Republican National Convention: Highlights

'Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.' by Gage Skidmore
Photograph: 'Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.' by Cage Skidmore / CC

The first day of the Republican National Convention (RNC) was filled with notable moments. On the first day, Never-Trump members showed up at the convention and tried to change the rules in one last attempt to try and prevent Trump from getting the Republican presidential nomination. However,  their bid was defeated. That same night Trump made a surprise entrance in a very theatric way by walking on the stage while Queen’s “We are the Champions” was playing and with lights flashing all around him; a very Trump-like entrance, of course. He then introduced his wife, Melania Trump, who gave a speech that caused some problems later on. On the second day, Donald Trump Jr. led the delegate count of New York that officially made his father the Republican nominee for president.


Later that night Tiffany Trump and Donald Trump Jr. gave speeches. The third day saw speeches from Eric Trump, Ted Cruz, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Trump’s VP pick Indiana Governor Mike Pence, just to name a few. The final day would usually be focused on the speech of the GOP presidential nominee, and even though it was, many believe it was Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump who stole the night with her powerful words.

Let’s look at some of the speeches in more detail.

Melania Trump:

She started off by talking about her background, childhood, and life when she just got to the US. She emphasized how supportive and kind her husband is and how she feels that he could help bring the country forward and do what is necessary to help America be strong again. Everything sounded very good and she spoke with confidence and elegance; the perfect combination for a strong speech. However, a speech that could have positively impacted the Trump campaign ended up doing the opposite. Hours after she had spoken, the news broke out that parts of her speech were eerily similar to the one Michelle Obama gave during the Democratic National Convention in 2008. Melania had apparently decided to change some parts of her speech. She tore up some early versions of her speech that were written by two professional Republican speechwriters and then called for the help of Meredith McIver, a New York City-based former ballet dancer and English major who has worked on some of Mr. Trump’s books. McIver released a statement on Wednesday in which she apologized for what had happened with the speech and that it was her mistake to have left parts of the Obama speech in Melania’s final draft. She offered her resignation to the Trump organization from her position as an in-house staff writer but Mr. Trump did not accept it. The Trump campaign chairman claimed that the number of suspicious words was fifty. Even though most of Ms. Trump’s speech may have been original,the fifty words that were copied caused quite an uproar and negatively overshadowed a speech that could have really rallied up more support for their cause.

Donald Trump Jr.:

Donald Trump Jr. is Donald Trump’s oldest son. He called himself the “son of a great man.” He described his father as having a “track record of accomplishing the impossible” and how this can be backed up by looking at the success he has had, not only in real estate but also in his political career, which has only just begun. He also spoke about how he has seen his father promote people based on their character, street smarts and work ethic and how his father sees the potential in people that they don’t even see in themselves. He recalled how he and his siblings learned from people who had “doctorates in common sense” and not just from people with degrees from fancy schools. That is how they learned the dignity of hard work from a very young age. He also used the opportunity to criticize Hillary Clinton for her involvement (or lack thereof) in the Benghazi attack that left four Americans dead. He stated that Clinton “couldn’t pass a basic background check” and that she is “a risk Americans can’t afford to take.”

He closed his speech by expressing that the country needs change and a president who isn’t afraid to face America’s problems head on and to turn deeply negative situations into positive ones.


Eric Trump:

Eric Trump is Donald Trump’s second son with his first wife Ivana Trump. He is a businessman and philanthropist. He started off his speech by pointing out that his father received the most primary votes for a Republican candidate in the history of the United States, which is official as of June 8 when it was made public that Trump had beat George W. Bush’s record.

He explained that his father decided to run for president because he could no longer sit idly by and watch the country that has given him so much deteriorate at such a fast and dangerous pace.

He directly addressed people who were having difficulties, such as neglected veterans and single mothers, and told them that his father is running for them. He finished off by calling his father his hero and best friend.

Tiffany Trump:

Tiffany Trump is Donald Trump’s second daughter that he had with his second wife, Marla Maples. She recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a double major in urban studies and sociology. In her short but powerful speech, she focused on the kind qualities that her father possesses. She talked about how he was always there for her and about the unwavering support and great advice that she always got from him.

She described her father as a man with natural charm and no facade, friendly, considerate, and very real, strong, protective, and endearing.

Ted Cruz:

Cruz also gave a speech at the RNC. He called the US “a nation divided.” He slammed Clinton about how she said “what difference does it make” when being questioned about her role in Benghazi. He called for a return to freedom. He made reference to the UK’s Brexit vote by stating that something powerful is happening. “Voters are overwhelmingly rejecting the political establishment and overwhelmingly rejecting big government.” He refused to endorse Donald Trump which caused him to booed by the audience. Instead, he urged the public to go out and vote in November and to vote their conscience. Trump later tweeted that he had seen generic keflex drug Cruz’s original speech some hours before Cruz took the stage but said that even though he did not honor the pledge it was “no big deal” that he didn’t endorse him.

