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Republican National Convention 2016, the final day: Donald Trump’s full speech, the takeaways, the reactions

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The 2016 Republican National Convention is officially over.

Donald Trump argued that America’s current status is grim and he is the man who will save it.

Here’s the full transcript of his speech.

Tales from the streets outside the RNC, where demonstrators had an ongoing debate over America’s future.

On to Philadelphia! Find us over here

(John Moore / Getty Images)

As we promised when we got things started, it ended with balloons.

Our daily campaign coverage is here, and on Monday we’ll be back with robust live coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Thanks for sticking with us this week!

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Team Hillary hits back at Donald Trump during his acceptance speech

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A more restrained tone and an appeal to populism: 5 takeaways from Donald Trump’s acceptance speech

The balloons have dropped, the smiling family members have embraced, and Donald J. Trump has accepted the Republican nomination for the presidency. Here are our first impressions from Trump’s 75-minute address.

A tempered tone

Trump’s improbable run has been propelled by the aura of unpredictability; his seemingly improvised, and often outlandish, riffs at campaign rallies turned them into cable news staples.

But Thursday night, Trump stuck largely to the teleprompter and deliberately veered away from potentially inflammatory moments. When audience members at one point began to protest Hillary Clinton by chanting the convention’s most popular refrain — “Lock her up!” — he waved them off.

Trump offered a milder alternative: “Let’s defeat her in November.”

But signature policies remain

Trump revisited themes he has hit on for over a year, including building a wall on the Mexican border and pursuing populist trade policy.

The unifying thread was “America first” — the core theme of Trump’s candidacy that calls for a rejection of globalization and a turning inward to prioritize America’s needs. The phrase was popularized by pre-World War II isolationists, notably Charles Lindbergh, and Trump has revived it, though he appears to have been unaware of its history when he first embraced it.

Man of the people

Trump’s gilded lifestyle makes him an unlikely avatar for the everyman. But that’s exactly how Trump positioned himself to viewers.

He aligned himself with laid-off factory workers and residents of hollowed-out manufacturing towns — “the forgotten men and women of our country ... people who work hard but no longer have a voice.”

“I am your voice!” he declared more than once.

This is one of the more remarkable aspects of the Trump phenomenon: In an election season defined by voters’ antipathy towards the elite, a billionaire with no qualms of flaunting his wealth has effectively channeled their alienation.

It’s bleak out there, America

For four nights, convention speakers portrayed the U.S. as a grim dystopia: impoverished and ridden with violence. Trump doubled down on that desolate outlook, portraying himself as the only savior from continued hardship.

“Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation,” Trump said at the outset of his remarks, mentioning recent upticks in crime rates and high-profile killings by immigrants in the country illegally.

It all adds up to a country on the brink. Trump, billing himself as the “law-and-order” candidate, says he will save it. Such phrasing — evocative of Richard Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign — is relatively new for Trump, as he seeks to capitalize on Americans’ anxieties over racial tensions and violence.

A rebuke not just of Democrats, but also the GOP

The villains of Trump’s speech were unambiguous: Clinton and President Obama. But the address also contained an implicit rejection of President George W. Bush and the modern Republican Party.

Trump bemoaned “15 years of wars in the Middle East” started under Bush and supported by Trump’s own running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a congressman during the Bush years. Trump slammed trade deals championed by the party’s business wing, which Pence also backed.

And he made practically no mention of the social issues that galvanize the party’s conservative base, such as opposition to abortion.

On LGBT issues, he positioned himself to the left of the party’s conservative base, making a point to mourn gay and lesbian victims of terrorist violence.

“As a Republican, it is so nice to hear you cheering for what I just said,” he ad-libbed at the crowd’s positive response.

He did thank evangelicals for their support, but his address contained little of the overt courting of social conservatives that have defined GOP presidential candidates in recent elections.

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‘I am your voice’: Trump shouts through an all-caps acceptance speech

Before his acceptance speech Thursday evening, Donald Trump got plenty of unsolicited advice from Republican image makers like Karl Rove, including this time-honored rule: Don’t shout. Remember that you’re giving a speech on television for voters watching in their living rooms – not a live performance at a raucous campaign rally.

Characteristically, Trump ignored the advice.

He shouted, he bellowed, he growled. Even in the hall, his volume control seemed set a tad too high.

But it was easy to hear which parts of the speech he was most passionate about: He said them the loudest.

“I AM YOUR VOICE!” he shouted.

“My message is that things have to change – and they have to change RIGHT NOW!” he said.

And, in his new favorite theme, “We will be a country of LAW and ORDER!”

Or, as Trump pronounced it, “LAWWW and ORRRDER.”

The high decibel count robbed the address of the intimacy that most modern politicians seek in their television speeches.

But then, Trump isn’t like most modern politicians.

Even in his onstage style, even for the most important speech of his career, there’s no New Trump. The Trump who runs in the general election campaign of the next three months will be the same Trump who won the primaries.

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Trump just gave the longest nomination acceptance speech since at least 1972, beating out Bill Clinton

Trump’s speech clocked in at 1 hour and 16 minutes, topping Bill Clinton’s 1996 nomination speech by more than 11 minutes.

He also beat out Hillary Clinton by a hair for longest campaign announcement speech last year.

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Have thoughts? Watch and join in on the L.A. Times after-speech panel

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Trump says he’s ‘America First.’ The phrase comes with some baggage

For anyone who knows American history, the phrase “America first” comes with a dishonorable past.

Seventy-five years ago, the America First Committee was an isolationist movement that opposed U.S. entry into World War II.

Its most famous leader, aviator Charles Lindbergh, argued that Nazi Germany was certain to defeat Britain and that U.S. intervention would be useless. His followers included more than a few pro-Nazis and anti-Semites.

It seems unlikely that Trump knew that when he adopted the slogan. He appears to have heard it for the first time from a New York Times reporter who asked him if his foreign policy attitudes boiled down to “America first.”

