- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 19, 2016

CLEVELAND — Republicans officially nominated Donald Trump to be their presidential candidate Tuesday, turning the reins of their party over to a maverick businessman who broke nearly every campaign rule en route to a stunning takeover of the GOP.

After surmounting one final anti-Trump hiccup, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, chairman of the Republican National Convention, declared Mr. Trump as the presidential nominee and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate.

“This is a movement, but we have to go all the way,” Mr. Trump said in a video address to the convention. “I’m so proud to be your nominee for president of the United States.”

The convention then quickly turned to speeches intended to rebuild unity within the Republican Party, further sharpening fierce attacks against likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton over her record as secretary of state, and, before that, as senator and as first lady.

In the most biting attack of the night, national party co-Chairwoman Sharon Day said Mrs. Clinton disqualified herself from becoming the first female president after she “viciously attacked the character of women who were sexually abused at the hands of your husband.”

“I want to see a woman become president one day, and I want my granddaughters to see a woman president — but not that woman, not Hillary Clinton, not now, not ever,” Ms. Day said.

SEE ALSO: Paul Ryan: Donald Trump offers alternative to ‘third Obama term’

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie followed with a withering assault on Mrs. Clinton’s record in the State Department, saying she enabled the resurgence of Russia, caved to Cuba and recklessly risked national security by secretly using a private email server.

“We didn’t disqualify Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States. The facts of her life and career disqualifies her. We in this hall agree with all of this,” Mr. Christie said.

Underneath the Clinton bashing, though, deep divisions within the GOP were visible. The party’s two leaders in Congress, Mr. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, delivered speeches nearly devoid of mention of Mr. Trump.

Mr. McConnell, who was booed by some delegates both times he took the stage Tuesday, said Republicans need to elect Mr. Trump in order to have a Republican make the next appointments to the Supreme Court.

Mr. Ryan, meanwhile, said having the billionaire businessman in the White House will mean House Republicans can pursue their agenda.

“None of this will happen under Hillary Clinton,” Mr. Ryan said. “Only with Donald Trump and Mike Pence do we have a chance at a better way.”

Democrats noticed the arm’s-length embrace. The Clinton campaign said Mr. Ryan was holding his nose to sign on to Mr. Trump’s campaign.

Mrs. Clinton’s campaign also pushed back against the attacks on her, insisting that there is no evidence that enemy countries hacked her email server. The campaign also said Mrs. Clinton cannot be blamed for the 2012 attack on the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, which cost the lives of four Americans.

Two of Mr. Trump’s children took the stage Tuesday to provide a further introduction to their father, known to most voters as a businessman, a reality TV star and a caustic campaigner.

Tiffany Trump said her father has always been driven and determined, qualities that inspire those around him. “His desire for excellence is contagious. He possesses a unique gift for bringing that trait out in others,” she said.

Donald Trump Jr. said his father made a point to seek out talented employees from any background when other business leaders stuck to Ivy League graduates, and that as a real estate developer he took on the competitive world of Manhattan.

“When people tell him that it can’t be done, that guarantees that it gets done,” he said. “He changed the skyline of New York.”

Mr. Trump’s children spoke a day after his third wife, Melania, ignited a controversy as parts of her address echoed a 2008 speech from Michelle Obama.

Near-saturation coverage of the questions about Mrs. Trump’s speech drowned out the rest of the convention’s first-night message.

Behind the scenes, party leaders had to snuff out one final effort to force a divisive fight on the floor over nominating Mr. Trump.

The final tally gave Mr. Trump 1,725 delegates, far more than the 1,237 majority needed, but not before the Alaska delegation objected to having all of its delegates assigned to Mr. Trump rather than being split among him, Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio.

Party officials said the state’s own rules require delegates to be reallocated after candidates drop out of the race.

Since Mr. Cruz and Mr. Rubio had suspended their campaigns, and Mr. Trump was the only candidate officially entered into the nomination contest on the convention floor Tuesday, all the delegates went to him.

Mr. Ryan then declared the six-month-long primary over.

“Donald J. Trump, having received a majority of these votes entitled to be cast at the convention, has been selected as the Republican Party nominee for the president of the United States,” Mr. Ryan announced.

Alaska delegate Dave Donley, a former state senator, insisted that the RNC misinterpreted state rules in reassigning all the votes to Mr. Trump and vowed to fight the ruling.

“They completely bushwhacked us,” said Mr. Donley. “They disenfranchised tens of thousands of Alaskans.”

The District of Columbia also had its votes given to Mr. Trump, even though in the city’s convention he didn’t earn any delegates.

“The chair in a power play just deemed that all 19 would go to Trump,” said Chip Nottingham, a delegate from the District. “This is an outrage and the reason why the Republican Party is turning off a lot of voters.”

Mr. Nottingham said that “squelching” the votes of D.C. residents does not make Mr. Trump look good. “He has not earned my vote yet,” he said.

In the final tally, Mr. Cruz won 475 delegate votes, Ohio Gov. John Kasich won 120 votes, Mr. Rubio won 114 votes, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson collected seven votes, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush won three votes and Sen. Rand Paul won two votes.

Kendal Unruh, a leader of the anti-Trump efforts, told The Washington Times that the convention has left a lot of delegates with heartburn.

“There is still a lot of discontent, and we’ve been relegated as irrelevant through this whole process,” Ms. Unruh said. “People don’t want to be used anymore, and I will tell you one thing: We will not be used to get out and canvass for him.”

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide