Hillary Clinton's choice to be her running mate said President Barack Obama "must seek congressional approval" to execute the war against the Islamic State in Iraq.
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., took the position that put him closer to people like Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has a more limited view of the commander-in-chief's power, than to the Obama White House.
His position has been generally sweeping, providing an exception for efforts to protect U.S. embassies, for instance.
Clinton's campaign was measured in response to a question Friday about whether the former secretary of state and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee supported an authorization for the use of military force that's been a top legislative priority for Kaine.
"Hillary Clinton agrees with Senator Kaine that if we are serious about confronting ISIS, Congress ought to express its resolve to stand behind our military and win this fight by passing a new AUMF, and she has publicly applauded Kaine’s efforts," Clinton campaign spokesman Jesse Lehrich said in a statement to Roll Call.
Clinton has long advocated for new authority from Congress to go after ISIS, but she has sounded more accepting of the administration's explanation for relying on the force authorization approved after the 2001 terror attack on the United States. Clinton served in the Senate at that time.
During a Democratic primary debate last November, Clinton said, "we have an authorization to use military force against terrorists. We — passed it after 9/11."
That prompted moderator John Dickerson of CBS to ask, "And you think that covers all of it?"
Clinton replied that, "certainly does cover it," but adding that she wants revisions to address current circumstances. She also said that her view, were she still in the Senate, would be in favor of a need for Congress to act.
"It would have to go through the Congress. And I know the White House has actually been working with members of Congress," Clinton said. "Maybe now we can get it moving again so that we can upgrade it so that it does include all the tools and everything in our arsenal that we can use to try to work with our allies and our friends, come up with better intelligence."
As a practical matter, there has been too wide of a gap between the advocates of a more limited authorization like the one proposed repeatedly by Kaine and Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and the sweeping language offered by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., among others.
Kaine had said he wanted a floor debate on use of force questions as part of the fiscal 2016 defense spending debate, but that appropriations bill fell victim to a Democrat-led filibuster.
But Kaine's June 2014 floor speech merits reading in full , and it probably did not get the kind of public attention warranted at the time.
"I do not believe that this president or any president has the ability, without congressional approval, to initiate military action in Iraq or anywhere else, except in the case of an emergency posing an imminent threat to the U.S. or its citizens," he said.
"And I also assert that the current crisis in Iraq, while serious and posing the possibility of a long-term threat to the United States, is not the kind of conflict where the president can or should act unilaterally. If the United States is to contemplate military action in Iraq, the president must seek congressional authorization." Kaine said.
Contact Lesniewski at NielsLesniewski@cqrollcall.com and follow him on Twitter at @nielslesniewski .
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CLEVELAND — Right about now, Rob Russo, the guy who handles Hillary Clinton’s correspondence, should be putting the finishing touches on dozens of thank-you notes.
The Republican gifts to Clinton have come in all shapes and sizes, in some cases wrapped with brightly colored bows.
For example, take Ted Cruz’s Wednesday night dog whistle to his supporters to “vote your conscience” in November.
Translation: Let Hillary win this time so I can come back in 2020 without having to run in a primary against an incumbent Republican president. At his age, with his ambition and with a favorite-son’s delegate base in Texas, Cruz could have as many as half a dozen more runs in him if that’s what it takes.
Not only did Cruz essentially blow up the convention floor and show that there are still deep divisions in a party that is desperately trying to project unity, but he ended up overshadowing what has been the best speech of the convention so far — the one delivered by vice presidential nominee and potential 2020 rival Mike Pence.
Thanks, Ted. XOXO, Hillary.
[ The Moment That Will Define Mike Pence ]
The trouble really started just before the convention, when it became clear that forces in Trumpville were battling each other to force the Donald’s hand on whether to pick Pence or former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Even after Pence’s name leaked, Trump went on television and said he hadn’t made up his mind. So much for decisive leadership on a presidential-level question.
Thanks, Donald et al. XOXO, Hillary
After Melania Trump repeated words Michelle Obama first spoke, Trump’s campaign chief, Paul Manafort, went on television and said it was “crazy” to think Mrs. Trump had borrowed the first lady’s voice. Then, the next day, a nonpolitical aide to the Trump family, Meredith McIver, publicly apologized for lifting passages but kinda/sorta threw Melania Trump under the bus for suggesting the lines in the first place.
No one had bothered to check the three-minute — three-minute! — speech. Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski tried to get Manafort ousted for the failure to not communicate Michelle Obama’s prose.
[ Special Coverage: 2016 Republican National Convention ]
Oh, and whoever slotted the speakers made the mistake of putting Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa at the back of the line Monday night, ensuring that her very effective speech was buried under the plagiarism story.
Thanks, Melania, Paul, Corey and Meredith. XOXO, Hillary.
By the time Chris Christie fired up the convention hall on Tuesday night with a rousing chant of “Lock her up” — quite a statement for a former prosecutor who just watched a top aide plead guilty to bribery — there was little hope that anyone could douse the 2016 GOP convention inferno.
In America, we don’t imprison people who haven’t been charged with crimes — and usually someone who is openly campaigning to be attorney general has the good sense to not start targeting political enemies before he’s in office. Christie and the convention hall transformed instantaneously into a banana republic.
Thanks, Chris and all the convention delegates. XOXO, Hillary.
[ Treating FBI Chief as Villain a Mistake for GOP ]
Pence delivered on Wednesday night, using a crisp, clear voice to make the case for Donald Trump and articulate a much more reasonable argument against Clinton than his predecessors had.
Unlike so many of them, Pence knew what Republicans have failed to learn for two decades — a Clinton thrives on the overreach of his or her enemies. Rudy Giuliani, for example, went way overboard.
Thanks, Rudy. XOXO, Hillary.
At least on messaging, Pence sounded out themes that could unify establishment and anti-establishment Republicans, as well as conservatives and moderates.
[ Who's Mike Pence and Why Has Trump Picked Him? ]
But his address was devoid of any serious discussion of specific policies. The vice presidential acceptance speech wouldn’t be the place for that, except that no one else did much of it, either. The problem: The Republican Party is badly divided over policies ranging from immigration to trade.
Thanks, GOP electorate. XOXO, Hillary.
In an interview published Thursday by The New York Times, Donald Trump said he might tell NATO countries that can’t pay their dues “Congratulations, you will be defending yourself.” No serious foreign policy professional thinks that’s a good idea.