“Correct,” Trump replied. “I’m not isolationist, but I am ‘America first.’ So I like the expression.”

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Donald Trump declines to join in when crowd chants ‘lock her up’

The chant began to roar through through the Quicken Loans Arena a few minutes into Donald Trump’s speech accepting the Republican presidential nomination Thursday night.

“Lock her up, lock her up,” the crowd chanted, repeating what has arguably been the most popular message of the Republican National Convention.

Trump paused his speech, exhaled, dropped his hand to the podium and looked around the arena as the chants calling for Hillary Clinton’s imprisonment grew louder.

The RNC’s livestream zoomed in on a white man in a white hat reading “Make America great again” before cutting back to Trump on stage.

Instead of joining the crowd — as he had with a previous “USA! USA!” chant — he waved his hands in the air.

“Let’s defeat her in November, OK?”

Trump may be trying to walk back the controversial image the party has projected over the last three nights. The “Lock her up” chant has offended some Republicans who have yet to warm up to Trump’s brash rhetoric.

“I wasn’t a fan of the ‘Lock her up’ chant. That’s not my style,” Alex Triantafilou, the Republican Party chairman of Hamilton County, Ohio, told The Times this week. “There is a line in there somewhere.”

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Code Pink protester Medea Benjamin interrupts Trump’s speech

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Ivanka Trump introduces father as a colorblind, gender-neutral leader

Donald Trump’s oldest daughter, Ivanka, tried to soften her father’s image, making a hard pitch to female voters as she introduced the Republican presidential nominee Thursday.

“Policies allowing women to thrive should not be novelties,” she said. “Politicians talk about wage equality, but my father has made it a practice through his entire career. He will fight for equal pay for equal work, and I will fight for this too right alongside of him.”

In addition to equal pay, Ivanka Trump also said her father would create affordable, accessible child-care. Both policies are typically called for by Democrats.

Trump has faced near-constant criticism for statements he has made about women and minorities. Ivanka Trump sought to assure voters that her father was a colorblind and gender-neutral leader who cared only for merit.

“My father values talent; he recognizes real knowledge and skills,” she said. “He hires the best person for the job, period.”

Ivanka Trump’s introductory speech was sunny and optimistic, a stark contrast with Trump’s remarks when he formally accepted the GOP nomination.

“If it’s possible to be famous and not really well-known, that describes the father who raised me,” she said.

She described playing with building blocks as a child on the floor near her father’s desk at Trump Tower, watching him help strangers whose plight he read about in the newspaper and his fairness as he dealt with others. Later, she walked his development sites with him, he said.

“Billionaire executives don’t usually ask the people doing the work their opinion of the work. My father is the exception,” she said, adding that Trump would ask questions of superintendents, painters, engineers and electricians to understand what was working and what wasn’t.

“When Donald Trump is in charge all that counts is ability, effort and excellence,” she said.

All these qualities, Ivanka Trump said, made him the perfect leader for the nation at this moment in time.

“Real change, the kind we have not seen in decades, is only going to come from outside the system,” she said. “It is only going to come from a man who has spent his entire life doing what others said could not be done.”

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Bernie Sanders slams Trump as he watches the Republican convention from home

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Has the labor force really declined by 14 million?

It’s not that simple. While the overall number of people in the workforce has declined since 2008, much of that decline can be attributed to a large number of baby boomers reaching retirement age or leaving the workforce.

In 2015, there were 52 million people over the age of 55 not in the workforce — 97% of which said they did not want a job. Meanwhile, the prime working-age population is up about 2.5 percentage points, mitigating roughly half of the losses from the Great Recession, and the overall unemployment rate has fallen 5% since 2009.

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Live scenes from the convention floor

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These immigration numbers in Trump’s speech were basically right, but illegal immigration is flat overall

Here’s what Trump contended in his nomination speech:

The number of new illegal immigrant families who have crossed the border so far this year already exceeds the entire total from 2015.

Trump is essentially correct here. According to statistics from the U.S. Border Patrol, around 51,000 families — consisting of at least one child accompanied by at least one adult — have crossed the border since the beginning of the 2016 fiscal year, which started last October.

For fiscal year 2015, the number of families apprehended was just under 40,000.

If you adjusted the statistics to reflect the calendar year, his statement is not quite on target. There have been around 29,000 families apprehended between January and June of this year, compared to 54,000 in the whole of 2015.

According to Pew Research Center, the vast majority of immigrants apprehended at the southern border came from the Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras—countries that have been riven by gang violence.

Overall, however, the number of people living in the country illegally has essentially leveled out since 2007.

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Donald Trump’s crime stats are mostly accurate, but his conclusions are a stretch

(Associated Press)

Donald Trump kicked off his speech Thursday accepting the GOP presidential nomination by painting a picture of a dangerous world, citing crime statistics to argue that Americans are in peril because of the criminal policies of President Obama’s administration.

Although the statistics he used were largely accurate, his conclusion was overreaching, according to independent fact-checkers.

There have been sharp recent increases in homicide rates in certain parts of the country, but such rates overall are the lowest they have been in decades, according to factcheck.org. Additionally, a snapshot offered by looking at a couple of years is insufficient to determine whether there is a new trend.

In terms of specific statistics, Trump was accurate when he talked about a 17% year-over-year increase in homicides in the nation’s 50 largest cities; and the homicide rates in Washington, Baltimore and Chicago.

But he was inaccurate when he said that the number of police officer deaths has risen nearly 50% compared with the same period last year. Although the number of police officers killed by guns has gone up by that amount, the overall number of police officers killed in the line of duty is flat.

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Trump’s favorite words, from ‘violence’ to ‘rigged’

Some of Donald Trump’s most frequently used words in the prepared text of his acceptance speech reflect his new focus on violence, terrorism and law and order:

Violence: 11

Immigration: 8

Trade: 7

Terrorism: 5

Law and order: 4

Safety: 4

Deals: 4

Rigged: 4

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Ivanka Trump seems to introduce new women friendly policy proposals at RNC

With shout outs on the merits of supporting working mothers and a promise that her father will work to make childcare affordable, Ivanka Trump seemed to lay out new policy plans for Donald Trump just before she introduced him.

