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.
Mike Pence stuck to the script on an off-script night
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
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.”
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.
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.
FBI may have resumed controversial checkups on Cleveland-area activists, legal group says
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
Watch Marco Rubio’s message to Republican delegates
Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) speaks in a video address played at the Republican National Convention.
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.
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:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at the Republican National Convention.
Mike Pence can bring it in a speech when he needs to
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.
Remember what Donald Trump said about Scott Walker a year ago?
Watch: Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham tells those with ‘bruised egos’ it’s time to support Trump
It was a speech to fire people up, and included marching orders.
“We should all, even all you boys with wounded feelings and bruised egos, and we love you, we love you, but you must honor your pledge to support Donald Trump now,” Laura Ingraham told delegates at the convention.
Watch the full speech:
Laura Ingraham, conservative commentator, speaks at the Republican National Convention.
The hot and cold relationship between Scott Walker and Donald Trump
His support of Donald Trump has fluctuated in recent months.
Ahead of his state’s April primary, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who at the time was seen as the strongest candidate to derail Trump’s quest to become the Republican nominee.
He said that countries like Mexico and China had taken jobs away from Wisconsin and that immigrants in the country illegally were burdening the state’s taxpayers. Trump blamed it on a lack of leadership by Walker, whose own presidential bid last year faltered after only a few months.
“I wouldn’t do this, except that he endorsed this guy Cruz, and Cruz would be a terrible president,” Trump told Wisconsin Republicans at the time.
But the effort to assail Walker, who is popular among Republicans in his state after staving off a 2012 recall spearheaded by Democrats, was not a formula for victory. Trump ended up losing to Cruz in the primary by 13 percentage points.
As Trump has mended some relationships with establishment figures, the one with Walker remains complicated. Though the governor plans to make clear in his speech Wednesday night his support for Trump over Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, he’s wavered in his applause of the billionaire businessman.
During an interview with a local Wisconsin television station last month, Walker, who had initially said he would support the GOP nominee, backtracked.
“It’s just sad in America that we have such poor choices right now,” Walker said, a direct jab at Trump and Clinton.
Walker’s comments came on the heels of Trump’s inflammatory statements about a Latino judge overseeing a fraud lawsuit against the now-defunct Trump University.
Yet in recent weeks, Walker has not been as vocal in his criticisms of Trump. In fact, after Trump announced the selection of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence last week as his running mate, Walker offered plaudits.
“The Mike Pence decision this week to me is a sign that this is somebody who is actually thinking about how to govern,” Walker said of Trump in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
For Walker, who some political observers believe is eyeing another presidential run in 2020, it was a step toward unity.
An inflatable Trump
17 arrested at flag-burning protest outside RNC; observers dispute police account
Cleveland police arrested 17 people on suspicion of assaulting officers and failure to disperse after a U.S. flag was set on fire outside the Republican National Convention on Wednesday afternoon, but legal observers are disputing the police narrative of the incident.
Police Chief Calvin Williams said two people have been booked on charges of felony assault after they pushed and punched police who were trying to extinguish the fire outside the entrance to the Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday. Fifteen other protesters face various misdemeanor charges, including failure to disperse, he said.
Police had no plans to stop Revolutionary Communist Party members from burning the flag, which is a legal but controversial form of protest, and Williams said officers only moved in because several protesters’ clothes caught on fire.
But Jocelyn Rosnick, co-coordinator of the Ohio Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, said 10 legal observers on the scene did not see any of the protesters’ clothes aflame and contended that no dispersal order was given.
She also noted that officers are required to give multiple dispersal orders before making arrests.
“Flag burning as a means of speech is protected. It has been argued in a number of court cases all the way up to the Supreme Court,” Rosnick said.
Officers moved in seconds after the flag caught fire. One could be heard yelling, “You’re on fire, stupid” at a protester as he sprayed a fire extinguisher. A Times reporter who was standing feet away from officers when the flag was set on fire did not hear a dispersal order, however.
All 17 people arrested were adults involved in the protest. Williams said police were only at the scene to prevent clashes between members of the Revolutionary Communist Party, which organized the flag-burning protest, and counter groups who had come to stop them, including “Bikers 4 Trump.”
“There were people on the corner that were basically saying, ‘Why are you guys doing this?’ and the whole area got kind of amped up,” the chief said.