Thanks, again, Donald. XOXO, Hillary.
Trump will take the stage Thursday night with only this to hope for: salvaging the last night of the convention and trying to get out of Cleveland as fast as possible.
[ Speech Scandal Revealed a Great Lesson for the Media ]
Bakari Sellers, a CNN commentator, Clinton supporter and former South Carolina state legislator, predicted that, in an unusual twist, Democrats would benefit from both their own convention and the GOP’s.
“We’ll have two weeks of positive Democratic messaging,” Sellers said in a brief interview on Media Row here. “There is no better way to see how the Republicans are going to run the country than the way they ran this convention.”
The Democrats will gather in Philadelphia next week, where there’s no worry that anyone will suggest voters pick Trump over Clinton. President Bill Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders and a cast of dozens will give full-throated endorsements of Hillary Clinton. The most important will come from President Barack Obama, whose popularity has been on the rise during this slugfest of a campaign.
Thanks, Obama. XOXO, Hillary.
Yeah, Rob Russo’s going to be pretty busy the next couple of days.
Roll Call columnist Jonathan Allen is co-author of the New York Times-bestselling Clinton biography “HRC” and has covered Congress, the White House and elections over the past 15 years.
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New York Republican Rep. Peter King has never been a fan of Sen. Ted Cruz. But in an interview with Roll Call in the hours after Cruz refused to endorse fellow New Yorker, Donald Trump, at the Republican National Convention, King unloaded on the Texas senator as a "liar and a self-centered fraud" who should never be considered again for president of the United States.
"I was sitting in the front row, dead center, with the New York delegates and they're all shouting at him and yelling at him, "Endorse! Endorse!"" King said, recounting the moment Cruz spoke to the Republican National Convention. "And the guys are shaking their fists. And he has that lizard smirk on his face."
King and Cruz famously clashed after Cruz derided Donald Trump's "New York values" in an early presidential debate. King stepped in at the time to defend his state and its values, and warned Wednesday night that Cruz's convention performance, just like his debate performance, was all about Ted Cruz.
"He probably thinks he's on top of the world, like he's the messiah," King said. "He's terrible. He's going to do all he can to undercut Trump and then emerge as a savior. But Trump's going to win."
No matter the outcome of the November elections, King predicted doom for Cruz's future presidential ambitions, especially after his performance in Cleveland.
"He's hurting himself. He's going to be yesterday's mail," he said. "I can't see any real Republican even considering Cruz again." As for Trump's best response to the snub? King said the less reaction the better.
"Leave him out where he is. Leave him out in the wilderness. Leave him in the desert without water."
NEWTON FALLS, Ohio — This picturesque village of nearly 5,000 with an 1831 covered bridge is the kind of blue-collar place that Donald Trump was thinking about when he promised in his brass-knuckles acceptance speech, "I'm going to bring our jobs back to Ohio ... and all of America."
Fifty-five miles southeast of the Quicken Loans Arena and less than 10 miles from the GM plant in Lordstown, Newton Falls should -- in theory -- be receptive to Trump's toxic brew of security, isolationism and medicine-show promises "to make our country rich again."
But at the moment of his greatest triumph, Trump cannot escape the vitriol that accompanied his march to the nomination. By doubling down on fear Thursday night rather than expressing regret and contrition, Trump squandered his last chance to win back swing voters appalled at his insults and his vulgarity.
Eight hours before Trump spoke, Patrick Nutter was sitting on a bench outside Ed's Barber Shop ("Gentleman's Cuts Since 1964") founded by his late father. The 51-year-old Nutter understands the economic uncertainty facing those without college degrees. "I'm one of the few barbers around here," he said. "And, fortunately, I can't be replaced by a machine."
Nutter, who doesn't talk politics with his customers, has only watched snippets of the GOP convention. But he remembers how Trump ridiculed John McCain as a loser for getting shot down over Vietnam. "Trump tears down everyone and everything," the barber said. "He thinks he knows more than the generals about ISIS. And he doesn't sound presidential."
[ Trump's Coronation Challenges Republican Speechwriters ]
A few doors down from Ed's Barber Shop on West Broad Street, Cyndi Hogue was enjoying the stuffed cabbage luncheon special at the Covered Bridge Inn Restaurant. No stranger to economic hardship (she lost a small business down the block in the Great Recession) Hogue sounds tempted by Trump, though she vows not to make up her mind until she hears Hillary Clinton next week.
"I'm a hard-working person," Hogue said, "and I know from watching TV that Donald Trump is, too. I also liked his choice for vice president and his Christian values." But Hogue also sounded a cautionary note: "Sometimes his antics are too much. He's quite out there."
Still, if I were a pollster, I might cubbyhole Hogue as "leaning Trump." Except that easy label neglects the potential influence of her luncheon companion, Margo Cienik, a cousin visiting from California, who grew up in Newton Falls.
Cienik, a Democrat who voted for Hillary Clinton in her state's primary, teaches American Sign Language at a college and in a high school. "With Trump and being deaf," she said, "I just feel he isn't sensitive to people with disabilities." She recalled with distaste Trump's vicious mocking of New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski's physical problems.
Trump in his acceptance speech declared that he had a message for "the forgotten men and women of our country. And they are forgotten, but they're not going to be forgotten long." (Franklin Roosevelt in an April 1932 radio address talked of "the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.")
[ Trump's GOP: Embracing Ill-Informed Bluster ]
Unlike FDR, though, Trump then sounded an authoritarian theme as he thundered, "I am your voice." This has been the message of anti-democratic leaders throughout history who justify their actions because they supposedly embody the nation.
But there is another problem with Trump proclaiming, "I am your voice." That voice -- that Outer Borough snarl -- has made an indelible impression, even on Americans like Cienik who read lips. As she put it, "I want him to apologize for all his arrogant comments about taking people out and kicking them to the curb."
Talking to voters one-by-one in small towns like Newton Falls (Zip Code: 44444) is a reminder of the civility that is embedded in the national fabric. Regardless of politics, most Americans believe that kindness is a virtue -- and not an attribute of losers.
Twenty-eight years ago, George H.W. Bush accepted the GOP nomination in New Orleans by declaring, "I want a kinder, gentler nation." With the Bush family towards the top of Trump's voluminous Enemies List, that Republican Party is as outmoded as rotary-dial phones and the Betamax.