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Peter Thiel sweeps away the culture wars

Technology entrepreneur Peter Thiel took the stage at the Republican National Convention with a message that hasn’t often been heard at recent GOP conventions: He said the “culture wars” that have animated conservative politics for a generation are “fake” and should be cast aside.

“When I was a kid, the great debate was how to defeat the Soviet Union, and we won,” he said. “Now we are told that the great debate is about who gets to use which bathroom. This a distraction from our real problems. Who cares?”

With that, Thiel swept aside the arguments of hundreds of Republican politicians who have spent much of the year arguing passionately that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice could endanger children.

“I am proud to be gay,” Thiel added. “I don’t pretend to agree with every plank in our party’s platform. But fake culture wars only distract us from our economic decline. And nobody in this race is being honest about it except Donald Trump.”

Trump, too, has argued that the controversy is a distraction, and that transgender people should be allowed to use whatever bathroom they prefer. Thanks to Trump’s position, the issue had hardly been mentioned at the convention until Thiel spoke.

So there’s one unexpected effect of Trump’s takeover of the GOP: the marginalization of social conservative positions that earlier Republican candidates, including Mitt Romney in 2012 and John McCain in 2008, felt it necessary to adopt.

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Donald Trump’s father gets name-checked at the RNC. Remember Woody Guthrie’s beef with him?

Before Donald Trump’s father was name-checked on the convention stage Thursday night, he was the subject of a story that was widely shared in January.

You might remember hearing about Fred Trump in connection with the late singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie. A professor from Britain’s University of Central Lancashire uncovered more than 50-year-old Guthrie lyrics that accused the elder Trump, who was Guthrie’s landlord, of racism.

Here’s a verse from the song:

I suppose
Old Man Trump knows
Just how much
Racial Hate
he stirred up
In the bloodpot of human hearts
When he drawed
That color line
Here at his
Eighteen hundred family project

Fred Trump was was investigated in the 1970s by the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division for discriminating against black renters.

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A fundraising email for Trump was sent out an hour before his speech

The Trump campaign appeared to hit “send” too early on a mass fundraising email. The message, which went out about an hour before Trump was set to take the stage at the Republican National Convention, said Trump “just delivered” his speech accepting the party’s nomination for president.

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Campaign chairman: Trump will appeal to women whose husbands ‘can’t afford paying for the family bills’

Paul Manafort, the campaign chairman for Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, made waves ahead of Trump’s big speech when he told MSNBC that their campaign will win over women voters whose husbands “can’t afford paying for the family bills.”

The comment came after MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked Manafort how the campaign will appeal to women who may see Trump’s harsh criticism of Hillary Clinton as sexist.

“It depends on which women you are talking about. Many women in this country feel they can’t afford their lives, their husbands can’t afford paying for the family bills,” Manafort said. “Hillary Clinton is guilty of being a part of the establishment that created that problem. They’re going to hear the message. And as they hear the message, that’s how we are going to appeal to them.”

Matthews asked Manafort, “You know what you just said ... you said woman are concerned about their husbands’ income.”

“I can speak personally to that,” Manafort responded.

Matthews, laughing, asked, “Is that the 21st century talking? That ... is their big concern, how their husband is doing at work?”

“Because they can’t afford their lives anymore. That’s the point,” Manafort said, adding, “To some people, it’s a matter of jobs.”

Matthews responded: “You got to sharpen up this appeal a little bit.”

Twitter lit up with angry responses to the comment. Emily’s List Vice President Marcy Stech sent out a statement calling Trump’s campaign “one long crusade against women.”

“While we’re no stranger to Trump’s particular brand of anti-woman rhetoric, the most recent comments from Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, are icing on the cake. Donald Trump is dangerous, divisive, and forever clueless,” Stech said in the statement.

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Watch evangelical leader Jerry Falwell Jr. celebrate Trump as an ‘American patriot’

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., a powerful evangelical leader, was an early supporter of Donald Trump and celebrated him accordingly on Thursday night.

In January, the billionaire businessman and presidential candidate spoke at the university and he made a blunder widely assailed by evangelicals. While speaking there, Trump inaccurately referred to the New Testament’s 2 Corinthians as “Two Corinthians.” It is usually called “Second Corinthians.”

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Peter Thiel at GOP convention: ‘I am proud to be gay’

Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel made history Thursday night when he said from the podium of the Republican National Convention that he is gay.

“Every American has a unique identity. I am proud to be gay. I am proud to be a Republican. But most of all I am proud to be an American,” said Thiel, to cheers and applause.

Openly gay men previously spoke at the 1996 and 2000 conventions but did not mention their sexuality.

The Republican Party has become more open to the gay community in some ways. The party platform approved on Monday, however, continues to oppose same-sex marriage, backs legislation to allow businesses to deny services based on religious objections to gay unions, provides support for conversion therapy and says that the use of public restrooms should be restricted based on a person’s gender at birth -- all stands opposed by majorities among gay, lesbian and transgender Americans.

Thiel, a PayPal co-founder and a Trump delegate, acknowledged the controversy.

“I don’t pretend to agree with every plank in our party’s platform. But fake culture wars only distract us from our economic decline,” he said. “And nobody in this race is being honest about it except Donald Trump.”

The California GOP, which recently voted to allow a gay Republican group to be an official chartered organization, put its three gay delegates in the front row for Thiel’s prime-time speech.

“I’ve been to seven conventions, and this is by far the best for LGBT Americans. While there still is work left to do, we are making fast progress now,” said Richard Grenell, one of the gay delegates and a spokesman for the United Nations under President George W. Bush.

