Politics

GOP Stays Keen on Slamming Clinton

Economic theme of RNC Tuesday largely ignored to criticize Democratic nominee

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Chants of “guilty” and “lock her up” filled the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland Tuesday night as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie asked delegates at the Republican National Convention the same question repeatedly: “Is she guilty or not guilty?”  

[Chris Christie Endorses Donald Trump for President ]  

The former federal prosecutor was laying out a mock “case” against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, slamming a litany of foreign policy decisions made while she served as secretary of state.  

[Republicans Press to Keep Clinton Investigation Going ]  

From diplomatic deals in Iran, China and Cuba to an email scandal that has been the forefront of her campaign, Christie , who many suspect might be auditioning for attorney general in a Trump administration, declared: “We cannot promote someone as commander in chief who has made the world a more dangerous and violent place.”  

Instead of focusing on the state of the economy – the theme of the night in Cleveland was “Make America Work Again” – Christie joined a chorus of Republicans who used the pulpit to continue knocking Clinton as they had the night before during a national security-focused evening.  

On the night that Trump secured the GOP nomination, some Republican congressional leaders briefly touched upon job creation and the shrinking of the middle class – but to little fanfare or reaction to the crowd who also seemed more interested in shouting about their disdain for the former first lady.  

Delegates erupted when members of the GOP assailed Clinton’s use of an unsecured, private email server during her time as the nation’s top diplomat, where the FBI concluded she mishandled classified information but stopped short of recommending criminal charges.  

[Paul Ryan's Tightrope Walk in Cleveland ]  

They booed when Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin suggested a favorite notion among Republicans: That electing Clinton would effectively grant President Barack Obama a third term.  

And they cheered when House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California opened his speech by declaring just how long the president had left in the White House.  

“In just 112 days – it’s over,” McCarthy said.  

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky took a personal approach.  

“I’ve been around the Clinton's more than anybody should ever have to,” McConnell said.  

But when it came to talking about the ordinary person – it was mostly silence.  

“The American people are tired of hearing about the bounty of government while the cost of caring for a family or meeting daily expenses grows out of reach,” McConnell said.  

Even Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, who often outlines the plight of her home state’s coal miners, couldn’t help but transition from that to the Clinton email scandal.  

During Capito’s speech cameras periodically panned to delegates wearing hard hats and held signs that read “Trump Digs Coal.”  

The Clinton campaign, for its part, spent a second night issuing up-to-the-minute statements debunking Republican’s comments on a slew of issues while slamming Trump in the process.  

“When it comes to Hillary Clinton’s accomplishments, Donald Trump and Republicans often come down with a case of amnesia,” one email read. "Whether it was her work as First Lady, Senator, or Secretary of State -- Hillary Clinton has always worked to make America stronger and safer."  

Contact Rahman at remarahman@cqrollcall.com or follow her on Twitter at @remawriter

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