But the real question in this election has little to do with Hillary Clinton's emails or even Trump's ever-shifting positions on banning Muslims. With a more incendiary convention speech than even Patrick Buchanan's call for a "culture war" in 1992, Trump has made this election a referendum on fear itself -- nameless, unreasoning terror.
Will Americans abandon their values and their democratic tradition of reasoned debate for a bilious billionaire peddling hysteria? Or was my visit to Newton Falls (a refuge from the chaos in Cleveland) a small reminder that Americans still listen to their better angels?
[ Trump's Most Absurd Promise: He'll Bring Us Together ]
Towards the end of Trump's Fidel-Castro-like marathon speech, he broke away from the prepared text to chortle about the doubters who dismissed his ambitions: "Oh, we love defeating those people, don't we? Love it, love it, love it."
At that moment, Trump again revealed that this entire campaign is about his emotional needs and his resentments. And, sadly, a Republican Party that should know better has willingly become his vehicle for fear mongering.
Roll Call columnist Walter Shapiro is a veteran of Politics Daily, USA Today, Time, Newsweek and the Washington Post. His book on his con-man great-uncle was just published: "Hustling Hitler: The Jewish Vaudevillian Who Fooled the Fuhrer." Follow him on Twitter @MrWalterShapiro
CLEVELAND — Sen. Rob Portman fell into line behind Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Thursday, telling the Ohio delegation here that it was important that the billionaire become president, a position that puts some distance between himself and his fellow GOP statewide officeholder, Gov. John Kasich.
“What’s the election about? It’s about the direction of the country,” Portman said to the audience at the Double Tree Inn near the Lake Erie shoreline, adding that the next president could have a say over the direction of the Supreme Court for generations, with as many as four seats up for grabs. “This is for all the marbles,” he emphasized, repeating the GOP mantra that Hillary Clinton is unfit to lead and make such decisions.
He also brought it back to his own re-election race, against former Gov. Ted Strickland, a campaign that will help determine the Senate majority in 2017. “As regards my race,” Portman said, “As goes Ohio, so goes the rest of the country.”
[ Special Coverage: 2016 Republican National Convention ]
But Portman has been put into a difficult situation by the contentious presidential nominee. A former Cabinet member as U.S. Trade Representative and director of the Office of Management and Budget, as well as a former House member with long ties to the Bush family, the senator has spoken at each GOP convention since 1996. He won’t this year. And after working hard to land the convention here in Northeast Ohio, he has spent the week tending to off-site events, such as building Habitat for Humanity homes, kayaking as part of a Wounded Warrior event and spending time with his campaign volunteers (along with Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst and former Speaker Newt Gingrich) at Cuyahoga Community College.
Asked in a media scrum after his talk with the delegation whether Trump’s run would help his own campaign, Portman said, “Well, we’ll see.”
[ At RNC, Portman Keeps Trump at a Distance ]
During his speech, Portman said national defense would be a priority for an incoming Trump administration and GOP Congress.
“That security umbrella in Europe with NATO is frayed,” he said in his speech.
But some of the fraying might have been the previous day, when Trump told The New York Times he wouldn’t necessarily abide by the long-standing treaty’s commitments to aid allies in the face of other nations’ attacks. That statement, backed up by the transcript the Times released to push back on Trump aides’ attempts to refute the story, would break with decades of bipartisan foreign policy protocol, and even put the nominee at odds with the GOP's vice presidential nominee, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who told CNN “I disagree totally with what he said about NATO.”
[ Ohio Dems Attempt to Tie Portman to Trump University ]
Speaking to reporters after his speech Thursday, Portman didn’t come outright to condemn Trump’s comments.
"I think NATO is arguably the most important military alliance we’ve ever had. It’s incredibly important,” the senator said.
Pressed about sounding like he disagreed with Trump’s remarks to the Times, Portman offered a slight lifeline to the nominee. "I would say, his point [that] he would like our NATO partners to contribute more to NATO and to their own defense is absolutely accurate,” but he added, as if to underscore, “We need to keep NATO."
Portman’s race with Strickland is tight. The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rates the race Tilts Republican .
“They’re loading up here in Ohio,” he said of national Democrats’ efforts to target him.
Considering the situation, Portman has appeared relatively relaxed and cheery in his time at the edges of the convention, which comports with his generally genial reputation.
Picking up on the sports high that the city is still in after the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA championship last month, Portman has taken to using the Cavs’ late season slogan, “All In,” to pump up his supporters.
“Ladies and gentlemen, let’s leave here with that slogan in our heads,” he said. “Let’s be all in.”
[ Memo to Campaigns: Don't Leave Ad Scripts on Capitol Benches ]
But the Ohio delegation itself is far from all in on Trump. Just take, for example, Kasich, who was present for Portman’s speech at the Double Tree. Kasich got praise from Portman for his work as governor.
The hotel is a short walk to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where Kasich on Tuesday threw a “thank you” party for supporters of his presidential bid, a standing-room only gathering where the former rival of Trump’s for the GOP nomination did not mention the New York businessman’s name. He has pointedly refused to endorse Trump, and has not stepped foot in the Quicken Loans Arena.
The closest Kasich got to mentioning Trump was in a biographical video that played before he took the stage at the Hall on Tuesday, in which his voice-over waxed about American traits like hard work and resilience. “This is what makes America great, not some politician,” Kasich’s voice intoned.
The inherent rebuke to Trump’s promise that he will “Make America Great Again” was unmistakable. And it was a far cry from Portman’s Thursday breakfast bear hug, in which he extolled the “new president of the United States, named Donald Trump.”
[ Kasich Starts Talk of a 2020 Rising if Trump Goes Down ]
Kasich and Portman left separately from the event. And, while Kasich is likely to remain a surrogate for Portman on the trail until November, they’ll be going separate ways on Trump as well.
“This Republican National Convention has been a nightmare for Sen. Portman,” Strickland said. “Unlike Republican Gov. Kasich, who has shown some moral courage in refusing to support Trump, Sen. Portman is fully embracing the most toxic and divisive presidential nominee in modern history."
Contact Jason Dick at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @jasonjdick.
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Thank you. Thank you very much. Friends, delegates and fellow Americans, I humbly and gratefully accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much.
Friends, delegates and fellow Americans, I humbly and gratefully accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.
Who would have believed that when we started this journey on June 16th last year, we, and I say we because we are a team, would have received almost 14 million votes, the most in the history of the Republican Party and that the Republican Party would get 60 percent more votes than it received eight years ago. Who would have believed this? Who would have believed this?
