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U.S. Election 2016

Republican convention: Your complete guide to Trump's big moment

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump accepts the nomination on the last day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump accepts the nomination on the last day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

With Donald Trump's speech on Thursday night, the Republican convention in Cleveland has wrapped up. Here's a roundup of what happened

Highlights from the end of the Republican National Convention on July 21:

  • Donald Trump pitched himself as the law-and-order candidate in his presidential nomination acceptance speech.
  • Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy failures led to Islamic State, and a Clinton presidency will mean mass migration and mass lawlessness, according to Mr. Trump.
  • Here’s a fact-checking from Associated Press of some of the debunked claims Mr. Trump made in his speech.
  • Ivanka Trump on her father: “He is colour-blind and gender neutral and he hires the best person for the job, period,” she said in speech introducing her father.
  • Ms. Trump also talked about fighting for wage equality and affordable childcare in a speech that aimed to soften Mr. Trump’s image.
  • The Clinton campaign criticized Mr. Trump’s speech, as did Ms. Clinton’s former rival Bernie Sanders. (During his speech, Mr. Trump said Mr. Sanders’ supporters would vote for him because of his views on trade deals and jobs.)
  • On Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama took aim at remarks Mr. Trump made about violent crime: “Some of the fears that were expressed throughout the week just don’t jibe with the facts.”
  • Ms. Clinton was also close to picking Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate on Friday, according to media reports.

Read more coverage and analysis of the convention's conclusion:

Day 4: Two Trumps, two very different speeches

Speech 1: Donald Trump’s bleak portrait of the U.S.

Watch the highlights from Trump’s 75-minute speech in under four minutes


The Donald Trump the world has watched for months – with his controversial promises to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, block newcomers from countries battling terrorism, and tear up free-trade deals because they don’t benefit American workers – is the Donald Trump the world will have to live with from now until voting day in November.

On Thursday night in Cleveland at the Republican National Convention, the real estate billionaire accepted the presidential nomination and immediately pitched himself as the law-and-order candidate who will secure the country’s borders, defeat Islamic State and restore peace and safety to the U.S.

Mr. Trump pointed to recent examples of “violence in our streets” and “chaos in our communities” – references to police killings and the targeting of an Orlando night club that killed 49 people.

“Many have witnessed this violence personally, some have even been its victims,” he said.

“I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end. Beginning on January 20th 2017, safety will be restored,” he said in the speech.

The killings of eight police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge shocked the public. In both cases, police officers were singled out.

The killings took place against a backdrop of unrest and anger over the increasing number of black Americans killed during encounters with police forces across the country.

The Black Lives Matter movement has been at the forefront of peaceful protests.

After Dallas, Mr. Trump described himself as the “law and order candidate” and criticized the name of the Black Lives Matter movement. “A lot of people feel that it is inherently racist. And it’s a very divisive term,” he told The Associated Press.

At the Republican National Convention, speakers have largely ignored the demands for greater police accountability and criminal prosecution of officers involved in shootings of black Americans.

Instead, Republican speakers have highlighted slogans such as Blue Lives Matter and All Lives Matter.

Mr. Trump claimed that decades of bringing down crime were being reversed as homicides in 2015 increased by 17 per cent in the country’s 50 largest cities. He pointed to the country’s capital and Baltimore as examples where killings have jumped.

But experts argue that the recent spike does not yet represent a trend – and that the overall picture still points to a decline in crime and murder rates in the country that started in the 1990s.

Violent crime in the U.S. is down 20 per cent from 2008 – when President Barack Obama was elected – and 2014, according to FBI statistics.

The Republican presidential nominee attacked the Obama administration and warned that Hillary Clinton winning the White House would bring mass migration and mass lawlessness because of her open borders vision. Such a vision is not part of Ms. Clinton’s platform, which calls for comprehensive immigration reform and strengthened border security.

Mr. Trump also blamed her for the Obama administration’s foreign-policy failures. He and others have already blamed Ms. Clinton for helping create the Islamic State group.

The international fight against the group is making gains – particularly in Iraq – where IS is losing territory as Iraqi forces retake towns and cities. But the group continues to inspire attacks in the U.S., Europe and Middle East.

The Obama administration’s drawing down of U.S. forces in Iraq played a role in the rise of Islamic State. But the decision ultimately rested with Mr. Obama.
Also, the original event that experts widely point to as creating a vacuum that allowed the rise of militant groups is the 2003 Iraq war – an invasion led by a Republican president.

