CLEVELAND (AP) — With Donald Trump officially crowned the Republican presidential nominee, attention shifts to vice presidential nominee Mike Pence. The Indiana governor will give a prime-time address Wednesday that will allow him to reintroduce himself to the nation after a sometimes awkward event over the weekend where he was presented as Trump’s running mate.
Trump called Pence his “partner” but left no doubt in a rambling speech that Pence’s role will be a sidekick to the billionaire businessman at the top of the ticket.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the primary runner-up who remains reluctant to endorse Trump, despite calls for party unity, also will give a prime-time speech.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, another former Trump rival, will address delegates by video, and Trump’s son Eric will follow his brother and sister at the GOP podium. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also will speak.
Trump was nominated for president Tuesday night, making the former reality TV star the GOP standard-bearer after a rollicking primary season that saw him vanquish 16 rivals.
The roll call vote of states gave Trump enough delegates to win the nomination after months of speculation and dissent within the GOP ranks. There was little opposition on the floor as delegates cast votes for Trump state by state. His home state of New York put Trump over the top in the delegate count, with son Donald Jr. delivering that state’s results.
Cruz’s name wasn’t formally placed in nomination even though he was closest to Trump in the primaries.
MAKE AMERICA FIRST AGAIN
Wednesday’s theme is “Make America First Again.” GOP leaders say that while the United States has always been an exceptional nation, eight years of bad policies and poor leadership under President Barack Obama have weakened the nation abroad and limited opportunities at home.
Republicans vow that in a Trump administration, the U.S. will reclaim its historic role in the world.
Speakers scheduled Wednesday night include Gingrich, the former House speaker who was considered a finalist for the vice presidential slot; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, another former Trump rival; and Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
Radio host Laura Ingraham and oil executive Harold Hamm also are scheduled to speak.
So far, many of the speakers at the Republican National Convention have devoted more time to denouncing presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton than talking about Trump.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a former federal prosecutor, laid out an aggressive case against Clinton, asking the crowd to weigh in on her leadership on the Islamic State group, China, and terrorism. The riled-up crowd yelled “Lock her up! Lock her up!”
Failed Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson went so far as to associate Clinton with Lucifer.
While politicians at the podium heaped criticism on Clinton, Trump’s children made direct appeals in favor of Trump. Tiffany Trump, the candidate’s 22-year-old daughter from his marriage to Marla Maples, said her father is a “natural-born encourager” who has motivated her to work her hardest.
Donald Trump Jr., his eldest son and an executive vice president at The Trump Organization, cited his father’s business acumen and said his father approaches business projects the same way he has approached his campaign and life in general.
CLINTON WEIGHS IN
Clinton said the first day of the Republican gathering had been “surreal,” comparing it to the classic fantasy film “Wizard of Oz.”
“When you pull back the curtain, it was just Donald Trump with nothing to offer to the American people,” Clinton said during a speech in Las Vegas.
After the roll call, Clinton tweeted a fundraising appeal: “Donald Trump just became the Republican nominee. Chip in now to make sure he never steps foot in the Oval Office.”
She also tweeted, “If you think Chris Christie can lecture anyone on ethics, we have a bridge to sell you,” a reference to the George Washington Bridge scandal, involving several members of Christie’s administration.
OUTSIDE THE HALL
Police broke up scuffles between groups of demonstrators a few blocks from the convention as crowds in the hundreds gathered Tuesday afternoon.
There were no arrests, police said, despite several tense moments that saw officers step in between protesters pushing and shouting at each other during some of the biggest, most raucous gatherings in downtown Cleveland since the four-day convention began on Monday.
One skirmish broke out when right-wing conspiracy theorist and radio show host Alex Jones started speaking in downtown’s Public Square through a bullhorn. Police on bicycles pushed back a surging crowd, and Jones was whisked away.
THE REST OF THE WEEK
Trump will close the four-day convention with a speech Thursday night accepting the nomination.
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