The Democrats on the other hand received 20 percent fewer votes than they got four years ago. Not so good, not so good.
Together, we will lead our party back to the White House and we will lead our country back to safety, prosperity and peace.
We will be a country of generosity and warmth, but we will also be a country of law and order.
Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation. The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country.
Americans watching this address tonight have seen the recent images of violence in our streets and the chaos in our communities. Many have witnessed this violence personally, some have even been its victims. I have a message for all of you: The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon, and I mean very soon come to an end.
Beginning on January 20th of 2017, safety will be restored.
The most basic duty of government is to defend the lives of its own citizens. Any government that fails to do so is a government unworthy to lead. It is finally time for a straightforward assessment of the state of our nation.
I will present the facts plainly and honestly. We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore.
So if you want to hear the corporate spin, the carefully-crafted lies, and the media myths, the Democrats are holding their convention next week. Go there. But here, at our convention, there will be no lies.
We will honor the American people with the truth, and nothing else.
These are the facts. Decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this administration's rollback of criminal enforcement. Homicides last year increased by 17 percent in America's 50 largest cities. That's the largest increase in 25 years.
In our nation's capital, killings have risen by 50 percent.
They're up nearly 60 percent in nearby Baltimore. In the president's hometown of Chicago, more than 2,000 people have been the victim of shootings this year alone. And almost 4,000 have been killed in the Chicago area since he took office.
The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50 percent compared to this point last year. Nearly 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records, ordered deported from our country, are tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens.
The number of new illegal immigrant families who have crossed the border so far this year already exceeds the entire total from 2015. They are being released by the tens of thousands in our communities with no regard for the impact on public safety or resources.
One such border crosser was released and made his way to Nebraska. There he ended the life of an innocent young girl named Sarah Root. She was 21 years old and was killed the day after graduating from college with a 4.0 grade point average, number one in her class.
Her killer was then released a second time and he is now a fugitive from the law. I've met Sarah's beautiful family. But to this administration, their amazing daughter was just one more American life that wasn't worth protecting. No more.
One more child to sacrifice on the order and on the altar of open borders.
What about our economy? Again, I will tell you the plain facts that have been edited out of your nightly news and your morning newspaper.
Nearly four in 10 African-American children are living in poverty while 58 percent of African-American youth are now not employed. Two million more Latinos are in poverty today than when President Obama took his oath of office less than eight years ago.
Another 14 million people have left the workforce entirely. Household incomes are down more than $4,000 since the year 2000, that's 16 years ago.
Our trade deficit in goods reached nearly, now think of this, think of this, our trade deficit is $800 billion. Think of that, $800 billion last year alone.
We're going to fix that!
The budget is no better. President Obama has almost doubled our national debt to more than $19 trillion and growing. And yet, what do we have to show for it? Our roads and bridges are falling apart, our airports are third-world condition, and 43 million Americans are on food stamps.
Now, let us consider the state of affairs abroad. Not only have our citizens endured domestic disaster, but they've lived through one international humiliation after another, one after another.
We all remember the images of our sailors being forced to their knees by their Iranian captors at gunpoint.
This was just prior to the signing of the Iran deal, which gave back to Iran $150 billion and gave us absolutely nothing.
It will go down in history as one of the worst deals ever negotiated.
Another humiliation came when President Obama drew a red line in Syria and the whole world knew it meant absolutely nothing.
In Libya, our consulate, the symbol of American prestige around the globe, was brought down in flames. America is far less safe and the world is far less stable than when Obama made the decision to pub Hillary Clinton in charge of America's foreign policy.
Let's defeat her in November, OK?
I am certain that it was a decision that President Obama truly regrets. Her bad instincts and her bad judgment, something pointed out by Bernie Sanders, are what caused so many of the disasters unfolding today.
Let's review the record.
In 2009, pre-Hillary, ISIS was not even on the map, Libya was stable, Egypt was peaceful, Iraq was seeing really a big, big reduction in violence, Iran was being choked by sanctions, Syria was somewhat under control. After four years of Hillary Clinton, what do we have?
ISIS has spread across the region and the entire 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. Iraq is in chaos. Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons. Syria is engulfed in a civil war. And a refugee crisis now threatens the West.
After 15 years of wars in the Middle East, after trillions of dollars spent and thousands of lives lost, the situation is worse than it has ever been before. This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction, terrorism and weakness.
But Hillary Clinton's legacy does not have to be America's legacy. The problems we face now, poverty and violence at home, war and destruction abroad, will last only as long as we continue relying on the same politicians who created them in the first place.
A change in leadership is required to produce a change in outcomes.
Tonight I will share with you my plan for action for America. The most important difference between our plan and that of our opponent is that our plan will put America first
Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo. As long as we are led by politicians who will not put America first, then we can be assured that other nations will not treat America with respect, the respect that we deserve.
The American people will come first once again.
My plan will begin with safety at home, which means safe neighborhoods, secure borders and protection from terrorism. There can be no prosperity without law and order.
On the economy, I will outline reforms to add millions of new jobs and trillions in new wealth that can be used to rebuild America.
A number of these reforms that I will outline tonight will be opposed by some of our nation's most powerful special interests. That's because these interests have rigged our political and economic system for their exclusive benefit. Believe me, it's for their benefit.
Big business, elite media and major donors are lining up behind the campaign of my opponent because they know she will keep our rigged system in place.
They are throwing money at her because they have total control over every single thing she does. She is their puppet and they pull the strings.
That is why Hillary Clinton's message is that things will never change, never, ever.
My message is that things have to change and they have to change right now.
Every day I wake up determined to deliver a better life for the people all across this nation that have been ignored, neglected and abandoned. I have visited the laid-off factory workers and the communities crushed by our horrible and unfair trade deals. These are the forgotten men and women of our country, and they are forgotten, but they're not going to be forgotten long.
These are people who work hard, but no longer have a voice. I am your voice!
I have embraced crying mothers who have lost their children because our politicians put their personal agendas before the national good. I have no patience for injustice.
How great are our police? And how great is Cleveland?
I have no patience for injustice, no tolerance for government incompetence, of which there is so much, no sympathy for leaders who fail their citizens. When innocent people suffer because our political system lacks the will or the courage or the basic decency to enforce our laws or, still worse, has sold out to some corporate lobbyists for cash, I am not able to look the other way. And I won't look the other way.