Watch Peter Thiel’s full speech:

Peter Thiel, California businessman and PayPal co-founder, speaks at the Republican National Convention. More coverage at latimes.com/trailguide

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Watch the replay: Donald Trump’s entire Republican nomination speech

Donald Trump, Republican nominee for president, accepts the nomination for president at the Republican National Convention. America is in crisis, Trump said, with attacks on police and domestic terrorists threatening “our very way of life. Any polit

Trump is speaking at the final night of the GOP convention, where he formally accepted the Republican presidential nomination.

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At least one of the flag burners from Wednesday is back and protesting outside the RNC

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Trump backer Tom Barrack once helped rescue Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch

Thomas Barrack, CEO of Colony Capital, speaks at the Republican National Convention. Full coverage at latimes.com/trailguide

Los Angeles real estate investor Tom Barrack, who will speak at the convention tonight, held Trump’s first major fundraiser in at his Santa Monica estate in May.

Tickets started at $25,000 and went up to $100,000 per couple. It was the Republican nominee’s first official GOP fundraiser and came at the beginning of Trump’s march to legitimizing his candidacy with the party establishment.

Since then, Barrack, a billionaire who owns private equity firm Colony Capitol, has co-founded Rebuilding America Now, a pro-Trump super PAC.

Barrack’s firm bought and recently sold Miramax, was once in the running to purchase the L.A. Dodgers and once rescued Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in a $22.5-million deal.

Barrack has also worked with Trump on “many real estate deals,” according to his GOP speaker bio.

He is also a former deputy undersecretary for the Department of the Interior in the Reagan administration.

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‘I’m with you:’ Trump will attack Hillary Clinton by using her unofficial slogan against her

In his acceptance speech tonight, Trump will seize on Hillary Clinton’s unofficial campaign slogan, “I’m with her,” to portray his presumptive Democratic opponent as part of a self-dealing Washington culture that has lost touch with the anxiety and struggles facing everyday Americans.

“My pledge reads, ‘I’m with you, the American people,’” Trump said in a draft of his prepared remarks. “I am your voice.”

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Silicon Valley tech mogul Peter Thiel to make history as he declares he’s proud to be gay on the RNC stage

It’s been 16 years since an openly gay speaker spoke at the Republican National Convention

Venture capitalist Peter Thiel is expected to make history Thursday night, declaring on stage at the Republican convention that he is proudly gay.

His remarks come nearly 16 years after another gay Republican, U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe of Arizona, delivered a speech at the 2000 GOP convention to nominate George W. Bush. More than a dozen Texas delegates, seated directly in front of the stage, removed their hats and began to pray in protest as Kolbe spoke.

“By having this man there who’s speaking on trade issues but identifies himself as gay, it gives an opportunity to gay activists to claim victory for their agenda,” then-Texas GOP Chairwoman Susan Weddington told the Associated Press at the time.

Famous for co-founding PayPal and bankrolling a lawsuit that forced Gawker into bankruptcy, Thiel is a bit of an outlier as far as Trump supporters go.

He’s given millions of dollars to political candidates and causes. He has contributed almost exclusively to Republicans, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Meg Whitman in their campaigns for California governor and six-figure contributions to super PACs supporting Ron Paul and Carly Fiorina for president.

But he also helped bankroll a failed measure in 2010 that would have legalized recreational marijuana use in California. And he has given money to Democrats such as Ro Khanna, who is running to challenge Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) in California this year, and Sean Eldrige, a young, openly gay congressional candidate who is married to a Facebook co-founder and in 2014 attempted to unseat a New York Republican.

Scheduled to speak immediately after RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, Thiel is seen by some as a Trump ambassador for Silicon Valley, which has largely rejected the Republican presidential nominee. Thiel faced a backlash in the industry when he signed up as a Trump delegate. A group of tech heavyweights, including Thiel’s fellow PayPal funder Elon Musk, held a meeting on a private island to discuss how best to stop Trump.

Thiel, who is a registered Republican but a self-described libertarian, has not been shy about using his wealth to support personal causes.

After a now-defunct tech blog owned by Gawker outed Thiel as gay in 2007, he called it “the Silicon Valley equivalent of Al Qaeda.”

Later, he admitted contributing $10 million to a lawsuit brought by Hulk Hogan against Gawker for publishing a sex tape of the WWE star. The lawsuit, which yielded a $130-million judgment against Gawker, drove it to declare bankruptcy last month.

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What can the words in GOP nomination speeches tell us about the evolution of its priorities?

We did a data analysis to see how past speeches might be able to predict future ones. In fact, there are several distinctive trends in word use during acceptance speeches. We selected the top 50 words used by each GOP nominee since 1980 and compared and ranked them.

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Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin gets her moment on RNC stage

Gov. Mary Fallin on the floor of the Oklahoma House in Oklahoma City. (Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press)
Gov. Mary Fallin on the floor of the Oklahoma House in Oklahoma City. (Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press)

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, a former congresswoman who was elected governor in 2010, was once talked about as a potential running mate for Donald Trump. Tonight she’ll bring her conservative message to the RNC speaker lineup.

Fallin was given the job of trying to reconcile Donald Trump’s more moderate social views with those of the conservative base as the co-chair of the party’s platform committee.

Trump said he opposed abortion except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. But the platform hewed to the desires of the far right wing of the party, opposing abortion under any circumstance.

“I know that Donald Trump has said as a candidate that he believes in life, and I think the majority of the Republican Party does believe in life — that has been an important part and plank of our platform as a political party,” Fallin told CNN.

Earlier this year Fallin vetoed a measure that would have effectively banned abortion in Oklahoma, calling it “ambiguous.” The law was considered the strongest state restriction in the nation. The law would have made performing abortions a felony punishable by up to three years in prison.

Fallin also made headlines this year when she refused to follow a ruling by the Oklahoma state Supreme Court to remove a statue featuring the Ten Commandments from the state Capitol.

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From the convention floor on Trump: ‘He’s rather crass and unprincipled, but he’s the best hope we’ve got’

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Play bingo with us during the final day of the Republican convention!

