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What to know about the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, which is in its third day:

The party's deep fractures were on display Wednesday tonight: Among other incidents, Ted Cruz told delegates to "vote your conscience" and Scott Walker barely mentioned Trump's name.

Tales from the streets outside the GOP convention, where thousands have been holding their own debate over America’s future.

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Ready for Day 4? Find our coverage here

As Day 4 of the Republican National Convention begins, we're posting news and analysis over here

Below you'll find our news feed from the first three days of events in Cleveland.

Watch Donald Trump's acceptance speech with the L.A. Times

Join us for a watch party in downtown Los Angeles as Donald Trump formally accepts the Republican presidential nomination, and play bingo with members of The Times' politics team.

After the speech, Assistant Managing Editor For Politics Christina Bellantoni, Sacramento Bureau Chief John Myers and columnist Robin Abcarian will offer analysis and predictions, and take your questions.

It's free but you need to register here. 

Mike Pence stuck to the script on an off-script night

 (Associated Press)
(Associated Press)

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence hit all the standard notes for a high-profile political address Wednesday night: introducing himself to unfamiliar voters, extolling his running mate and making an explicit appeal to independent and Democratic voters.

That typical approach has been in short supply at the GOP nominating confab in Cleveland, with its outsized focus on base-pleasing issues like Benghazi and speakers whose anti-Hillary Clinton rhetoric is matched only by the audience’s preferred chant of “Lock her up!” 

Adding to the unreality was Sen. Ted Cruz’s non-endorsement of Donald Trump just an hour before Pence took the stage, prompting a chaotic backlash from attendees.

But Pence appeared unfazed by the clamor, smoothly delivering a recitation of Trump’s attributes and promising a capable team to win the White House in November.

California delegate mad at Ted Cruz

 (Los Angeles Times)
(Los Angeles Times)

Donald Trump supporter Michael Der Manouel, a California delegate from Fresno, is not happy with Sen. Ted Cruz.

“Everybody believed he was building to a point in his speech where he would endorse Donald Trump, and he couldn’t bring himself to do it, and the convention expressed its displeasure,” Der Manouel told The Times.

“He couldn’t bring himself to do what Reagan did in ’76, and it’s very disappointing,” he said. “We’re going to move forward without all of these guys who reneged on their endorsement pledge. We’re going to move forward without them.”

Watch as Mike Pence looks to America's future in convention speech

Watch: Eric Trump lauds his father as a great leader

Watch: Scott Walker looks toward party unity with praise for Donald Trump

A dark star named Ted Cruz blots out the sun for Mike Pence

It wasn't supposed to be like this.

The third night of the convention was supposed to belong to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Donald Trump's running mate.

No one anticipated that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, giving a surprisingly restrained speech, would nevertheless fail to endorse Trump, infuriating convention delegates.

"To those listening, please, don’t stay home in November," said Cruz, in his typically languid debater's cadence. "If you love our country, and love your children as much as I know you do, stand, and speak, and vote your conscience; vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution."

That's when the booing began, the Twitter volume went to 11 and, it seemed, no one could speak of anything else. 

Lost in the noise: Pence's perfectly serviceable speech.

Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence blows a kiss to his wife as he speaks during the third day of the Republican convention. (Mary Altaffer / Associated Press)
Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence blows a kiss to his wife as he speaks during the third day of the Republican convention. (Mary Altaffer / Associated Press)

Gov. Scott Walker -- a Trump critic, then backer, then skeptic -- got the party memo on GOP unity

When Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker addressed the Republican convention Wednesday, it was as if a memo had gone out from party headquarters that the time had come to step up the effort to unify the party behind Donald Trump.

The first two nights of the convention had resulted in start-and-stop progress. Lots of pro-Trump voices. Few new converts. Convention crowds that began to thin toward the end of the evening.

Walker, in some ways, was a prime messenger, thanks to his own discomfort over Trump.

If Walker -- a onetime Trump rival, who endorsed Trump only to walk it back later -- could vote for the ticket, so could so many other Republicans who preferred someone else.

The former presidential hopeful argued his case the way so many Republicans are doing it – not so much a vote for Trump as a vote for the alternative to Democrat Hillary Clinton.

He made a point of not just naming Trump but also including the vice presidential nominee, Mike Pence, who many believe will help persuade conservatives who are cool to Trump to fall in line with the GOP ticket.

“Hillary Clinton is the ultimate liberal Washington insider. If she were any more on the 'inside,' she’d be in prison,” Walker said.

“America deserves better than Hillary Clinton,” he said. “That is why we need to support Donald Trump and Mike Pence to be the next president and vice president.”

“Let me be clear: A vote for anyone other than Donald Trump in November is a vote for Hillary Clinton,” he said.

The speech was full of Walker's sensible Midwestern passion, and it roused the crowd. After House Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s address the night before, it was among the few speeches that gave prime time the feel of a traditional convention otherwise filled with B-list actors and Trump’s business allies.

Walker may have lost his chance to be the one onstage as the GOP nominee.

But on Wednesday, he did his part to salvage the Republican Party in the age of Trump.

Watch the full speech:

Retired astronaut Eileen Collins skips over line endorsing Trump in prime-time speech

In her Wednesday night convention speech, retired astronaut Eileen Collins lamented the fact that the last time the U.S. launched astronauts on American soil was more than five years ago, imploring leaders to "do better than that."