A city police officer and an Ohio state trooper were treated for minor injuries at the scene. None of the protesters whose clothes police said caught fire required medical treatment for burns, Williams said.
‘Small business owner’ speaking tonight works for a multi-level marketing company
Until a few hours ago, Florida-based Trump supporter Michelle Van Etten, who is speaking in a prime-time convention spot Wednesday night, was described on the RNC website as a “small business owner” who “employs over 100,000 people.” The U.S. Small Business Administration advises that most small businesses employ 500 people or fewer.
But when questions were raised about how Van Etten was billed on the speaker list, she clarified the facts: She doesn’t have any employees at all.
“I don’t employ,” she told the Guardian, adding that she sells products for Youngevity, a Chula Vista-based company that sells nutritional supplements, makeup and jewelry.
On a profile written for her Youngevity site, Van Etten describes the company as a “network marketing company” and says her business strategy “involves converting satisfied online product purchasers into business builders.”
A brochure on the company’s website says, “The power of the Youngevity compensation system is in duplication. If we assume that 13 of your new distributors achieve the same results as you, your override compensation would exceed $10,000 per month!”
The company’s products are also peddled by radio host and self-described “aggressive constitutionalist” Alex Jones and actress Marilu Henner.
A LinkedIn profile that appears to belong to Van Etten lists her as “Senior Vice Chairman Marketing Director” for Youngevity.
In an interview with Fortune, Youngevity Chief Financial Officer David Briskie said Van Etten is not an executive with the company, but is free to identify herself that way among her distribution network. Van Etten is an independent contractor who is paid a commission on sales, Briskie told the publication.
By 5 p.m. Wednesday, the GOP convention website had changed Van Etten’s speaker biography to say she “runs an international multi-million dollar network marketing business with an organization of customers and distributors of over 100,000 people.”
Reached by phone, Van Etten told The Times her bio on the GOP website “was not correct.”
“That’s why there was a retraction,” she said.
Van Etten declined to comment further.
Potential Trump Cabinet pick Harold Hamm makes convention debut
On Wednesday Reuters reported that Donald Trump will consider Harold Hamm, chief executive officer of oil and gas giant Continental Resources, as Energy secretary should he become president.
In 2012 Hamm chaired Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s Energy Policy Advisory Group, attacked President Obama’s policies on oil and gave almost $1 million to a super PAC supporting Romney, according to Politico.
Hamm isn’t new to politics. Reuters reported that in 2009 Hamm formed a lobbying group to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline, fearing it would flood his company’s territory with Canadian oil.
But Hamm dropped his opposition after the pipeline’s operator agreed to add an extension that would pick up his company’s oil and take it to refineries, according to the report.
Hamm backed Trump in April.
“He is someone who is not beholden to special interests and has the fortitude to make tough decisions,” he said at the time. “With a slew of onerous regulations now threatening to cripple American business, the next president of the United States must have the courage, determination and intelligence to disrupt politics as usual.”
Band at RNC goes patriotic, then plays antiwar song
Country singer Chris Janson joined G.E. Smith’s house band on stage tonight at the Republican National Convention.
Janson was in the middle of playing his band LoCash’s song “Love this Life” when he stopped to address the delegates dancing on the floor.
“Let me hear you if you’re proud to be from the U.S.A.!”
Then he broke from his band to play the chorus from “Born in the U.S.A.” Chants of “U-S-A” followed.
Bruce Springsteen’s 1984 hit is often deemed a patriotic song, despite its antiwar origins.
The song is a criticism of the Vietnam War and the U.S. government, and if you know it, you’ll recognize the lyrics that surround the catchy chorus:
I had a brother at Khe Sahn
Fighting off the Viet Cong
They’re still there, he’s all gone
Here’s the playlist (so far) from the convention.
Eileen Collins, the first female U.S. space shuttle commander, urges investments in space exploration at RNC
In her speech Wednesday night at the GOP convention, astronaut Eileen Collins urged investments to “make America’s space program first again.”
Collins herself has seen a few firsts in her career.
Before becoming an astronaut, Collins was a career military pilot and trained at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma. She also worked as an instructor pilot at Travis Air Force Base in California from 1983 to 1985.