Mike Pence:

Donald Trump announced Mike Pence as his running mate on July 15. Many people are not familiar with this man or what he stands for, so it’s important to present some background information on him. Mike Pence was first elected to the U.S House in 2000 in which he served six terms and he has been the governor of Indiana since 2012. He was one of the first Republicans to embrace the Tea Party on Capitol Hill and ss a Congressman he voted for the authorization of the Iraq War in 2003. A key achievement of his was when he was able to persuade the Obama administration to accept a state-run Medicaid alternative.


Pence describes himself as a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican in that order. Growing up, he was initially supportive of the Democratic Party until he was inspired by Ronald Reagan and changed his political affiliation. Moving on to this election cycle, Pence had actually endorsed Ted Cruz before the Indiana Primary and was not always a Trump supporter. He had called Trump’s idea of banning all Muslims from entering the US “unconstitutional.” However, as time went by, he started seeing more similarities than differences between him and Donald Trump. In his speech, he describes Trump as someone who never quits, who never backs down, a fighter, and a winner. He also complemented Trump by saying “you can’t fake good kids.”

He referred to the Trump campaign as a movement and said the Democrats represent everything the country is tired of. Finally, he referred to Hillary Clinton as “secretary of the status quo” and as someone who is completely unfit to lead the country in the direction it has to go.

Ivanka Trump:

According to many, Ivanka Trump stole the show on the final day of the RNC. Her speech received fantastic reviews and she definitely impressed countless people. She spoke about how her father taught her and her siblings the importance of positive values and a strong ethical compass and how to strive for excellence in everything that they do. In an attempt to make viewers connect on a more personal level with her father, she told them about how he would ask for people who were having difficulties in their life to be brought to him and how he would see the potential in them and help turn their life around. Many people have a view of Donald Trump as simply a rich man that only cares about what is best for himself and who has absolutely no regard for others, but his daughter tried to change that perspective with her speech. She went on to say that her father is “color blind and gender neutral” and that he “hires the best person for the job period.” She also spoke about the importance of women in the workforce and on making quality childcare affordable for all. She also assured that she would fight for equal pay alongside her father.

Donald Trump:

In the most awaited speech of the convention, Trump addressed a number of important issues that America is facing. He spoke about how the US  can no longer afford to be so politically correct anymore, a statement with which the public strongly agreed with as loud cheering erupted after he made that statement. He went on to state that the US has suffered domestic and international humiliations one after another. He described the legacy of Hilary Clinton as being: “death, destruction, terrorism, and weakness” and emphasized that her legacy does not have to be America’s legacy. He called the system rigged and said that “corruption has reached a level like never ever before in  our country” as he referred to how Hillary Clinton was able to delete 33,000 emails, put America’s national security at risk and face no consequences for her actions.

He wants to build a wall to stop the gangs, violence, and drugs pouring into American communities and said he will be considerate and compassionate to everyone but that he will have the most compassion for the struggling citizens of the United States. He wants to turn the bad trade agreements into great trade agreements, “enforce trade violations on any country who cheats”, take back jobs that have gone to foreigners and, most important of all, put America first again. He said he will end excessive regulations and lift the restrictions on the production of American energy which, according to him, will produce more than 20 trillion dollars in job creating economic activity over the next four decades. 

He ended his speech on a strong note by comparing Hillary Clinton’s pledge to his own. Clinton makes supporters say “I’m with Her” and, according to Trump, it should be the other way around. Trump said that he does not want his supporters to tell him that they are with him, on the contrary, his pledge is that he is with them. “I’m with you, I will fight for you, and I will win for you.”

When asked what new things they learned about Donald Trump during the convention, most Republicans focused their answers on how family-oriented Trump apparently is and what a strong and positive impact his children’s speeches had on their perspective of the presidential hopeful. Some say you can judge a person by how their kids turn out, and it’s quite clear that most Republicans at the convention were left with extremely positive impressions of Donald Trump’s children. He is now the official Republican presidential nominee which means he is one step closer to his goal of sitting in the Oval Office. However, one person still stands in his way.

The Democratic National Convention will start on Monday and then Hillary will get her four days in the public eye. As of July 24, polls show that Clinton has a very small lead by 1.9%, however, these numbers are continuously changing and next week’s DNC could cause the margin of her lead to increase. The battle between Clinton and Trump is only just beginning and it will surely be very amusing and exciting to see how events unfold in the coming months. 


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Gabriela Bernal 24 Articles
Gabriela Bernal is interested in politics, international relations, and terrorism. She is pursuing a degree in political science and plans on pursuing her postgraduate studies in the U.K. She likes to write, read, play tennis, travel, and learn new languages.

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