee
  • ·

“Decades of record immigration have produced lower wages and higher unemployment for our citizens, especially for African-American and Latino workers.”

–Donald Trump

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. 

  • Michelle Ye Hee Lee
  • ·

“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.”

–Donald Trump

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.)

  • Michelle Ye Hee Lee
  • ·

“Only weeks ago, in Orlando, Florida, 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist. This time, the terrorist targeted our LGBTQ community.”

–Donald Trump

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.

  • Ed O'Keefe
  • ·

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.”

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