She was picked for the astronaut program after attending pilot school at Edwards Air Force Base.
She’s also terrified of roller coasters.
Florida Atty. Gen. Pam Bondi was questioned over Trump donation
Florida Atty. Gen. Pam Bondi, who will speak at the Republican National Convention Wednesday, has drawn scrutiny for soliciting a political campaign contribution from Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump when her office was considering joining an investigation into Trump University.
The Associated Press reported last month that a Trump family foundation gave a $25,000 donation to a political group supporting Bondi’s reelection after she solicited the contribution.
The donation alone appeared to be a violation of rules governing political activities by charities.
The timing of the contribution also raised questions: The check arrived four days after Bondi said her office was considering joining a New York state probe of Trump University.
Her office declined to join the suit against Trump after the check came in, citing insufficient grounds to proceed.
The news made waves because Trump has been open about what he expects when he makes political contributions.
“I give to everybody,” he said in an debate last August. “When they call, I give. And you know what? When I need something from them, two years later, three years later, I call them. They are there for me. And that’s a broken system.”
Bondi was highlighted in a 2014 New York Times investigation that uncovered lobbyist spending on meals, trips and other contributions for several state attorneys general.
The architecture of the convention stage
In Cleveland, the stagecraft is sleek, anodyne and less traditional. There are no Obama-style Greek columns for Donald Trump. Nor has he revived the domestic architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright the way Mitt Romney did during the 2012 GOP convention in Tampa, Fla.
Instead the set is a shotgun marriage of Star Trek and Macbook modern, with perhaps a touch — in the rounded stairs, lighted from below — of Art Deco. A dark oval stage is flanked by a pair of canted silver walls, between which hang several giant video boards.
The goal seems to be a series of smooth surfaces to which none of the more direct ad hominem verbal attacks or accusations of plagiarism might stick — a slate that can be wiped clean whenever a change in tone or direction is wanted. Call it Teflon minimalism.
For those of us watching on phones, tablets and television screens, this gap between the nostalgic and often aggressive rhetoric of the speeches and the sleek, vague futurism of the set design has been among the convention’s most striking elements.
Trump business associate Phil Ruffin takes the stage next
At the Republican National Convention, many of the speakers have something in common: They aren’t politicians. Instead, they are friends or business associates of nominee Donald Trump.
Take Wednesday night speaker Phil Ruffin.
The billionaire owns the Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Las Vegas and worked with Trump to develop the Trump International Hotel. Ruffin has developed properties across the U.S., including in California.
He was on hand when Trump was campaigning in Las Vegas this February.
He has also stumped for Trump in his native Kansas.
“He’s a brilliant businessman, one of the best I’ve ever seen,” Ruffin told members of the Wichita Pachyderm Club in downtown Wichita, according to the Wichita Eagle. “If he ever offers you a partnership, take the deal.
“Right now he’s offering a partnership for the country: Trump and the country. He would do a great job. … He’d make a great president.”
Conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham chides John Kasich ahead of prime-time speaking slot
Conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham is expected to address the need to “restore respect across all levels of society” in a night themed “Make America First Again.”
Ingraham, who said she would not choose between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump during the primaries, has taken to rallying conservatives behind Trump in recent days.
On Twitter, she’s criticized Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who dropped out of the race in May, for not attending the convention in his home state.
Ingraham told the New York Times in May that the anti-Trump effort within the Republican Party was “a little juvenile.”
“There are a lot of purists out there who, if they don’t get everything checked off on their little bucket list,” then they say “take your pail and go home,” she told the newspaper. “Come to the real world.”
On Twitter, Ingraham cited a flag-burning protest and subsequent arrests outside the convention hall Wednesday, saying she’d address “this level of disrespect” in her prime-time remarks.
Obama praises Florida Gov. Rick Scott. Tonight, Scott will bash him at the Republican convention.
The White House released a long statement Wednesday afternoon praising Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, for responding to a suspected case of Zika.
The statement recounted a phone call between the two men earlier in the day in which Obama touted an additional $5.6 million being sent to Florida from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “The president recognized Florida’s strong record of responding aggressively to local outbreaks of mosquito-borne viruses like Zika, and offered federal support and technical assistance.”
It was a nice bipartisan moment, expressing how state and federal officials can make government work across party lines. Right?