Mr. Trump made a direct pitch for millions of disaffected voters whose wages are stagnant, burdened by high levels of household debt and with few prospects of economic improvement.

“But they are not going to be forgotten long. These are the people who work hard but no longer have a voice. I am your voice,” he said.

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.

Donald Trump, Republican National Convention

The general election will be fought in battleground states like Ohio and Pennsylvania – where Mr. Trump’s message of renegotiating international trade deals has found support among white voters hit hard by the collapse in manufacturing and economic flight.

“Remember, it was Bill Clinton who signed NAFTA, one of the worst economic deals ever made by our country. Never again,” he said.

“I am going to bring our jobs back to Ohio and to America – and I am not going to let companies move to other countries, firing their employees along the way, without consequences,” he added.

Mr. Trump also borrowed from Ms. Clinton’s former rival, Bernie Sanders, referring to the rigged system that will oppose his tax cuts and anti-free trade stand.

Mr. Trump’s speech called for tax cuts for “middle-income Americans and businesses” that will spur growth and finance infrastructure programs that will create jobs.

“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’m with you, I will fight for you, and I will win for you.”

Speech 2: Ivanka Trump’s sunny portrait of her father

‘He’s colour blind and gender-neutral’: Ivanka Trump on her father’s character


Donald Trump has a problem with women and minority voters: they don’t like him – and that could end up costing him the White House.

Which is why Ivanka Trump’s speech on Thursday night introducing her father offered a very different portrait.

“He is colour-blind and gender neutral and he hires the best person for the job, period,” said the married mother of three children.

This was Mr. Trump – the trailblazer: hiring women when corporate America was slow to do so, putting ‘equal pay for equal work’ in to practice, and supporting new mothers in the Trump business empire.

The question is: will women voters buy this version of Mr. Trump?

This was a very different character reference than the one Mr. Trump himself has written over several years: where he has regularly clashed with women and made disparaging comments about their competence and looks.

But this is not the version of Mr. Trump his daughter wants voters to focus on. Instead, the progressive policies he enacted in his business would continue to get a voice.

What Ms. Trump effectively promised is that she would be by her father’s side if he is elected president – fighting for wage equality and affordable childcare.
The speech was also remarkable because of how Ms. Trump asked voters to frame and interpret the Republican presidential nominee.

Ms. Trump said voters should judge him by the towers he has built, the companies he started, and the jobs he created. The only problem with that frame is that Mr. Trump’s business record is by no means perfect. Toronto’s Trump Tower and its troubles is just one example.

But Ms. Trump pointed to another proof that Mr. Trump’s values are no different than millions of American families: his children – successful, smart and loyal to family.

In a Republican National Convention that exalted fear and loathing, Ms. Trump’s speech was the most valiant attempt at trying to get voters to think about Mr. Trump in a new light.

The Clinton campaign: A parting for Donald Trump

The Clinton campaign is actively trolling Republicans and Donald Trump during the Cleveland convention.

They will be repaid next by Republicans and Mr. Trump when the Democratic National Convention kicks off in Philadelphia.

But on Thursday, a pro-Clinton group, Priorities USA Action, released a version of an ad from eight years ago that was aimed at questioning Barack Obama’s readiness for the White House if there was an international emergency in the middle of the night.

This time, the ad has a lighter touch and is aimed at the Republican nominee. The ad will start airing next month.

Edit video

‘Dangerous President’ ad: ’ Who is calling me at 3 a.m. anyway? Total loser’

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Day 3: What you missed on Wednesday

Ted Cruz triggers backlash, Mike Pence delivers

Ted Cruz enraged thousands of Donald Trump supporters in a speech Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention that was widely expected to include an endorsement of the presidential nominee.

But the U.S. senator fell short of fully getting behind Mr. Trump – urging voters instead not to stay home in November and to vote for Republican candidates up and down the ballot.

Cruz booed as he withholds Trump endorsement


For several minutes, an arena of thousands jeered Mr. Cruz – forcing him to pause mid-speech, as he grinned at the commotion. “Trump, Trump, Trump,” the audience thundered.

Mr. Cruz paused and then delivered a smackdown of Mr. Trump’s home state: “I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation,” he said.

The speech will likely plunge the Republican Party into disarray at a moment when it must project unity.

Only minutes before the speech, another Trump rival, Senator Marco Rubio, called on voters to get behind Mr. Trump in a video message broadcast to the convention.

