GOP Convention Live Blog: On Day 2, Republicans Focus on Clinton Over Planned Theme of Job Creation
8:03 p.m. PDT: That concludes Day 2 of the Republican National Convention. The biggest takeaway? Tonight’s planned theme, “Make America Work Again,” was shoved aside in favor of repeated attacks on Hillary Clinton. A few speakers managed to stray from this repetitive assault and address job security and the economy. Chris Christie, however, was the star of the night as he held a mock trial of Clinton, riling up the otherwise subdued crowd:
.@ChrisChristie presents facts against @HillaryClinton as crowd yells, “Lock her up!” https://t.co/QsiXOKMt8X https://t.co/NomhWHedP7
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 20, 2016
The man of the hour, Donald Trump, only appeared briefly via satellite video. Watch his full remarks below:
GOP nominee Donald Trump addresses #RNCinCLE via satellite, thanking the crowd for the nomination. https://t.co/SNcn8fwMk4
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) July 20, 2016
7:46 p.m. PDT: Truthdig’s Bill Boyarsky analyzes the Trump children:
Any parent wants their their kids to say something nice about them. Donald Trump is a lucky man. Donald Trump Jr. made the case for his father at the Republican National Convention. He painted a nice picture of Dad, putting him and his siblings to work at blue-collar jobs on the family’s construction sites. We learned from people who have Ph.D.s in common sense. But here we are, long into tonight’s session, and we don’t have much of an idea about what the newly nominated Trump will do. How, returning to the night’s theme, will he put America back to work? I was intrigued by the appearance of a reluctant Trump supporter, House Speaker Paul Ryan. He was a team man tonight, not specific, not critical of his nominee. Remember the Ryan plan, which will have great influence in a Trump presidency? Down with Social Security, Obamacare and the rest of a safety net that has already become too thin. These are the matters we should discuss in the months ahead.
7:41 p.m. PDT: And now, Dr. Ben Carson takes the stage. Any bad blood between the former GOP candidate and Donald Trump must have disappeared somehow. He explains how conservatives supporting Clinton must not be using “their God-given brain,” an interesting phrase coming from a neurologist.
He then notes how Clinton apparently admires Saul Alinsky — the late founder of modern community organizing — which leads to a loud series of boos from the audience. Carson focuses on the importance of God in this country, criticizing Alinsky for a quote Alinsky attributed to Lucifer. Carson’s argument seems like a bit of a stretch, but at this point so many aspects of Clinton have already been criticized that it’s probably hard to come up with new material.
Carson wraps up his speech by calling Trump “the right leader for a time such as this.”
7:26 p.m. PDT: Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, another Trump supporter, discusses how coal mining is a major job creator for many states (including her own) and how the coal industry shouldn’t be bankrupted. She then goes on to — you guessed it — attack Clinton’s emails, past policies and future goals.
7:14 p.m. PDT: Donald Trump Jr. walks onstage (to arguably the most impressive entrance music yet). He too explains that when people place limitations on his father, Trump only pushes harder. For example, Trump Jr. notes, his father started as a boy in Queens with a dream and then “changed the New York skyline.” Trump Jr. leaves out any mention of the million-dollar loan that Trump Sr. received from his own father.
To his credit, Trump Jr. actually sticks to the scheduled theme of the night, noting that Trump Sr. listened to and valued the opinions of the construction workers. Trump apparently loved “blue-collar” workers, putting his children under their tutelage. “We learned from people who had doctorates in common sense,” Trump Jr. says, adding that he and his siblings are comfortable with construction equipment because of it.
Trump Jr. also spends time on the country’s education system, arguing that parents should be able to choose where their kids go to school:
At #RNCinCLE, @DonaldJTrumpJr explains why other countries do K-12 so much better https://t.co/5arpIVK4of https://t.co/gU5nHpcT7k
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 20, 2016
Trump Jr. then criticizes the “new aristocrat” class, echoing the themes of economic inequality central to Bernie Sanders’ campaign. He even attacks “crony elites” and notes that his father will pass a tax code that won’t leave loopholes for the wealthiest Americans.
But don’t worry — at the end of his speech, Trump Jr. finally came around to the unofficial theme of the night, saying that Hillary Clinton “is a risk Americans can’t afford to take.” In the final minutes of his speech, he tallies up all of the ways that his father will be the perfect president, and the crowd goes wild.
7:01 p.m. PDT: Continuing the theme of “successful women close to Trump,” the manager of Trump Vineyards, Kerry Woolard, gives a brief speech. She too notes how Trump has encouraged and facilitated her success.