Well, here’s an excerpt of the speech Scott plans to deliver at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night.
“Today, America is in terrible, world-record-high debt. Our economy is not growing. Our jobs are going overseas. We have allowed our military to decay, and we project weakness on the international stage. Washington grows while the rest of America struggles. The Democrats have not led us to a crossroads; they have led us to a cliff.”
Scenes from a protest involving flag-burning in Cleveland
‘Firing squad’ comment draws Clinton campaign rebuke
Hillary Clinton’s campaign warned of a dangerous escalation in negative rhetoric directed toward her after a Donald Trump supporter called for the presumptive Democratic nominee to be “shot for treason.”
“Donald Trump’s overtaking of the Republican Party — and his constant escalation of outrageous rhetoric — is in danger of mainstreaming the kind of hatred that has long been relegated to the fringes of American politics where it belongs,” Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri said in a statement.
“This week at the Republican convention, we’ve seen the clearest embodiment yet of this dangerous phenomenon,” she added.
Al Baldasaro, a New Hampshire state representative who appeared often at Trump events this year, told a radio interviewer Wednesday that the former secretary of State should be tried for treason for her handling of the 2012 attack on Benghazi, Libya, and for mishandling classified material over her private email account.
“This whole thing disgusts me. Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason,” he said in comments noted by BuzzFeed.
He repeated the incendiary comments to the NH1 network, while stipulating that he was speaking for himself and not for Trump’s campaign.
“My military mind believes it’s treason,” said Baldasaro, who says he is a military veteran. “Once you’re found guilty, normally it’s a firing squad.”
Clinton has not been charged with a crime, no less convicted of one.
The Trump campaign responded that the business mogul does not agree with Baldasaro’s statement.
But the Republican National Convention has been a showcase for sensational anti-Clinton comments, most notably repeated calls — often encouraged by headline speakers — to “Lock her up.”
California delegation afflicted by norovirus: Here’s what it does
At least a dozen GOP staffers from California’s delegation to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland are experiencing vomiting, cramps and diarrhea, and the dreaded norovirus is being blamed for their gastrointestinal misery.
Erie County Health Department officials have been called to the scene of the delegation’s quarters at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio, about 60 miles from the convention site, and have collected fecal samples to confirm the diagnosis.
Norovirus is the most common cause of diarrheal episodes globally and one of the leading causes of food-borne disease outbreaks in the United States.
Treated with rest and fluids, its symptoms of severe gastroenteritis generally wane after two or three days. But it claims the lives of 212,000 annually worldwide, mostly children and the elderly living in low- and middle-income countries.
Man who burned flag outside Republican convention has done it before, group claims
The man who set fire to an American flag outside the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, touching off a struggle between police and protesters, did the same thing outside the convention in 1984, according to a statement issued by the group that organized the protest.
The Revolutionary Communist Party has claimed Gregory Lee Johnson was the man who lit the flag on fire about 4 p.m. outside Quicken Loans Arena. Johnson was the plaintiff in a 1989 Supreme Court case that invalidated restrictions that criminalized burning flags in the U.S., the group said.
Johnson also burned a flag outside the GOP convention in Dallas in 1984, according to the statement.
Several people were arrested as police used fire extinguishers and pepper spray to stop the protest just seconds after the flag was scorched. The Revolutionary Communist Party had announced the protest earlier in the week, drawing the attention of a number of groups attempting to stop them.
A dozen protesters emerged from a tightly packed crowd near Quicken Loans Arena, donning black T-shirts bearing the group’s name and chanting “America Was Never Great” before setting fire to the flag.
At least six people were seen being led away by police in zip-tie handcuffs. In its statement, the Revolutionary Communist Party said 14 people were arrested. On Wednesday evening, the Cleveland Police Department said 17 arrests were made.
Two officers sustained minor injuries, police said.
The ghost of Richard Nixon is haunting the GOP convention
It has been a long time since Richard Milhous Nixon has found such love.
Law and order, the mantra that elected Nixon president in 1968, has become a central focus of Donald Trump’s convention. In the midst of Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter and All Lives Matter, dueling but not incompatible perspectives, varying in emphasis but capable of being reconciled, comes the ghost of Nixon, in the form of Trump, rallying what he hopes are majorities to shout down and shut up the voices of grievance.