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich was the only speaker to address Mr. Cruz’s speech when he took to the stage later in the evening. He said that the convention audience misunderstood Mr. Cruz’s message. “In this election there is only one candidate who will uphold the Constitution. So, to paraphrase Ted Cruz, if you want to protect the Constitution, the only option this fall is the Trump-Pence ticket,” he said before continuing his prepared speech.

However, a key Trump ally, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, described Mr. Cruz’s address as an “awful, selfish speech” in an interview with NBC News. He also said that Mr. Cruz was not a man of his word.

The night was meant to showcase Indiana Governor Mike Pence as the Republican Party’s vice-presidential nominee – and in many respects the Midwesterner was still able to deliver a positive and upbeat speech filled with folksy charm. He remarked on the larger-than-life personality that is Mr. Trump and his style. “I guess he was looking for someone to balance the ticket,” he said.

Mr. Pence is largely an unknown. But he presented a very conventional political speech for a politician trying to establish himself with a national audience.

He introduced his elderly mother, his schoolteacher wife and adult kids; he talked about growing up in southern Indiana with a cornfield in the backyard; and he spoke of his heroes from his youth: John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. He presented Mr. Trump as a candidate who defied odds, and someone who has stood alone – a candidate who now deserved the full backing of the Republican Party.

When he wasn’t slamming the “Clinton machine” and the threat it poses to the United States if Hillary Clinton is elected president, Mr. Pence did what a vice-presidential nominee is meant to do: he built up his running mate and addressed the doubts of voters.

Trump will bring about ‘huge’ change: Pence


‘Cribbing’: The sequel

The mystery as to how sections of Michelle Obama's 2008 speech ended up in Melania Trump's first big political address became clearer on Wednesday.

Meredith McIver, a Trump staff writer, issued a statement through the Trump organization apologizing for the "confusion and hysteria" that was sparked by her mistake.

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Ms. McIver and Ms. Trump worked closely together on the speech. As part of the speechwriting process, they discussed people that inspired Ms. Trump. She told the writer that she admired Michelle Obama. "Over the phone, she read some passages from Mrs. Obama's speech as examples. I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech," she said.

"I did not check Mrs. Obama's speeches. This was my mistake, and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Mrs. Obama. No harm was meant," she added.

Ms. McIver's resignation was rejected by Mr. Trump and rest of the family, according to the writer. "Mr. Trump told me that people make innocent mistakes and that we learn and grow from these experiences," she said.

Meredith McIver Statement

Earlier on Wednesday, Donald Trump took to Twitter to put a positive spin on his wife's convention speech. He also criticized the media.

The plagiarism allegation also came up after his son, Donald Trump Jr., electrified the audience in his convention speech on Tuesday night.

His references to schools as "elevators stuck on the ground floor" and "Soviet-era department stores" operating for the benefit of sales staff and not the customers were strikingly similar to lines in an article in The American Conservative magazine this May. The author, Frank Buckley, said it was not "stealing" because he was one of the speechwriters.

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Day 2: What you missed on Tuesday

Donald Trump: Second night in the limelight

Through video link, Donald Trump appeared on the large screens at the convention arena in Cleveland on Tuesday night, speaking briefly from Trump Tower in New York.

Watch Trump’s address after securing the Republican nomination


The children deliver: Tiffany Trump and Donald Trump Jr.

The two Trump children no doubt did their father proud – delivering solid speeches, each delving in to different sides of the real estate billionaire.

Mr. Trump's eldest son, himself an executive in the Trump business empire, hailed his father's business success, tenacity and ability to get things done as key attributes that will help him succeed as president.

The Trump children were born into privilege and educated in private schools. But Mr. Trump Jr. appeared to debunk the silver-spoon image and said that all Americans should have the opportunities the Trump children enjoyed. "We didn't learn from MBAs. We learned from people who had doctorates in common sense. It's why we're the only children of billionaires as comfortable in a D-10 caterpillar as we are in our own cars," he said.

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But his harshest lines were aimed at Ms. Clinton. "Hillary Clinton is a risk Americans can't afford to take," he said, adding that she is only the presidential candidate who couldn't pass a "background check."

Donald Trump Jr. says dad ‘spent his career with regular Americans’


The other Trump progeny, the daughter of Marla Maples, delivered arguably one of the most personal and insightful speeches about her father. She recalled old school report cards with "sweet notes" of encouragement from her father.

Tiffany Trump reveals her father’s softer side


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Day 1: What you missed on Monday

The first night of the Republican National Convention featured Donald Trump's wife, Melania, delivering a polished and confident speech that softened the hard edges of a candidate that has offended women voters, minorities and fellow Republicans.