Find your personalized bingo card here.

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Here are excerpts from Donald Trump’s upcoming acceptance speech

Via the Trump campaign:

Friends, delegates and fellow Americans: I humbly and gratefully accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.…

Americans watching this address tonight have seen the recent images of violence in our streets and the chaos in our communities.

Many have witnessed this violence personally, some have even been its victims.

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 Jan. 20, 2017, safety will be restored.…

America is far less safe – and the world is far less stable – than when Obama made the decision to put Hillary Clinton in charge of America’s foreign policy.

I am certain it is a decision he truly regrets. Her bad instincts and her bad judgment – something pointed out by Bernie Sanders – are what caused many of the disasters unfolding today.…

But Hillary Clinton’s legacy does not have to be America’s legacy. The problems we face now – poverty and violence at home, war and destruction abroad – will last only as long as we continue relying on the same politicians who created them.…

As long as we are led by politicians who will not put America First, then we can be assured that other nations will not treat America with respect. This will all change when I take office.…

My message is that things have to change – and they have to change right now. Every day I wake up determined to deliver a better life for the people all across this nation that have been neglected, ignored and abandoned.…

Middle-income Americans and businesses will experience profound relief, and taxes will be greatly simplified for everyone. America is one of the highest-taxed nations in the world. Reducing taxes will cause new companies and new jobs to come roaring back into our country.

Then we are going to deal with the issue of regulation, one of the greatest job-killers of them all.

Excessive regulation is costing our country as much as $2 trillion a year, and we will end it.…

With these new economic policies, trillions of dollars will start flowing into our country. This new wealth will improve the quality of life for all Americans. We will build the roads, highways, bridges, tunnels, airports and the railways of tomorrow.

This, in turn, will create millions more jobs.

We will rescue kids from failing schools by helping their parents send them to a safe school of their choice.…

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.

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How Sheriff Joe Arpaio went from GOP establishment outcast to convention speaker

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks at the Republican National Convention. More convention coverage at latimes.com/trailguide.

Joe Arpaio, the Arizona sheriff and vocal proponent of workplace raids and traffic stops, had long been marginalized by many in his party’s mainstream.

Tonight, he’ll be speaking on stage at the Republican National Convention.

Earlier this week, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who thwarted Republican efforts to overhaul the immigration system, had his turn in the spotlight.

Both men have earned spots in Donald Trump’s inner circle.

Here’s a deeper look at the immigration hawks whose stature has risen as Trump has transformed the party.

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Donald Trump has ‘to perform some magic and some miracles’ tonight

Donald Trump will try tonight to salvage a convention that in many ways has gone badly awry and threw new obstacles onto his already-steep path to the White House.

The stakes for his acceptance speech grew exponentially greater after three days of serial mishaps:

• A last-gasp floor fight by delegates seeking to thwart the business mogul’s nomination

• Revelations his wife plagiarized passages in her testimonial address

• Ted Cruz’s snub of Trump during his prime-time speaking slot

“He’s got to perform some magic and some miracles,” said Mark McKinnon, a top strategist for George W. Bush, the last Republican elected president. “Trump has an opportunity to do a reset.”

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Last day of GOP convention protests is more of a moving debate than anything else

A heated argument between free-market capitalists and socialists in Cleveland on Thursday.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

The final day of protests outside the Republican National Convention has largely followed the same pattern as the three before it: A rolling series of arguments over competing ideals, with hundreds of cops on bikes as spectators.

A shouting match between an anti-capitalist group (many of whom hid their faces) and a crowd chanting “USA” (including some people wearing Donald Trump garb) turned into a moving debate of mostly garbled shouts between Public Square and another downtown park on St. Clair Avenue.

Officers have separated the groups at points, and Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams is on the scene, but no arrests appear to have been made.

Earlier in the day, about 100 people took to the Lorrain Bridge to protest Trump’s candidacy during a peaceful march that lasted roughly an hour. Besides that, expectations that a jump in protest activity would coincide with Trump’s acceptance of the GOP nomination appear not to be coming true.

Some protests are planned in Public Square, and the group involved in a flag-burning protest that resulted in 17 arrests on Wednesday is also expected to hold one more event Thursday evening.

The unexpectedly docile week may have been best summed up by a man standing on the sidelines of a demonstration around 3:30 p.m. EDT

The oak board read: “Step Up Your Protest Game.”

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Trump International Hotel settles two worker complaints in Las Vegas, union says

A complaint filed against Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas on behalf of two employees who support an effort to join Nevada’s powerful Culinary Workers Union Local 226 has been settled, union officials announced on Thursday.

The complaint, issued by the National Labor Relations Board earlier this year, alleged that one employee was fired and another was denied a transfer to a full-time job because of their vocal support for hotel workers’ bid to join the union.

Co-owned and managed by the Trump Organization, the hotel agreed to pay a total of $11,200 in lost wages to the employees, according to a statement from the union.

Hotel officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

For several months, Trump, who is set to address the Republican National Convention on Thursday night, and his staff at the Las Vegas hotel have fought efforts by employees to join the union.

In December, nearly 500 workers at the Trump International voted in favor of joining the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165.

Yet Trump and managers at the hotel have refused to negotiate, assailing the vote as rigged.

In Nevada, Culinary is the state’s largest, most powerful union, representing 55,000 workers who serve cocktails and prepare food at hotels from Las Vegas to Reno.

Culinary Union members, along with employees at Trump’s Vegas hotel, have in recent months regularly held rallies outside the hotel, demanding to be unionized.

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The challenges in making America ‘one again’

Thursday’s theme at the Republican National Convention is “Make America One Again.” Recent surveys and data analysis from Pew Research Center illustrate the differences in views among Americans on politics, government, immigration and race.

Politics: Based on surveys going back to 1994, both Republicans and Democrats drifted left until the mid-2000s. Over the last few years, each party has moved away from the other. Today, 92% of Republicans are to the right of the median Democrat or middle of the scale of Democratic respondents, compared with 64% 20 years ago. And 94% of Democrats are to the left of the median Republican, up from 70% in 1994.