Like Nixon, Trump is a modern-day incarnation of poor besotted Thomas Hobbes, railing against a world he thought a bleak and forlorn home to a multitude whose lives were nasty, brutish and short. Donald Trump, bless his soul, is standing firm against the darkness. His anger makes Trump grate again.
With his double-aerial arrival, Donald Trump reminds the media who’s in control
Donald Trump, newly minted as the Republican presidential nominee, was about to land on the shores of Lake Erie in a helicopter — and nobody knew where to look.
Journalists, penned in on a field near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, pointed their cameras in all directions, making sure they had every possible angle.
Unlike the raucous rallies filled with fans that have propelled his candidacy, Trump’s arrival in Cleveland, advertised as closed to the public, was all about his media horde — a relationship that has been rancorous, but undeniably mutually beneficial.
The elaborately staged proceedings left no question as to who was calling the shots.
Every time a helicopter passed, heads snapped skyward. But fears that Trump would somehow sneak past were unfounded. As his private jet swooped past, the blaring soundtrack suddenly switched from the Rolling Stones to the operatic swells of Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma.”
But where to look next? From the south, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, strolled in, flanked by family. Overhead, from the east, a Trump-branded helicopter circled and then reversed course.
With each new sight — of an aircraft, a Trump family member, the man himself — the media gaggle dutifully pivoted to capture it. They shot photos and videos. They tweeted and Periscoped. They looked up and down, turned left and right — the collective herky-jerky dance of covering the quintessential cable news candidate.
Finally, Trump emerged from the chopper, greeted Pence and strode to a grassy field, family in tow. He spoke uncharacteristically briefly. No questions, no news made.
But no matter. The double-aerial landing got wall-to-wall coverage on television, Trump reinforced his reputation for showmanship, and the news media got another chance to practice the choreography of covering Trump.
The Trump kids, making their national political debut, soften their father’s sharp edges
The four eldest children of Donald J. Trump have become the unlikely stars of the show in Cleveland.
It’s not even really what they have said or will say; it’s simply who they are.
Their father can be uncouth; they are refined. He can be a bully; they are unfailingly polite. He often rambles and digresses; they stick to their scripts.
In this, they are following the recent tradition of other candidates’ children, including Mitt Romney’s five sons, and Chelsea Clinton.
In two presidential campaigns, 2008 and 2012, the Romney brothers’ job was to humanize a father who struck some as robotic and rehearsed.
In 2008, Clinton was selling her mother as more capable and experienced than her upstart opponent, Barack Obama. Like her mom, Chelsea was a bit rigid on the trail, but she was poised. When college students asked her about Monica Lewinsky, she replied, “I do not think that is any of your business.”
(Contrast those political offspring to a star of the 2008 presidential campaign, Megan McCain, then a free-spirited 23-year-old who posted photos of herself jumping on hotel beds as she blogged about life on the trail, complete with music playlists.)
In an impressive national debut Tuesday night, 22-year-old Tiffany Trump, Donald Trump’s daughter with second wife Marla Maples, shared a couple of meager anecdotes about her father.
Multiple arrests apparently made after demonstrators burn flag outside GOP convention
Warning: Graphic images and language.
A dozen people changed into T-shirts bearing the Revolutionary Communist Party name shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.
The group set a flag on fire after chanting “America Was Never Great,” before Cleveland police officers moved in with a fire extinguisher.
“You’re on fire, stupid,” one police officer yelled as he moved in on the group.
To the east of the convention entrance, several protestors chanted, “What’s the problem? The whole damn system.”
Several people were seen wrestling with police, and a few were led away in zip-tie handcuffs, with at least six moved to a police transport van. Jocelyn Rosnick, executive director of the Ohio chapter of the National Lawyers Guild told the Times up to 20 arrests may have been made, though the Cleveland Police Department has not confirmed the number.
The protest was announced earlier in the week. Firefighters were on the scene and Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams reported that the entrance to the Republican National Convention had been shut down by police before it was later reopened. The police department reported at least two officers were assaulted.
Crowd members were split over the incident.
“It’s freedom of speech. It’s the purest form of free speech,” said Martha Conrad, an attorney from Chicago who said she would offer to represent those arrested.