But not long after political observers and U.S. cable news networks declared Melania Trump's speech a success, plagiarism allegations emerged. Social media users commented on Ms. Trump's speech and its striking similarities to the one delivered by Michelle Obama at the Democratic convention in 2008.

Here is some of the side-by-side comparisons made by U.S. media of similar passages. Ms. Trump on Monday night:

From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect.

And here is Ms. Obama's speech from the Democratic National Convention in Denver from eight years ago:

Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you're going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don't know them, and even if you don't agree with them.

Ms. Trump had told NBC News in advance of her speech that she had written most of it herself.

The Trump campaign pushed back against the plagiarism allegations circulating on social media with a middle-of-night e-mail to journalists.

"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," said Jason Miller, senior communications adviser, although he did not mention the source of those "fragments."

On Tuesday morning, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort dismissed the allegations of "cribbing" and blamed Hillary Clinton. A Trump ally, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, also defended Ms. Trump's speech — arguing that 93 per cent of it was hers.

The first night of the Republican National Convention included Donald Trump allies, B-list celebrities, and grieving parents and siblings who had lost loved ones to terrorism abroad and violent crime in the U.S. The deaths were blamed on Hillary Clinton's failed foreign policy and the Obama administration's failure to crack down on illegal immigrants.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee managed to steal some of the show, appearing on stage in Cleveland to introduce his wife. Presidential candidates do not normally appear on the first night of the convention.

Slovenian-born Ms. Trump spoke about her husband's business acumen, his love for the U.S. and his wish to expand prosperity to the country's poorest.

She also looked ahead to the bruising general election campaign, reminding delegates that there would be twists and turns. "It would not be a Trump contest without excitement and drama," she said to applause and laughter.

Guns and protests

Steve Thacker, an IT engineer, speaks to the media at an open carry event on Sunday in Cleveland. PHOTOS: WILLIAM EDWARDS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The “open carry” gun law in Ohio basically means that legally permitted firearms can be carried unconcealed and loaded by Ohio residents and visitors – so long as their home state has a reciprocity agreement with Ohio.

Weapons were be allowed inside the convention arena. But in the 4.4-square-kilometre “event zone” around the arena, the state’s open carry policy applied. That created an interesting juxtaposition of what was and was not allowed inside the event zone, according to this list provided by the city of Cleveland.

The U.S. Secret Service and the FBI were in charge of security around and inside the three main venues of the Republican convention:The city had created a 8.5-square-kilometre "event zone" around the main convention arena and limited where and when people could protest.But a federal judge last month ruled that the size of the area was unduly large and handed a victory to civil-liberties groups that felt the constitutional right of people to gather and protest was being impinged. The size of the event zone ended up being 4.4 square kilometres.

CodePink demonstrators protest at an anti-Donald Trump rally in Cleveland near the Republican National Convention.

CodePink demonstrators protest at an anti-Donald Trump rally in Cleveland near the Republican National Convention.


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Facts and Figures

Host city: Cleveland, home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – where admission is free for the duration of the Republican convention.

Venue: Quicken Loans Arena, called The Q by locals and named after the country's largest online mortgage lender, will be the main convention venue. It is also home to the championship-winning Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team.

Cleveland by the numbers

Number of people attending convention
Number of media members attending
Population of Cleveland in 2015; second largest Ohio city after Columbus
Total Cleveland police force available for security
Additional police from across Ohio brought in to help with security

Delegates: 2,472 official delegates from states and territories. Most delegates are bound on the first ballot to a particular candidate based on the outcome of nominating contests in the winter and spring.

A woman on the sidewalk is dwarfed by a giant picture of NBA basketball Cleveland Cavaliers player LeBron James in downtown Cleveland across the street from the Republican National Convention.

A woman on the sidewalk is dwarfed by a giant picture of NBA basketball Cleveland Cavaliers player LeBron James in downtown Cleveland across the street from the Republican National Convention.


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Why the Republican convention matters

Political conventions are a chance to project party unity and readiness to lead. In the U.S., they are largely coronations — a marked shift from the convention floor jostling, drama and uncertainty that characterized conventions more than 40 years ago.

In Canada, there is still a version of multi-ballot voting by party members. The last time that happened at a Republican convention was in 1948.

U.S. political conventions are political advertisement and stagecraft. They put the party's presidential nominee at centre stage, surrounded by (hopefully) adoring delegates and a stream of speakers over several days, each speech vouching for the nominee's key attributes.

