After tumultuous first day, GOP set to nominate Trump


CLEVELAND (AP) — After a tumultuous first day of the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump is hours away from attaining the GOP’s 2016 presidential nomination.

The traditional roll call of states is set to unfold Tuesday night, delivering the delegates to make Trump the standard-bearer after a rollicking primary season that saw him vanquish 16 rivals.

Typically in both parties, the roll call is heavy with ceremonial flourishes, good cheer and puffery about the virtues of each state. This time, it’s also another opportunity for discord to be heard.

Convention-floor battles of old surfaced Monday as aggrieved anti-Trump Republicans protested the adoption by voice vote of rules aimed at quashing an already flailing effort to deny him the prize. Instead of a manicured message of unity, viewers saw the fractured face of a party still coming to grips with the polarizing man of the moment.

The floor flight gave way to a lineup of hard-edged, prime-time speeches in which Republicans painted a grim picture of the country’s future and an evener darker view of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

___

ALL ABOUT THE ECONOMY

On Tuesday, the focus will turn to jobs.

The theme of the convention’s second day is “Make America Work Again” and speeches will focus on jobs and the economy. Speakers will advocate what the GOP calls the pro-growth, pro-jobs approach to the economy that Trump would encourage as president.

As usual in this unpredictable convention, the list of speakers includes some unusual names, including Andy Wist, founder and CEO of a waterproofing company in the Bronx, as well as Dana White, president of the popular Ultimate Fighting Championship, which promotes mixed martial arts and features top-ranked fighters in the sport.

More traditional speakers include former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and retired surgeon Ben Carson, two former presidential rivals who now are key Trump supporters, also will speak. And two more Trump family members will address the convention: Daughter Tiffany Trump and son Donald Trump Jr., executive vice president at Trump’s family company.

___

CHARGES OF PLAGIARISM

The convention’s first night, themed “Make America Safe Again,” opened with a series of speeches from family members of people killed while serving in the military or at the hands of people in the United States illegally.

That was briefly interrupted by Trump, in an unusual appearance by a presumptive nominee, and his wife, who promised her husband would be inclusive. “If you want someone to fight for you and your country, I can assure you, he is the guy,” she said.

Melania Trump’s well-received address drew criticism, because it included two passages with similarities to a speech first lady Michelle Obama delivered at the 2008 Democratic convention.

Trump’s campaign responded in a statement that said her “immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech.” The statement didn’t mention Mrs. Obama. “In writing her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking,” Trump spokesman Jason Miller said.

___

BOISTEROUS SPEECHES

In the main event Monday night, Mrs. Trump gave a personal speech that detailed her growing up in Slovenia and praised her husband. “He is tough when he has to be, but he is also kind and fair and caring,” she said.

In more somber speeches, Republicans highlighted at length the deadly 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya, while Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, was serving as secretary of state.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani drew cheers from the crowd as he bemoaned racial divisions, in an impassioned speech. Entertainers who took the stage included actor Scott Baio and Willie Robertson, star of Duck Dynasty.

___

TROUBLE ON THE FLOOR

Earlier in the day, party divisions were exposed when delegates opposing Trump demanded a roll call vote to approve convention rules. Some delegates left the convention floor after the convention’s presiding officer, Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack, shut down the opponents by saying the rules had been approved by a voice vote.

Opponents shouted “Call the roll, call the roll,” as Trump supporters and party loyalists chanted back “USA! USA!”

Trouble could continue on Tuesday. Some dissident delegates are planning to insist on abstaining or backing candidates they weren’t assigned to during the roll call vote.

“Their position is I came here to be part of a process, I’m not here to be a rubber stamp or a pawn,” said Regina Thomson, a leader of Free the Delegates, a conservative group that helped lead Monday’s vociferous but unsuccessful floor fight.

Thomson said she didn’t know how many delegates would participate or how time-consuming the protests would be.

___

RALLIES OUTSIDE

Trump’s supporters and his opponents held rallies outside the convention hall Monday and are expected to resume on Tuesday. No major clashes were reported between pro- and anti-Trump forces during the two biggest demonstrations on Monday’s schedule or at rallies held in the later afternoon and early evening.

“So far, so good,” Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said Monday night.

___

THE REST OF THE WEEK

Vice presidential pick Mike Pence, the Indiana governor who left Indianapolis for Cleveland on Monday, is set to speak Wednesday, with Trump scheduled to close the convention with an acceptance speech Thursday night.

Daughter Ivanka Trump will introduce her father on Thursday, the convention’s final day.

___

What political news is the world searching for on Google and talking about on Twitter? Find out via AP’s Election Buzz interactive. http://elections.ap.org/buzz

comments powered by Disqus