“It’s disrespectful. People fought and died for that flag,” countered Jeff Jagels, 15, of Dayton.
The scene has been tense for at least an hour. Minutes before the protest, a religious group that had been spotted around Cleveland earlier in the week said it could burn a gay pride flag instead of the American flag. And a U.S. Marine carrying an American flag was swarmed by media and later escorted away by police after cameras circled him.
Dog owners get the chance to express a political preference
There have been a grand total of three arrests at RNC protests so far
A sign outside Cleveland Municipal Courtroom D says NO LO TERING. The “I” has fallen off, sadly. “Is there anyone here scheduled for a protection order hearing?” a court worker asked the young men and women waiting in the rather soviet hallway.
Nope. This morning, a group of activists sat outside Courtroom D, not loitering, but awaiting judgment.
Municipal court is maybe the closest thing protesters have to a stern church: hard benches, rules that cannot be broken and a rather stiff penalty for skipping attendance. Jails and municipal courts often form the crucial backstage to all the protests you see on Twitter and TV, the place where the system takes in arrested activists, parks them behind bars and then spits them out after a fine, or, more rarely, jail time.
Loyal supporters cheer Ted Cruz and boo as Donald Trump’s plane flies overhead
Hours before Ted Cruz was to address the Republican National Convention, the second-place finisher in the nomination contest gave no indication he would endorse GOP nominee Donald Trump.
“In an amazing campaign field of 17 talented, dynamic candidates, we beat 15 of those candidates. We just didn’t beat 16,” Cruz told hundreds of supporters gathered at a riverside restaurant on Wednesday.
Just then, Trump’s plane flew overhead as the nominee returned to Cleveland ahead of the convention’s third night. The crowd booed and Cruz laughed.
“That was pretty well-orchestrated,” he joked, before continuing. “Let me say to the men and women here, I don’t know what the future is going to hold.… What I do know is everyone has an obligation to follow our consciences, to speak the truth, and the truth is unchanging, to defend liberty.”
“There’s a lot of talk about unity,” he said. “The way to see unity is for us to unite behind shared principles.”
Cruz pointed to his campaign’s accomplishments in the 2016 campaign: winning nearly 8 million votes, 12 states and nearly 600 delegates; raising 1.8 million donations; and amassing 326,000 volunteers.
All of which could lay the groundwork for a future presidential campaign, which was clearly the hope of many of the supporters.
As Cruz was talking, a man yelled, “God’s not done with you yet!” and the crowd chanted “2020! 2020! 2020!”
Democratic National Committee head says Trump is to blame for anti-Semitism in his party
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz blamed Donald Trump for stoking “an anti-Semitic environment” within the Republican Party.
“The anti-Semitism that is threaded throughout the Republican Party today goes right to the feet of Donald Trump, their dangerous and abhorrent nominee,” Wasserman Schultz said on a call with reporters Wednesday.
Among other incidents, Wasserman Schultz pointed to Trump’s tweet of an illustration of Clinton next to a six-pointed star with the words “most corrupt candidate ever!” over a background of $100 bills. The image had first appeared on a white supremacist message board. Wasserman Schultz also referenced Trump’s initial reluctance to disavow an endorsement from David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
Trump argued in a Facebook post that the star was similar to a sheriff’s star, not the Jewish Star of David. He said a faulty earpiece was the reason he didn’t immediately disavow Duke.
First by plane, then by helicopter, Trump arrives in Cleveland
Trump flies back into Cleveland for a campaign rally
Donald Trump ultimately landed at his Cleveland rally on a similarly styled Trump helicopter. He was greeted by vice presidential pick Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Pence’s wife and his own adult children. Pence will speak at the convention tonight, and Trump is scheduled to join him on stage.
Paul Ryan manages to endorse Trump without praising him in the slightest
Paul Ryan’s speech to the Republican National Convention was far and away the best thus far.
That must be because Ryan had an actual purpose – a purpose, I mean, other than to spout a few platitudes in the hope that no one would remember you had once praised Donald Trump on television. (That was manifestly the case with Sens. Tom Cotton and Roger Wicker, among others, on the convention’s first night.)
Ryan’s purpose was to recommend Trump’s candidacy without in any way praising the candidate, or, in other words, to endorse Trump in the abstract without praising the man – indeed, almost with