Economy: Middle-income adults lacked a majority in 50 metropolitan areas. Here is Pew’s breakdown of where lower-, middle- and high-income tiers were strongest, based on 2014 income figures:

Immigration: Since 1900, the largest foreign-born populations in the U.S. arrived from European countries, except in the Southwest. By the end of the last century, the country of origin for the largest foreign-born population in most states was Mexico.

Race: When it comes to race and race relations, large divides persist among race and party lines. The percentage of white Democrats surveyed who said that treatment of minorities was important in this election was nearly double that of their Republican counterparts. Meanwhile, fewer than half of white survey participants said they thought race relations were bad in America, but even fewer said they believed President Obama had had a positive impact on race relations.

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Punk rock show in Cleveland showcases political anger

The Unhappy Accidents perform at an anti-RNC punk show in Cleveland.
(Annie Z. Yu / Los Angeles Times)

As Republican National Convention delegates were booing Sen. Ted Cruz, a few miles down the road, punk music fans were engaging in a different form of political expression.

The Unhappy Accidents were performing at an anti-RNC show for about 70 punk music fans in a dark bar. They were screaming a few things we can’t print.

Vocalist Kenton Kamburoff was angry. He’s angry about police shootings. And Donald Trump, the man being honored at the convention not far from his show.

He shouted for Molotov cocktails and jumped into the crowd. Riling his fans into frenzied pushing and shoving, he writhed on the floor.

“We’re gonna kill every single [expletive] Republican we ever [expletive] see!” he yelled.

After the show, Kamburoff told The Times he isn’t actually encouraging people to go kill Republicans.

“That’s inhumane,” said the 19-year-old musician, adding he is an anarchist who opposes both political parties.

“Hillary Clinton’s a piece of garbage who should be in jail right now,” he said.

In the crowd, others echoed the same ideas. They have extreme distrust and dislike of both parties, a passion for supporting minorities, the LGBT community and mom-and-pop businesses, and a twinge of hopelessness about this year’s election.

Kamburoff said he doesn’t think anyone would take his violent rhetoric seriously. “And if they do, I’m not going to take any responsibility for that because it’s considered an art piece, if anything,” he said.

As the band Shrine prepared to take the stage, Calum Mackenzie, its 48-year-old bass player, said in a resigned voice that neither party had anything to offer to “people like us.”

“There’s no alternative. There’s only two choices,” he said.

Mackenzie, from Scotland, holds a green card to reside in the United States. He can’t vote until he is a citizen.

He said he doesn’t plan on becoming a citizen anytime soon.

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Sarah Palin to her former pal Ted Cruz: ‘Delete Your Career’

Sarah Palin has been a fringe figure in this presidential campaign, dropping in at strategic moments and then disappearing.

She endorsed Donald Trump in January, a surprise to some who figured her to support Ted Cruz. After all, Cruz had credited the former Alaska governor with boosting him into the Senate in 2012.

Trump caused a mini-stir a week ago when he said that Palin had been invited to speak to the GOP convention in Cleveland, but had declined for reasons of geography, an explanation that many found exquisitely unpersuasive.

“We love Sarah,” he told the Washington Examiner. “Little bit difficult because of, you know, it’s a long ways away.”

Today, Palin made her displeasure known over Cruz’s failure to endorse Trump in Cleveland on Wednesday night, in a story on the Breitbart website with the headline: “Sarah Palin to Ted Cruz: Delete Your Career.”

She didn’t exactly use that phrase, but maybe she should have, as her two-paragraph statement to Breitbart was somewhat convoluted. (Her baroque syntax is one of the reasons she is missed by those of us who have spent time reporting on her during the last eight years. What other American politician routinely uses the word “whilst”?)

Here is Palin’s statement:

“Cruz’s broken pledge to support the will of the people tonight was one of those career-ending ‘read my lips’ moments. I guarantee American voters took notice and felt more unsettling confirmation as to why we don’t much like typical politicians because they campaign one way, but act out another way. That kind of political status quo has got to go because it got us into the mess we’re in with America’s bankrupt budgets and ramped up security threats.

“It’s commonplace for politicians to disbelieve their word is their bond, as evidenced by Cruz breaking his promise to endorse his party’s nominee, evidently thinking whilst on the convention stage, ‘At this point, what difference does it make?’”

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Norovirus outbreak among California Republicans spreads

The norovirus outbreak among Californians at the Republican National Convention is not contained, with another case reported by state party officials Thursday.

The new person affected is not a delegate or an alternate, but rather a guest of the delegation. It is the first report of the highly contagious gastrointestinal virus spreading outside of the party’s staff. Previously, at least a dozen staff members were quarantined in their hotel rooms after showing symptoms of norovirus.

“It is imperative” that those showing any symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea contact the state party immediately, Cynthia Bryant, the party’s executive director, emailed the 550-member delegation about the new case.

Bryant declined to identify the guest, citing privacy concerns, but said the person did not attend a delegation breakfast Thursday that was headlined by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista).

Party officials are trying to determine whether the latest person to contract the virus attended the convention Wednesday or a late-night delegation party afterward at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio, where the delegation is housed.

The stomach bug, which has gained notoriety in recent years for making hundreds of people ill aboard cruise ships, typically occurs in crowded settings such as day-care centers and nursing homes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It affects 19 million to 21 million people in the United States annually.

The delegation was first warned of the outbreak by the state GOP on Tuesday and advised to avoid shaking hands with others, to wash hands frequently, to avoid sharing food and to not use the delegation buses to the convention if they have any symptoms.

The symptoms -- stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, fever and diarrhea -- are generally short-lived but can be dangerous and even fatal, especially for the elderly and the very young.

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Elizabeth Warren among those added to updated list of Democratic National Convention speakers

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who was left off the initial rundown of Democratic National Convention speakers, will address attendees at next week’s gathering in Philadelphia.