6:58 p.m. PDT: Tiffany Trump, who “graduated college a couple months ago,” gives her speech. She explains how she loves to introduce friends who have “preconceived notions” to her father, because they realize how “real” he is.“I have admired my father for all of my life, and I love him with all my heart,” she notes at the end of her sweet (yet predictable) speech. “God bless you.”
6:52 p.m. PDT: Christie, wrapping up, argues that “the facts of [Clinton’s] life and career disqualify her” from being president. “I can tell that everybody in this hall agrees with this,” he says, so he turns his attention to the viewers, explaining that Trump is the only choice moving forward.
6:42 p.m. PDT: Following a mild speech by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appears, saying, “Let’s do something fun tonight!” before going on to present a case against Hillary Clinton. He’s forced to pause as the crowd chants, “Lock her up!”
The audience is functioning as the “jury” in this scenario, all thoughts of juror selection bias apparently thrown aside.
“Once again, we need to ask … is Hillary Clinton guilty or not guilty?” he says into the microphone. The crowd, finally waking up, chants back, “Guilty!”
Online, however, people are pointing out the flaws of Christie’s case:
The Obama/Clinton team did not start #BringBackOurGirls. It was started by Nigerians. Christie is lying. #RNCinCLE
— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) July 20, 2016
Hey @ChrisChristie … if we’re getting a verdict on @HillaryClinton how about Bush/Cheney torture & war crimes? #RNCinCLE @realDonaldTrump
— Col. Morris Davis (@ColMorrisDavis) July 20, 2016
We’re about to get the facts from @ChrisChristie , acc. to him. So, we’re gonna really hear about his role in #Bridgegate ?? #RNCinCLE
— The Advocate (@TheAdvocateMag) July 20, 2016
6:32 p.m. PDT: Paul Ryan, a much-anticipated speaker, takes the stage. Unlike most of those who appeared before him, he only spends small portions of his speech tearing down Hillary. Instead, he focuses on the problems facing the country and how Republican ideals can solve them. He also notes, somewhat painfully, “I have good news: 112 days until it is all over.”
The main theme of his speech? Party unity:
So many things that we stand for hang in the balance of this coming election … In the plainest terms I know, it is all on the line. So let’s act that way. Let’s act that way … this year of surprises and dramatic turns can end in the finest possible way.
The end of his speech, a straightforward plea for party unification, garners the loudest cheers yet from an otherwise subdued audience:
.@SpeakerRyan gets the #RNCinCLE crowd on their feet as he calls for unity of the party. https://t.co/F2BYuNuzUN
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) July 20, 2016
People on Twitter, however, saw right through Ryan’s words:
.@PRyan apparently without irony, decries “the other party…always playing one group against the other” #RNCinCLE
— Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff) July 20, 2016
.@SpeakerRyan ‘Aren’t we supposed to see beyond class and ethnicity?’ That’s kinda easy for a rich straight white man to say #RNCinCLE
— The Advocate (@TheAdvocateMag) July 20, 2016
.@SpeakerRyan‘s “better way” health care “plan” would mean millions lose coverage. https://t.co/F6sroRUPCx #RNCinCLE pic.twitter.com/WGAt5Xwcgd
— Planned Parenthood (@PPact) July 20, 2016
6:21 p.m. PDT: Truthdig’s Bill Boyarsky on Trump’s brief appearance:
I didn’t think Donald Trump read The New York Times op-ed page. But as I listened to him speak, from Trump Tower to the Republican National Convention, I thought he must have read David Brooks this morning. Brooks did a speech coach analysis of Trump’s speaking style. He nailed him as an ADD kind of guy who can’t speak in long sentences or follow a straight-line train of thought. That was correct, but it is what has made Trump so popular. Tonight, in his remarks to the convention, he spoke briefly and clearly, and his talk followed a straight line. He said he was going to bring “real change and leadership back to Washington.” As I listened, I thought, “How sad.” What tedious words. Trump defanged. Is this what we’re going to hear during the rest of the campaign? I doubt it. America will get a full dose of the real Donald Trump before it’s over.
6:15 p.m. PDT: House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell starts his speech by touching on some serious issues, like economic inequality and American job insecurity. But he quickly resumes the anti-Hillary narrative. He also breaks down what the Republican-held Senate has achieved thus far, and how a Clinton presidency would undermine this work. “If Hillary Clinton is our president, nothing will change. … Let’s keep the Senate.”
It’s unfortunate that a night that was supposed to be focused on one of the most serious issues facing the country — lack of jobs — the Republican Party has decided to focus its energy on tearing down Hillary. While negativity toward the opposing candidate is always to be expected, the lack of concrete propositions is disheartening.