She called for "leadership that will make America's space program first again," but skipped a line in her prepared remarks that would have endorsed newly-minted Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Earlier this week, Collins told Mashable that her speech was not meant to be political.

"This is a chance I could not pass up: We can raise awareness of how the U.S. human space program has slowed over the years," Collins said in a statement to the website.

Watch Ted Cruz's full speech to the Republican National Convention

FBI may have resumed controversial checkups on Cleveland-area activists, legal group says

Protesters hold an anti-Trump banner outside the convention site in Cleveland. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Protesters hold an anti-Trump banner outside the convention site in Cleveland. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents may have knocked on the doors of several Cleveland-area activists Wednesday morning, resuming a controversial checkup practice that put the local civil rights community on edge in the weeks leading up to the Republican National Convention, a legal advocacy group said.

In a statement issued Wednesday night, the Ohio chapter of the National Lawyers Guild alleged the FBI conducted a series of "raids" and may have entered a home without a warrant, continuing a practice that disturbed local demonstrators earlier this summer.

“It’s been a consistent theme throughout all of these visits that law enforcement are looking for links and relationships among activists or people known to be activists around the Cleveland area and around the state of Ohio and also in some other locations outside of the state," said Jacqueline Greene, co-coordinator of the guild. "Ultimately they’re on an information-fishing expedition. The purpose of these visits is to intimidate and chill First Amendment expression.”

National activists with Black Lives Matter and Campaign Zero have also said they received unnerving visits from the FBI in the weeks leading up to the nominating conventions, according to the Washington Post.

Greene said her office had also reviewed video that appeared to show FBI agents and officers entering a home without consent.

Asked about the incident Wednesday night, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said he was not sure if his officers were involved in any door knocks, as some are on loan to the local FBI office. He said he generally supports the tactic.

"We're not accusing them of anything," Williams said. "We're going around and talking to them."

The FBI said earlier this year that the visits were simply about ensuring safety during the convention, but local organizers have criticized the tactic as intimidation. 

FBI spokeswoman Vicki Anderson said the FBI and police officers from Elyria, a Cleveland suburb, conducted interviews this week "in response to investigative leads."

"The occupants were interviewed outside the residence and no arrests were made," Anderson said in an e-mail to The Times. "Law enforcement will continue to respond to investigative leads to ensure the security of the RNC."

9:10 p.m. Updated with a response from the FBI in Cleveland. 

The man of the moment

Gingrich immediately tries to mend the Cruz rift at Republican convention


Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich sought Wednesday night to get the Republican National Convention back on track after disharmony erupted in full, prime-time view when delegates booed Sen. Ted Cruz for declining to endorse nominee Donald Trump.

Veering from his prepared remarks, Gingrich told the thousands of delegates and guests that they had misunderstood Cruz when he urged Americans to “vote your conscience.”

Gingrich said that Cruz had actually urged voters to abide by their conscience and vote any candidate who will uphold the Constitution. In the presidential contest, Trump is the only candidate who would do so, Gingrich said.

“So to paraphrase Ted Cruz, if you want to protect the Constitution of the United States the only possible candidate this fall is the Trump-Pence Republican ticket,” he said.

Gingrich, whom Trump passed over as his running mate, also hailed Trump for being generous in allowing his GOP primary rivals to speak without requiring an endorsement.

Analysis: Sen. Ted Cruz's refusal to endorse Donald Trump lit up the GOP convention, with political implications

Mike Pence can bring it in a speech when he needs to

 (Darron Cummings / Associated Press)
(Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is giving the biggest speech of his life tonight.

If you are looking for a preview of what the man can do to a crowd it helps to look at the speech he gave to the Family Research Council Values Voter Summit in September 2010.

Pence, then a congressman, was so well received he won the straw poll there, beating out former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and eventual 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Speaking shortly before Republicans won back a majority in Congress, Pence jabbed at then-speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and promised the crowd not to compromise with Democrats. 

"I am here to say House Republicans are back in the fight and they are back in the fight for conservative values on Capitol Hill," he told a rapturous crowd. 

The crowd ate up the Republican red meat Pence offered throughout about the nation being trapped in "bondage" to big government. 

But Pence also managed to maintained a light touch. 

He put the crowd in stitches, joking that while MSNBC said Republicans would win "just a couple of seats" in the House, Fox News said "Republicans will win all 435 seats in the Congress."

Pence used one of his common lines -- "I am a conservative but I am not in a bad mood about it." -- that he has repeated on television since Trump selected him as his running mate.

Pence also flashed his socially conservative bonafides that made him attractive to a Trump campaign looking to broaden its appeal to the right wing.     

"Don't ask, don't tell must remain the policy of the United States Armed Forces," he said.


Watch Marco Rubio's message to Republican delegates

Ted Cruz to delegates: 'Vote your conscience'

“Please, don’t stay home in November,” Ted Cruz said to convention-goers. “If you love our country and if you love your children as much as I know you do, stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”

Delegates chanted at him to endorse Donald Trump, and the phrase “vote your conscience” appeared to infuriate the crowd. Anti-Trump forces had unsuccessfully sought to make rules changes that would have unbound delegates and allowed them to "vote their conscience."

The lack of endorsement by Cruz, who mentioned Trump’s name only once, was not surprising. 

Watch live: Ted Cruz speaking, not expected to endorse Trump

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