The Massachusetts senator, whose populist messages about income inequality and the abuses of Wall Street earn her great admiration among liberals, was added on Thursday to the official list of speakers.

Warren, who is serving her first term in the Senate, recently visited with Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, about becoming her running mate.

In addition to Warren, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, who is on a short-list to become Clinton’s No. 2, will speak at the convention.

Clinton is expected to announce her running mate in next the several days.

Others speakers include Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who both represent key battleground states.

Next week’s primetime speaking line-up is as follows:

Monday: First Lady Michelle Obama, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Astrid Silva. Silva is a “Dreamer” from Nevada who will talk about her personal immigration story and her activism.

Tuesday: Former President Bill Clinton will be joined by Mothers of the Movement, mothers of black men and women who have been killed by gun violence or in police custody, including the mothers of Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

Wednesday: President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

Thursday: Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton.

Below are more prominent Democratic names who were added to the list on Thursday and who will address the convention:

  • Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey
  • Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas
  • U.S. Rep. James E. Clyburn of South Carolina
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
  • Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe
  • Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed
  • Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada
  • Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire
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The ‘Vote Your Conscience’ signs have arrived outside the GOP convention

View more photos from the convention in Cleveland>>

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Trump’s campaign chair says a President Trump wouldn’t renege on NATO treaty if Russia attacks allies

(Chuck Burton / Associated Press)

Donald Trump’s campaign chairman backpedaled Thursday after the Republican presidential nominee wavered when questioned about whether he would commit to defending NATO allies if Russia attacks them.

Asked whether Trump was suggesting in comments to the New York Times that there should be a new standard for whether the U.S. would defend NATO allies, his campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, told reporters: “No. What Mr. Trump has said consistently is that he thinks NATO needs to be modernized” to fight terrorist threats.

But when Trump was asked in the Times interview whether small Baltic nations and other NATO allies could count on the U.S. to stand by its treaty obligations to defend them if Russia attacks, Trump responded: “Have they fulfilled their obligations to us? If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes.”

Like President Obama, Trump has called on members of the alliance to increase the amount of money they pay for U.S. military protection.

But it is highly unusual, if not unprecedented, for a party’s presidential nominee to suggest that members of the alliance formed after World War II could not necessarily rely on U.S. protection from a Russian invasion.

When pressed on the matter in an CBS interview Thursday, Eric Trump, one of the candidate’s sons, left it unclear whether his father might break treaty obligations to allies that fail to contribute as much as they are obligated to pay.

“Right now, we subsidize the vast majority of NATO – how is that fair?” he told CBS News. “You have countries that are part of NATO and who don’t pay anything or pay very, very little.”

Donald Trump’s remarks drew a scathing rebuke from the campaign of Hillary Clinton, his Democratic rival.

“It is fair to assume that Vladimir Putin is rooting for a Trump presidency,” said Jake Sullivan, a senior Clinton policy advisor, in a written statement. He suggested Trump has “a bizarre and occasionally obsequious fascination with Russia’s strongman.”

“Ronald Reagan would be ashamed,” he said. “Harry Truman would be ashamed. Republicans, Democrats and Independents who help build NATO into the most successful military alliance in history would all come to the same conclusion: Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit and fundamentally ill-prepared to be our commander in chief.”

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What should Donald Trump say in his acceptance speech?

This is the speech that convention attendees hope Donald Trump will give at the Republican National Convention.

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Amid VP buzz, Cory Booker excoriates tone of GOP convention

Sen. Cory Booker on Thursday played coy about his prospects of being Hillary Clinton’s VP pick. But by offering a searing indictment of the tone of the GOP convention, he certainly sounded like someone gunning for the No. 2 slot.

Appearing at a Democratic National Committee press conference, Booker said this week’s Republican nominating confab veered past the bounds of acceptable political discourse and into more destructive territory.

“These chants of lock someone up, take away their liberty, throw them in prisons--that’s why we had a revolution in this country against those ideas,” Booker said. “But what’s worse...on the spectrum of things that have been spewed in this convention, that’s one of the least offensive.”

He pointed to reports of calls for physical violence against Clinton by some in the audience.

“And no one’s condemning this in the Republican Party?” he said. “No one’s saying this is not who America is?”

Booker, widely reported to be in the running for Clinton’s vice-presidential choice, repeatedly sidestepped questions on the post.

Asked about his future role in the Clinton campaign, he harkened back to his time as a football player: “I’m happy to do whatever the coach asks me to do.”

But Booker made a point of lavishing praise on the presumptive Democratic nominee, extolling her reputation as a workhorse in the Senate.

Soon after the event, he tweeted a picture of him embracing Clinton.

Booker was not alone in blasting this week’s convention goings-on. DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz slammed Trump’s suggestion he may not automatically defend NATO allies in the case of an attack.

“Ronald Reagan and Harry Truman would be ashamed,” she said, adding “the clearest thing about Donald Trump’s ambivalence to our most important alliance is that he lacks the judgment and temperament to be the commander-in-chief.”

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken called the convention “startlingly ugly,” but he mockingly found a bright side in Republican VP nominee Mike Pence’s Wednesday night speech.

“It was refreshing to see someone say something good about Trump who wasn’t actually related to him or stood to inherit a lot of money,” Franken said.

In a bone-dry deadpan, he added, “that’s it on the good stuff.”

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A photojournalist was arrested during a flag-burning protest outside the convention

(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

An Australian photographer was arrested on suspicion of failing to disperse after police ordered people to leave the scene of a wild protest where a U.S. flag was burned outside of the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, according to police records and an attorney.

Zane Lovitt, a 39-year-old independent photographer, was arrested at 4:20 p.m. Wednesday, according to a city document. Sixteen other people were arrested on charges ranging from assault on a police officer to resisting arrest.

Police have said they did not intend to disrupt the flag burning, which is a controversial but protected form of speech, but moved in when a protester’s clothes caught fire. Multiple protesters and witnesses contended that no one’s clothing was burning when police moved in.