6:09 p.m. PDT: Trump himself appears via video to remind everyone, “by the way,” that he will make America great again. Also part of his plan? Rebuilding the economy, destroying ISIS “and just so many other things.”
6:04 p.m. PDT: It wouldn’t be a Donald Trump rally — er, Republican convention — without the presence of at least one golfer. Natalie Gulbis, a professional golfer, talks about the challenges she faces as a woman in sports. It seems that Trump’s campaign is determined to put women on the stage tonight in response to some recent polling numbers.
5:58 p.m. PDT: An hour in and the evening’s theme, “Make America Work Again,” seems to have been completely abandoned. Even Chris Cox, executive director of NRA-LA, spends most of his speech discussing Hillary Clinton. “For the past 30 years, she hasn’t taken a walk, a nap or a bathroom break without a good guy with a gun nearby.”
This about sums it up:
This night was supposed to be #MakeAmericaWorkAgain. No one has mentioned jobs! Back to Benghazi, terrorism and fear mongering. #RNCinCLE
— Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) July 20, 2016
5:48 p.m. PDT: The crowd begins to talk among themselves during former Attorney General Michael Mukasey’s speech, which — surprise! — focuses on Clinton’s emails.
He’s followed by Andy Wist, “the president of a waterproofing company in the Bronx,” according to The Washington Post. “I’m just a regular guy,” Wist says.
Apparently, he’s aware that nobody knows who he is, as he begins his speech by saying that “some of these reporters need to get a life.” Maybe he’s the new Joe the Plumber?
5:44 p.m. PDT: Leslie Rutledge, Attorney General of Arkansas, takes the stage. Tonight’s theme of “Make America Work Again” seems to be overshadowed by “Make America Focus on Hillary Clinton’s Faults.” Rutledge is also pulling out all the stops as a native to Arkansas, explaining how Bill and Hillary began their “career of corruption” in the state.
Near the end of her speech, she briefly mentions the economy, telling Americans “it’s time to update your resumes.”
5:40 p.m. PDT: Asa Hutchinson, governor of Arkansas, states that with a Trump presidency “we’ll destroy ISIS and jump-start our economy.”
He spends most of his speech tearing down Hillary Clinton, similar to Sharon Day, although he mentions job creation here and there. “A Trump presidency will be about the art of the possible,” he says as he wraps up his speech.
5:33 p.m. PDT: Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, takes the stage. Wondering what he’s doing there? According to White, Trump championed the UFC “before it was popular” and “before it was a successful business.” White continues to drive in the message of making America “work” again, praising Trump’s business intuition, hard work and loyalty:
He’s one of these guys, sometimes he’ll pick up the phone and call me and say, “Hey, good luck with the fights tonight.”
We’re not in the business together … you can really tell a person’s true character when they’re happy for somebody else’s success. …
I know fighters. Ladies and gentleman, Donald Trump is a fighter and I know he will fight for this country.
5:26 p.m. PDT: After a convention hall-wide prayer, RNC co-chair Sharon Day comes to the stage and manages to bring up Benghazi, “crooked Hillary” and “the gender card” in less than one minute. She also accuses Hillary of slandering the women who were “sexually abused” by Bill Clinton. By the end of her speech, it sounds as though she’s completely lost her voice. I counted a total of four shouts of “God bless” in the space of 30 seconds.
5:18 p.m. PDT: For those who missed it, here’s the final vote count:
The final vote count:
— Vox (@voxdotcom) July 20, 2016
The cheers for each name called grew accordingly softer as the list was read.
5:14 p.m. PDT: Holcomb reminds us of tonight’s theme, “Make America Work Again,” as he praises “one of [my] best friends” Mike Pence, noting that Indiana has the “best business climate in the Midwest, and the fifth best business climate in America.”
5:10 p.m. PDT: From Truthdig contributor Bill Boyarsky:
First off all, the Melania Trump plagiarism case. Being too busy running around pursuing news, I had missed Michelle Obama’s speech to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Thanks to Melania Trump, I got to hear it last night. It was a good speech, and both of them should be pleased. Now for Day 2. Trump was quickly nominated. The faint talk of Trump critics making some kind of a statement or something during the roll call didn’t amount to anything, although Alaska insisted that its delegation be polled. That’s been the story of the so-called establishment or Trump critics for months. So we eagerly await a further look at the Trump family, the Trump era and, maybe, a word from Trump himself from Trump Tower.
5:08 p.m. PDT: Paul Ryan takes the stage to announce that Trump “has been selected as the Republican Party nominee for president of the United States.” The crowd goes wild, and many on the floor begin to chant Trump’s name. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell follows to announce Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb, who introduces Mike Pence as the vice presidential choice.