What follows (usually) is a post-convention bump in the opinion polls for the party ticket, and weeks of crisscrossing the country to raise money, meeting voters and getting ready for the next big moments: the televised debates after Labour Day and election day on Nov. 8.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and their families on the stage at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, on the final day of the Republican National Convention in 2012.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and their families on the stage at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, on the final day of the Republican National Convention in 2012.


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Excuses, excuses: Who bailed?

What is at stake for the GOP?

The Republican Party views the 2016 presidential election as a historic opportunity – a chance to quash what it describes as an Obama third-term in the guise of a Hillary Clinton candidacy.

Eight years of a Democrat in the White House is enough and Ms. Clinton is an unpopular figure who can easily be defeated, say Republicans.

The party currently controls the U.S. Congress. With a Republican in the White House, a conservative agenda of cutting taxes and spending, repealing Obamacare and appointing conservatives to the U.S. Supreme Court would have a shot.

The party establishment will be looking to project a unified movement to block Ms. Clinton and rally around the party's nominee.

There is just one problem: Donald Trump.

The Republican Party and Mr. Trump must show that they are ready to govern, deliver change and unite the country, explains Donald Critchlow, a political historian at Arizona State University and author of The Conservative Ascendancy: How the GOP Right Made Political History.

"As the outside party, you want to present yourself as a party of reform and a party of inclusion. It's hard to see Trump pivoting to either of those. You can't see him talking about being inclusive," he said.

Mr. Trump has alienated key cross-sections of the electorate with his comments about women and Mexicans. His favourability ratings are poor – lower than Ms. Clinton's – and that worries the party.

The Republican establishment will try to persuade the nominee to stay on script and committed to the teleprompter. Mr. Trump has been ramping up his rhetoric about taking back the government from the political elites and the mainstream media.

"It's entirely likely he can't stay that much on script while he's that much in the spotlight. This is his moment – his moment to be Donald Trump. And the question is whether or not he will let people reign him in," explained Heather Richardson, a historian at Boston College in Massachusetts and author of To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party.

"So far it hasn't worked and if I had to guess it's not going to work at the convention either," she added.

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What is at stake for Donald Trump?

In order to broaden his path to the White House, Mr. Trump needs to reach out to the very groups he has turned off: minority voters and women – the latter representing the majority of voters at election time.

The idea that Mr. Trump can pivot to general-election messages after a primary season that showcased strident anti-immigration themes and questions about his temperament is slightly far-fetched – though not impossible.

But his immediate challenge is with Republicans at the convention and voters watching at home. "This is going to be a big test for him. He won the nomination two months ago and still many Republicans are not confident in him. And then voters still don't have confidence in him," said Prof. Critchlow.

The Trump campaign also needs a big post-convention boost. It is struggling on several fronts and is being outpaced by Democratic rivals when it comes to voter turnout operations, fundraising and TV advertising in key battleground states.

Boston College's Prof. Richardson does not see a truly committed presidential candidate. He is more salesman than politician, she said. "I don't think he's interested in the presidency, I think he's interested in his pocketbook and his reputation. He's a narcissist. He cares about himself. So what's at stake for him? His brand and his personal standing and those are not looking good right now," she added.

A possible scenario that Prof. Richardson and others see unfolding is Mr. Trump dropping out if it appears he cannot mount a strong national campaign and beat Ms. Clinton.

Vendors sell campaign buttons in front of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, where Hillary Clinton was speaking inside.
Vendors sell campaign buttons in front of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, where Hillary Clinton was speaking inside. SETH PERLMAN/AP

Trolling Donald Trump

The year is 1964.

Incumbent U.S. president, Lyndon B. Johnson, is facing Republican nominee Barry Goldwater – a candidate who once said that "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice."

An ad called "Confessions of a Republican" by the Johnson campaign seeks to sow doubt and fear in the minds of voters.

In 2016, the Clinton campaign is following the same playbook.

On Monday, just as the Republican National Convention was to get underway, the Democrats released a web ad – with the same actor from 52 years ago.

This time, Bill Bogert is making the case against the current Republican nominee.

2016 ad: Confessions of a Republican

1964 ad: Confessions of a Republican

The Clinton campaign is also trolling speakers at the convention. On Monday night, former New York city mayor, Rudy Giuliani, delivered a blistering speech in which he talked tough on Islamic extremism and aimed sharp criticism Ms Clinton. The Clinton campaign did not let that slide:

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With reports from Associated Press and Reuters, and The Globe’s Craig Offman, Michelle Zilio and Evan Annett

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