And when a secretary of state illegally stores her emails on a private server, deletes 33,000 of them so the authorities can't see her crime, puts our country at risk, lies about it in every different form and faces no consequence, I know that corruption has reached a level like never, ever before in our country!
When the FBI director says that the secretary of state was extremely careless and negligent in handling our classified secrets, I also know that these terms are minor compared to what she actually did. They were just used to save her from facing justice for her terrible, terrible crimes.
In fact, her single-greatest accomplishment may be committing such egregious crime and getting away with it, especially when others who have done far less have paid so dearly.
When that same secretary of state rakes in millions and millions of dollars trading access and favors to special interests and foreign powers, I know the time for action has come
I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people who cannot defend themselves.
Nobody knows the system better than me.
Which is why I alone can fix it.
I have seen firsthand how the system is rigged against our citizens, just like it was rigged against Bernie Sanders. He never had a chance, never had a chance. But his supporters will join our movement because we will fix his biggest single issue: trade deals that strip our country of its jobs and strip us of our wealth as a country.
Millions of Democrats will join our movement because we are going to fix the system so it works fairly and justly for each and every American.
In this cause, I am proud to have at my side the next vice president of the United States, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana!
And a great guy.
We will bring the same economic success to America that Mike brought to Indiana, which is amazing.
He's a man of character and accomplishment. He is the man for the job. The first task for our new administration will be to liberate our citizens from the crime and terrorism and lawlessness that threatens our communities.
America was shocked to its core when our police officers in Dallas were so brutally executed. Immediately after Dallas, we've seen continued threats and violence against our law enforcement officials. Law officers have been shot or killed in recent days in Georgia, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kansas, Michigan and Tennessee.
On Sunday, more police were gunned down in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; three were killed and three were very, very badly injured.
An attack on law enforcement is an attack on all Americans.
I have a message to every last person threatening the peace on our streets and the safety of our police. When I take the oath of office next year, I will restore law and order to our country.
Believe me. Believe me.
I will work with and appoint the best and brightest prosecutors and law enforcement officials to get the job properly done.
In this race for the White House, I am the law and order candidate!
The irresponsible rhetoric of our president, who has used the pulpit of the presidency to divide us by race and color, has made America a more dangerous environment than frankly I have ever seen and anybody in this room has ever watched or seen. This administration has failed America's inner cities. Remember, it has failed America's inner cities.
It's failed them on education. It's failed them on jobs. It's failed them on crime. It's failed them in every way and on every single level. When I am president, I will work to ensure that all of our kids are treated equally and protected equally.
Every action I take I will ask myself, does this make better for young Americans in Baltimore, in Chicago, in Detroit, in Ferguson, who have really, in every way, folks, the same right to live out their dreams as any other child in America, any other child.
To make life safe for all of our citizens, we must also address the growing threats we face from outside the country. We are going to defeat the barbarians of ISIS and we're going to defeat them fast!
Once again, France is the victim of brutal Islamic terrorism. Men, women and children viciously mowed down, lives ruined, families ripped apart, a nation in mourning. The damage and devastation that can be inflicted by Islamic radicals has been proven over and over at the World Trade Center, at an office party in San Bernardino, at the Boston Marathon, at a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and many, many other locations.
Only weeks ago in Orlando, Florida, 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist. This time, the terrorist targeted LGBTQ community. No good, and we're going to stop it.
As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology. Believe me.
And I have to say, as a Republican, it is so nice to hear you cheering for what I just said. Thank you.
To protect us from terrorism, we need to focus on three things. We must have the best, absolutely the best gathering of intelligence anywhere in the world. The best.
We must abandon the failed policy of nation-building and regime change that Hillary Clinton pushed in Iraq, in Libya, in Egypt and in Syria. Instead, we must work with all of our allies who share our goal of destroying ISIS and stamping out Islamic terrorism and doing it now, doing it quickly.
We're going to win, we're going to win fast!
This includes working with our greatest ally in the region, the state of Israel.
Recently, I have said that NATO was obsolete because it did not properly cover terror, and also that many of the member countries were not paying their fair share. As usual, the United States has been picking up the costs.
Shortly thereafter, it was announced that NATO will be setting up a new program in order to combat terrorism, a true step in the right direction.
Lastly, and very importantly, we must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism. Until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place, we don't want them in our country.
My opponent has called for a radical 550 percent increase in Syrian -- think of this, think of this, this is not believable, but this is what's happening -- a 550 percent 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.
I only want to admit individuals into our country who will support our values and love our people.
Anyone who endorses violence, hatred or oppression is not welcome in our country and never, ever will be!
Decades of record immigration have produced lower wages and higher unemployment for our citizens, especially for African American and Latino workers. We are going to have an immigration system that works, but one that works for the American people.
On Monday, we heard from three parents whose children were killed by illegal immigrants: Mary Ann Mendoza, Sabine Durden and my friend, Jamiel Shaw. They're just three brave representatives of many thousands who have suffered so gravely.
Of all my travels in this country, nothing has affected me more, nothing even close I have to tell you, than the time I have spent with the mothers and fathers who have lost their children to violence spilling across our borders, which we can solve, we have to solve it!
These families have no special interests to represent them. There are no demonstrators to protect them, and certainly none to protest on their behalf. My opponent will never meet with them or share in their pain, believe me. Instead, my opponent wants sanctuary cities
But where was the sanctuary for Kate Steinle?
Where was the sanctuary for the children of Mary Ann and Sabine and Jamiel? Where was the sanctuary for all of the other -- oh, it's so sad to even be talking about it because we can solve this problem so quickly. Where was the sanctuary for all of the other Americans who have been so brutally murdered and who have suffered so, so horribly?
These wounded American families have been alone, but they are not alone any longer
Tonight, this candidate and a whole nation stand in their corner to support them, to send them our love and to pledge in their honor that we will save countless more families from suffering and the same awful fate.
We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration, to stop the gangs and the violence and to stop the drugs from pouring into our communities!
I have been honored to receive the endorsement of America's Border Patrol agents.
And will work directly with them to protect the integrity of our lawful, lawful, lawful immigration system -- lawful.
By ending catch-and-release on the border, we will end the cycle of human smuggling and violence. Illegal border crossings will go down. We will stop it. It won't be happening very much anymore. Believe me.
Peace will be restored by enforcing the rules for millions for overstay their visas. Our laws will finally receive the respect that they deserve.