4:58 p.m. PDT: Nothing like watching a convention floor full of Republicans dance away as they wait for the downtime to end:
Meanwhile, an Earth Wind & Fire break at #RNCinCLE while the Alaska delegation sorts its votes out | @bimadew video pic.twitter.com/x8o8rNumkS
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) July 20, 2016
4:14 p.m. PDT: Donald Trump has been formally nominated as the GOP presidential nominee. The Los Angeles Times writes:
Trump’s victory on the first roll call ballot at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland completed his conquest of the GOP and capped what seemed an impossibly long shot when he launched his campaign a little over a year ago from his headquarters in a Manhattan high rise.
Trump topped a field of 17 candidates, including many with far longer political resumes and considerably more polish, and weathered innumerable controversies to win the nomination on his first run for elected office. As recently as 2011, Trump was not even a registered Republican.
Here is video of the nomination, courtesy of USA Today/Twitter:
That’s it – Donald Trump officially has all of the votes he needs. He is the Republican nominee for president. pic.twitter.com/gnnv8dfwjr
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) July 19, 2016
2:54 p.m. PDT: Award-winning filmmaker and photojournalist Michael Nigro is streaming live video footage from the streets outside of the convention center. You can tune in to the footage here, and check out his photography from day one of the convention here.
1:27 p.m. PDT: But enough about last night. On Tuesday, Donald Trump is expected to officially receive the GOP nomination for president.
Also on Tuesday’s lineup are House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, according to USA Today. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is also expected to speak, although that has the potential to be awkward, because Trump reportedly almost chose Christie to be his running mate.
We will also hear from the boss himself, as well as Trump’s 22-year-old daughter, Tiffany Trump.
Ben Carson is also expected to speak Tuesday night and is already making headlines for remarks he made at his hotel earlier in the day. He reportedly told the Florida delegation that this “whole transgender thing” is “absurd.” As many critics have pointed out, this year’s GOP platform is riddled with anti-LGBT language.
12:56 p.m. PDT: Are you ready for Day 2 of the Republican National Convention? Follow our live coverage of Tuesday night’s events, and catch up on what you might have missed by checking out our live blog of Day 1.
The Republican National Convention, held at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, began Monday. Each day sports a theme. Monday’s was “Make America Safe Again,” Tuesday’s is “Make America Work Again.” But before we dive in to Tuesday’s events, here’s a quick recap of what happened Monday.
Some of the biggest takeaways: Melania Trump is getting slammed for her speech, which may have plagiarized segments of Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. According to The New York Times, contract speechwriter Matthew Scully wrote an early draft of Melania Trump’s speech. She then “took that speech and made substantial changes to it … with help from someone working at the Trump Organization.”
A frightening moment of discord also took place on the convention hall floor Monday night, as “Never Trump” delegates engaged in a shouting match against opposing delegates. According to Politico:
“[P]arty leadership blocked a roll call vote on the convention rules, which virtually guarantee Trump the party nomination by requiring delegates to vote in accordance with their state’s primary or caucus results.” Trump critics were unlikely to be able to vote down the rules — and even less likely to achieve their ultimate goal of replacing the rules with ones that “unbound” pledged delegates — but they were seeking a platform to voice their displeasure with Trump and demonstrate the strength of their movement.
These “Never Trump” delegates reportedly almost got their vote, but “when the time came to present the proposed rules to the full convention, the combined Trump campaign-party leadership faction crushed the rebellious faction.” This disruption, so late in the election season, once again shows the lack of unity in the Republican Party.
Polls—specifically one showing that Hillary Clinton’s lead over Trump has dropped several points—are also in the news. Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight explains why Democrats shouldn’t get too comfortable:
[I’ve] detected a lot of consternation among Clinton voters: Why isn’t her position safer? There’s really about a 35 or 40 percent chance that Trump will become president?
Based on the polls, we think the model is setting those odds about right. The race is a long way from being a toss-up, but a 3 or 4 percentage point lead heading into the conventions isn’t all that reliable, either. While Obama won twice with pre-convention leads of about that margin, John Kerry went into his convention with a lead of about 3 percentage points in 2004, but lost to George W. Bush. And in 2000, Bush had about a 4-point lead on the eve of the conventions, but lost the popular vote to Al Gore. (Bush won the Electoral College, of course.)
The flip side is that the recent polls could just as easily prove to be a low-water mark for Clinton. Conventions have oftentimes helped the incumbent party’s candidate.
For a full recap of Monday’s events, check out our live blog here.Wait, before you go…
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