Tonight, I want every American whose demands for immigration security have been denied and every politician who has denied them to listen very, very closely to the words I am about to say.
On January 20th of 2017, the day I take the oath of office...
...Americans will finally wake up in a country where the laws of the United States are enforced!
We are going to be considerate and compassionate to everyone, but my greatest compassion will be for our own struggling citizens.
My plan is the exact opposite of the radical and dangerous immigration policy of Hillary Clinton. Americans want relief from uncontrolled immigration, which is what we have now.
Communities want relief, yet Hillary Clinton is proposing mass amnesty, mass immigration and mass lawlessness.
Her plan will overwhelm your schools and hospitals, further reduce your jobs and wages and make it harder for recent immigrants to escape the tremendous cycle of poverty that they're going through right now and make it almost impossible for them to join the middle class.
I have a different vision for our workers. It begins with a new fair trade policy that protects our jobs and stands up to countries that cheat, of which there are many.
It's been a signature message of my campaign from day one, and it will be a signature feature of my presidency from the moment I take the oath of office.
I have made billions of dollars in business making deals. Now I'm going to make our country rich again.
Using the greatest business people in the world, which our country has, I am going to turn our bad trade agreements into great trade agreements.
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.
Remember, it was Bill Clinton who signed NAFTA, one of the worst economic deals ever made by our country or, frankly, any other country. Never, ever again.
I am going to bring back our jobs to Ohio and Pennsylvania and New York and Michigan and all of America. And I am not going to let companies move to other countries, firing their employees along the way without consequence. Not going to happen anymore.
My opponent, on the other hand, has supported virtually every trade agreement that has been destroying our middle class. She supported NAFTA and she supported China's entrance into the World Trade Organization, another one of her husband's colossal mistakes and disasters. She supported the job-killing trade deal with South Korea. She supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership which will not only destroy our manufacturing, but it will make America subject to the rulings of foreign governments. And it's not going to happen.
I pledge to never sign any trade agreement that hurts our workers or that diminishes our freedom and our independence. We will never, ever sign bad trade deals. America first again. America first!
Instead, I will make individual deals with individuals countries. No longer will we enter into these massive transactions with many countries that are thousands of pages long and which no one from our country even reads or understands.
We are going to enforce all trade violations against any country that cheats.
This includes stopping China's outrageous theft of intellectual property along with their illegal product dumping and their devastating currency manipulation. They are the greatest that ever came about, they are the greatest currency manipulators ever.
Our horrible trade agreements with China and many others will be totally renegotiated. That includes renegotiating NAFTA to get a much better deal for America. And we'll walk away if we don't get that kind of a deal.
Our country is going to start building and making things again.
Next comes the reform of our tax laws, regulations and energy rules. While Hillary Clinton plans a massive, and I mean massive, tax increase, I have proposed the largest tax reduction of any candidate who has run for president this year, Democrat or Republican
Middle-income Americans and businesses will experience profound relief and taxes will be greatly simplified for everyone. I mean everyone
America is one of the highest tax nations in the world. Reducing taxes will cause new companies and new jobs to come roaring back into our country. Believe me, it'll happen and it'll happen fast
Then we're going to deal with the issue of regulation, one of the greatest job killers of them all. Excessive regulation is costing our country as much as $2 trillion a year. And we will end it very, very quickly.
We are going to lift the restrictions on the production of American energy.
This will produce more than $20 trillion in job-creating economic activity over the next four decades. My opponent, on the other hand, wants to put the great miners and the great steelworkers of our country out of work and out of business. That will never happen with Donald J. Trump as president. Our steelworkers and our miners are going back to work again!
With these new economic policies, trillions and trillions of dollars will start flowing into our country. This new wealth will improve the quality of life for all Americans. We will build the roads, highways, bridges, tunnels, airports and the railways of tomorrow. This, in turn, will create millions of more jobs.
We will rescue kids from failing schools by helping their parents send them to a safe school of their choice.
My opponent would rather protect bureaucrats than serve American children, and that's what she's doing and that's what she's done.
We will repeal and replace disastrous "Obamacare!"
You will be able to choose your own doctor again.
And we will fix TSA at the airports, which is a total disaster.
We're going to work with all of our students who are drowning in debt to take the pressure off these young people just starting out in their adult lives. A tremendous problem.
We will completely rebuild our depleted military!
And the countries that we are protecting at a massive cost to us will be asked to pay their fair share.
We will take care of our great veterans like they have never been taken care of before.
My just-released 10-point plan has received tremendous veteran support. We will guarantee those who serve this country will be able to visit the doctor or hospital of their choice without waiting five days on a line and dying.
My opponent dismissed the VA scandal, one more sign of how out of touch she really is.
We are going to ask every department head in government to provide a list of wasteful spending on projects that we can eliminate in my first 100 days.
The politicians have talked about this for years, but I'm going to do it.
Yes, you will! Yes, you will! Yes, you will!
We are going to appoint justices of the United States Supreme Court who will uphold our laws and our Constitution!
The replacement of our beloved Justice Scalia will be a person of similar views, principles and judicial philosophies. Very important.
This will be one of the most important issues decided by this election. My opponent wants to essentially abolish the Second Amendment.
I, on the other hand, received the early and strong endorsement of the National Rifle Association...
...and will protect the right of all Americans to keep their families safe.
At this moment, I would like to thank the evangelical and religious community, because I'll tell you what, the support that they've given me, and I'm not sure I totally deserve it...
...has been so amazing and has had such a big reason for me being here tonight.
True, so true.
They have much to contribute to our politics, yet our laws prevent you from speaking your minds from your own pulpits.
An amendment pushed by Lyndon Johnson many years ago threatens religious institutions with a loss of their tax-exempt status if they openly advocate their political views. Their voice has been taken away.
I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and to protect free speech for all Americans!
We can accomplish these great things and so much more. All we need to do is start believing in ourselves and in our country again. Start believing.
It is time to show the whole world that America is back, bigger and better and stronger than ever before!
In this journey, I'm so lucky to have at my side my wife, Melania, and my wonderful children.
Don, Ivanka, Eric, Tiffany and Barron, you will always be my greatest source of pride and joy. And by the way, Melania and Ivanka, did they do a job?
My dad, Fred Trump, was the smartest and hardest-working man I ever knew. I wonder sometimes what he'd say if he were here to see this and to see me tonight. It's because of him that I learned from my youngest age to respect the dignity of work and the dignity of working people.
He was a guy most comfortable in the company of bricklayers and carpenters and electricians. And I have a lot of that in me also. I love those people.
Then there's my mother, Mary. She was strong, but also warm and fair-minded. She was a truly great mother. She was also one of the most honest and charitable people that I have ever known and a great, great judge of character. She could pick them out from anywhere.
To my sisters, Mary Anne and Elizabeth, my brother, Robert, and my late brother, Fred, I will always give you my love. You are most special to me.
I have had a truly great life in business. But now, my sole and exclusive mission is to go to work for our country, to go to work for you. It's time to deliver a victory for the American people! We don't win anymore, but we are going to start winning again!
But to do that, we must break free from the petty politics of the past. America is a nation of believers, dreamers and strivers that is being led by a group of censors, critics, and cynics.
Remember, all of the people telling you you can't have the country you want are the same people that wouldn't stand, I mean, they said Trump does not have a chance of being here tonight, not a chance, the same people. Oh, we love defeating those people, don't we? Don't we love defeating those people? Love it. Love it. Love it.
No longer can we rely on those same people in the media and politics who will say anything to keep a rigged system in place. Instead, we must choose to believe in America.
History is watching us now. We don't have much time, but history is watching. It's waiting to see if we will rise to the occasion, and if we will show the whole world that America is still free and independent and strong.
I am asking for your support tonight so that I can be your champion in the White House. And I will your champion.
My opponent asks her supporters to recite a three-word loyalty pledge. It reads: "I'm with her."
I choose to recite a different pledge. My pledge reads: "I'm with you, the American people."
I am your voice. So to every parent who dreams for their child, and every child who dreams for their future, I say these words to you tonight: I am with you, and I will fight for you, and I will win for you!
To all Americans tonight, in all our cities and towns, I make this promise: We will make America strong again! We will make America proud again! We will make America safe again! And we will make America great again
The Republican gathering in Cleveland has been a convention like no other, loosely organized, off message and marked by shocks such as theatrical throw down between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
Those headlines obscure the similarly Cleveland shares with previous party gatherings. At the most basic level, conventions are group therapy sessions where the faithful convince themselves of their own lies.
Believing in your own myth is, after all, a necessary first step in selling it to a wider public.
I learned this early in my career. In the spring of 1988, a group of newsmagazine editors were summoned to lunch in the boardroom to hear the off-the-record wisdom of a man we'd describe as a ''top Democratic strategist.'' And in this instance, our guest deserved the high designation -- he was important enough to live to see his name slapped on a building in central Washington.
Between bites of broiled salmon, the operative lamented the state of Democratic presidential field, a group of hopefuls already dubbed in the press as ''the seven dwarves.'' He was most dismissive of the man who was in real life short of stature yet edging closer to victory.
Mike Dukakis, the governor of Massachusetts who proudly sported a liberal record and an ''ethnic'' name, was a looming disaster, according to our man.
''We're in trouble,'' he lamented. ''I mean, look at the name. Du-Kaaaak-is? Every bigot and every fearful person in the country will recoil. He sounds black, he sounds Puerto Rican ...'' He shook his head sadly. ''He's gonna get slaughtered.''
[ The 5 Stages of Cruz and Trump ]
Four months later I was roaming the floor of the Omni in Atlanta as the Democrats wrapped up their convocation. Dukakis had delivered a decent acceptance speech, something that would drive the candidate to 18-point poll lead over George H.W. Bush. It was a brief shining moment, before the historic character assassination administered by Republican knuckle-breakers Roger Ailes and Lee Atwater.
I approached our once-gloomy Democratic fixer, and this time he was smiling and on the record.
''It was a great speech and Mike's gonna make a great president,'' he said. ''He's our Gary Cooper.''
Here in Cleveland, they're bottling a concoction that they hope will last longer than Trump Vodka, as delegates grow intoxicated on the notion that their man is the second coming of Ronald Reagan.
The reasons are surface, simple and come in rapid succession: Reagan ran on the restoration of America. Reagan was dismissed as a lightweight, yet was smart enough to surround himself with intellects in areas where he fell short. Reagan achieved fame apart from the political realm and remained an outsider.
Older operatives will remember -- and concede on background -- that the Old Man also wasn't above a little race-baiting to lure the base.
[ Who Came Off Worse -- Cruz or Trump? ]
It's all found right among the California delegation, with loving keepers of the Reagan cult who span three generations.
Young Sam Barke's one of the newest guardians of the temple. Dressed in an American flag seersucker suit and sneakers adorned with the GOP elephant, the 18-year-old alternate delegate is looking forward to casting his first vote for Trump in November.
''Trump's a real person. Of the people, by the people and for the people,'' he said. The disdain of the establishment validates Trump's rise. ''Reagan wasn't given a chance by some people because he was an actor,'' young Sam said.
A few rows back, K.V. Kumar is also fired up for Trump. He's attending his seventh Republican convention, and is a first-time delegate for Trump because he wants better ''national security, economic well-being, and a fairer immigration policy.''
Longer experience with politics means Kumar, 71, would have been open to crossing party lines. "I will vote for a good Democrat, and I want a woman president. I might have supported Hillary I she hadn't lied so much.''
But if the Trump candidacy turns into another failed branded enterprise, the delegates may have missed the inheritance message delivered by Ted Cruz on Wednesday night.
His speech shocked delegates. Cruz mentioned Trump once, while citing Michael Smith, one of the five slain Dallas police officers, three times.
[ Ted Cruz Buries the Hatchet -- In Donald Trump's Back ]
Cleverly and deliberately, Cruz used a ''freedom agenda'' trope as cover to deploy words outside the current playbook. Gay. Muslim. Love.
Cruz, unlike Trump, knows that Reagan had a place for the hardworking immigrant somewhere in the shiny city on the hill, albeit a side street in an unfashionable zip code.
In Reagan's world, the obedient and honorable worker would make a life for himself, and perhaps sit smiling in the crowd watching his daughter become the family's first college graduate.
The adoration for Trump turns away from the fact that he has a very different vision from Reagan. When he says our Mexican neighbors send their ''rapists'' and their ''murderers'' our way, he's imagining quite a different fate for our daughters.
Cruz posited a future for the murdered Dallas policeman's daughter that won't come under a President Trump. Yet as the boos rained down upon him, he crafted an alternative reality closer to Reagan's vision. He is certainly a flawed messenger, but Cruz has crafted a new vintage of the Reagan myth, but for laying down and opening in 2020.
David Ellis is Chief Content Office and Senior Vice President of CQ Roll Call.
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Michael Che said he wanted to catch the rarest creature at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio: minorities.
The "Saturday Night Live" star called this game, a play off of the popular Pokémon Go game, Trumpémon GO.
So Che took a camera and phone and walked through the Quicken Loans Arena. Whenever his phone would come across someone who was not white, he would swipe the Poké Ball on his screen to "catch" them. And each time the Poké Ball would capture someone, it would give a witty description of what kind of minority it was. There was "An Old Back Dude" and "A black dude with a selfie stick" and a "cowbro."
[ Special Coverage: 2016 Republican National Convention ]
When Che's Poké Ball would not capture Willie Robertson from Duck Dynasty, Che quiped, "This Amish dude is not a minority?"
Che tried to speak to some white people at the convention asking them if they saw any "rare minorities" in the arena.
One woman said she saw some Hawaiians. When one man walked away from Che after he asked, Che said, "Everyone wants to keep their Trumpémon's to themselves, but I'm going to catch 'em."
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Sen. Christopher S. Murphy announced Tuesday the first set of candidates his new political fund will back in an effort to elect more lawmakers dedicated to combating gun violence.
[ Democrat Launches Fund to Support Gun Control Candidates ]
The Connecticut Democrat encouraged donations to two Senate candidates and one House hopeful, all Democrats, in an email sent to his supporters. His "Fund to End Gun Violence" will support New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan and former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto for Senate, and former Orlando Chief of Police Val Demings in Florida's 10th Congressional District.
The announcement came as Chris Cox, who heads the National Rifle Association's lobbying arm, is set to address the GOP convention in Cleveland.
[ Who's Speaking at the Republican Convention? ]
"But it is important to note that his speech tonight is set against the backdrop of the NRA beginning to lose its vise grip on Congress," Murphy wrote in the email.
"The filibuster I led in the Senate, followed by the House sit-in, have helped us turn a corner in the fight to pass anti-gun violence legislation," Murphy wrote. "But now we need to keep our momentum going by continuing to build a national political infrastructure that rivals that of the NRA."
[ Remembering Heroic Sandy Hook Teacher, Murphy Yields the Floor ]
Murphy pledged to take the issue of gun violence to the campaign trail following his nearly 15-hour filibuster on the issue in June. The senator has been a staunch gun control advocate ever since the tragic shooting in his home state at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012.
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CLEVELAND — The final case of openly mutual contempt between Donald Trump and one of his Republican rivals, the stylistically opposite Gov. John R. Kasich of Ohio, can now be fairly described as a clash of the escalators.
Last year Trump launched his improbable path to the party’s presidential nomination by riding down a moving staircase in the atrium of his iconic New York office tower, stagecraft symbolizing his unabashed descent into the art of the negative campaign.
And on Tuesday Kasich did the opposite, riding up an escalator through the atrium of his home state’s iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, logistics instantly embraced by his campaign’s lingering fan base as evidence Kasich’s politics of positivity hasn’t changed.
The afternoon event, which drew a capacity crowd of about 2,000 campaign supporters from across the country to the museum, had all the trappings of a rally for a politician who has no plans to leave the national stage. It offered no sign whatsoever that Kasich has any interest in succumbing to the entreaties of some party leaders, not to mention many delegates to the Republican National Convention, that he make some measure of peace with the nascent nominee in the name of party unity.
Kasich spoke for seven minutes. He did not mention Trump’s name or even allude to the convention, entering its second day a mile down the road.
Instead, he offered a shorthand version of his stump speech — some familiar phrases about his personal and political philosophy now sounding like someone with 2016 in the rearview mirror and 2020 already in sight.
“I’m just a slob trying to get through the day and do the best I possibly can realizing I’ve got another chance tomorrow to maybe get it right,” he said.
“I’ve never been more satisfied,” both personally and professionally, he said. “I’m an optimist about America. We’re good people. Believe that you can stand and make a difference in the way the world spins, believe that standing on principle and having ethics and integrity can make a huge deal.”
His stand on principle has caused considerable contention in recent days, when he’s maintained it would be emblematic of a politician’s situational hypocrisy if he endorsed Trump in time for the convention after being so critical of him during the primaries.
The victor would "have to change everything that he says" in order for Kasich to speak at the convention, Kasich told NBC on Monday, and so he committed to spending the week totally clear of the Quicken Loans Area, where he ended up with 120 votes during the balloting that formally anointed Trump as the nominee Tuesday evening.
He planned to remain moderately visible on the periphery, however. The Rock Hall party was his highest profile convention-related event, but he also spoke Tuesday to the Illinois and Michigan delegations, appeared on a panel discussion at the conservative International Republican Institute and attended a U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce reception.
“He’s embarrassing his party in Ohio,” the Trump campaign chief, Paul Manafort, said Monday in explaining why Kasich would not appear on the podium. “Negotiations broke down,” Manafort asserted, because Kasich campaign chief John Weaver concluded his client “will have a better chance to be president by not supporting Donald Trump.”
The charge stung enough that a "'John is not an embarrassment” declaration was proffered by Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, who also has stayed away from the convention floor this week so as to distance himself from Trump during an intense re-election fight in their swing state.
Kasich, who is term limited as governor in two years, will turn 68 in the middle of the next round of presidential primaries
As a thank you present, Kasich has given his supporters an Ohio-shaped plaque with a quote from the speech he gave when he suspended his campaign, which drew a clear contrast between his aspirational approach and Trump’s fearfulness: "It is from this higher path that we are offered the greater view. Our strength resides within ourselves. The spirit of our country rests in us."
The so-called two paths speech has become Kasich’s rhetorical touchstone since his race ended. He also, for example, made it the theme of a fundraising appeal on behalf of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan — another potential presidential candidate in four years, if Trump loses this fall, who could be counted on to start with messages of optimism and inclusion.
Ryan, though, has forged a balky path to endorsing Trump without ever embracing him. And even some of the governor’s most fervent fans, believing party unity is the most important priority heading toward November, warn that he’s making a mistake in not doing likewise if he has a presidential comeback bid in mind.
“Not a word about Trump,” declared an incredulous Karen Funk of Youngstown as the party broke up. "What a disappointment, because I think it will come back to haunt him.”
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