Jocelyn Rosnick, co-coordinator of the Ohio chapter of the National Lawyer’s Guild, which is representing Lovitt, has also raised concerns about whether police gave an audible and clear order to disperse before arresting people. The terms of a lawsuit won by the ACLU of Ohio last year require police in Cleveland to give repeated dispersal orders and offer people an exit route from a scene before arresting them.

Cleveland’s police chief has contended police gave clear dispersal orders over a loudspeaker and directly to protesters.

Lovitt, who is also the author of two crime novels according to his Twitter page, has yet to appear in court. Police have warned reporters at protest sites that they will not distinguish between media and demonstrators when arresting people for unlawful assembly, a fact that has irked some civil rights advocates.

“The idea of not distinguishing between media and people engaged in what might be unlawful behavior seems to totally lack transparency and respect for the role the press plays in a free society,” said Christine Link, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Ohio.

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said he had no information about a journalist’s arrest during a Thursday morning press conference. Emails to a city spokesman asking for additional comment were not immediately returned.

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Gov. John Kasich, the RNC’s would-be host, trolls Donald Trump from the fringes

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is holding a shadow convention, just outside the thick security perimeter of the real one in downtown Cleveland.

While speakers inside the convention hall place mock handcuffs on Hillary Clinton and cheer at the dream of a Mexican border wall, Kasich stands behind a Lucite lectern at a staid downtown think tank, quoting Scripture and telling men in suits about America’s obligation to lead the world.

The Republican governor has notably taken a pass on appearing at the convention in his home state, turning down what should be a prominent role because of his long-standing objection to Donald Trump’s candidacy.

But that doesn’t mean Kasich, one of the last Republican presidential candidates to get crushed by Trump’s party takeover, is absent. He’s ubiquitous: at hotels speaking to state delegations, a banquet hall with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame gabbing with Chris Matthews on MSNBC.

He’s a good man and a bad host. 

Bobby Kalotee, county GOP official from New York

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My advice for Donald Trump’s speech tonight

I have some pro bono advice for Donald Trump about what he should say in the most important speech of his life.

To borrow an old idiom: In for a penny, in for a pound. As he accepts the Republican presidential nomination and is watched by tens of millions on TV, Trump should open with this:

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror…”

Sure, he’d be plagiarizing Franklin D. Roosevelt. But FDR stole from 19th century essayist Henry David Thoreau. At least FDR tweaked the wording.

Then Trump could segue into: “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”

Scholars have found a lot of Lincolnesque similarity in that John F. Kennedy inaugural speech.

And the new GOP standard-bearer could steal from the first Republican president, who asked his Gettysburg audience to resolve that “this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.”

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Tom Cotton to California Republicans: You still matter

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton
(EPA)

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton offered a therapy session of sorts for California Republicans, telling them Thursday morning that they were still important even though their party membership has plummeted since the days of Ronald Reagan.

“Sometimes it may seem like you’ve fallen on hard times when you look back at where the Reagan years were,” he said. “But you still play such a critical role in our party and such a critical role in our country. The 14 [GOP] members of Congress you sent two years ago are essential to holding on to our majority in the House of Representatives. Let me tell you, that is so important.”

The state GOP’s share of voters has fallen to 28%.

Cotton, the youngest member of the Senate at 39, spoke at the delegation breakfast on the final day of the Republican National Convention.

Politicians who tend to hit such events are frequently trying to raise their political profile, and possibly eyeing a presidential run. Cotton has been the most active on the delegation circuit, hitting the trinity of early voting states and volunteering to trek 60 miles out to the California delegation hotel in Sandusky.

Asked by reporters whether he had a White House bid on his mind, Cotton laughed and said, “No. Right now, I’m thinking about making sure Republicans win across the country.”

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) also addressed the delegation and signed copies of his new book, “Watchdog.”

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Trump family slams Ted Cruz for refusing to endorse GOP nominee

Donald Trump’s family and top advisors pounded Ted Cruz on Thursday for refusing to endorse the Republican presidential nominee, saying the Texas senator deserved the booing he got from delegates Wednesday night.

Eric Trump, one of the candidate’s sons, called Cruz “classless” for refusing to use his prime-time convention speech to honor the pledge he signed during the primaries to back the eventual nominee.

“When he didn’t do the right thing, people went crazy,” Trump told CBS. “I never heard boos like that. The house, this whole auditorium, was literally shaking with boos. I mean, how do you get booed out of your own convention? By your own party and your own delegation? It was unbelievable.”

His brother Donald Trump Jr. said big Republican donors from Texas had told him they would never again write checks to a Cruz campaign. Despite the party’s obvious fracturing at a time when it’s seeking to unite, he also suggested the delegates’ loud snub of Cruz had rallied Republicans behind his father.

“If there were a couple detractors left, they got on board,” he told MSNBC.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a former presidential hopeful who now advises Trump, was more blunt, telling CNN: “I think it was awful, and quite frankly I think it was selfish.”

Piling on was Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign chairman. “Frankly, he was the only speech in the convention that was poorly received by the body in the hall,” he said.

Manafort told reporters that Trump, who spent months trashing the senator he’d nicknamed “Lyin’ Ted,” had been magnanimous to invite Cruz and all of his other vanquished rivals to speak at the convention.

“Sen. Cruz, a strict constitutionalist, chose not to accept the strict terms of the pledge that he signed,” Manafort said Thursday.

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Ted Cruz’s 2020 campaign starts now, at the expense of unifying GOP around Trump

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Sen. Ted Cruz all but announced his 2020 presidential bid, positioning himself as the most prominent Republican unwilling to back Donald Trump and the party’s most unflinching conservative in an incredible revolt that threatens to further divide the GOP.

In a rowdy exchange Thursday morning with home-state Texas delegates after being booed the night before at the Republican National Convention, Cruz said the party is not a “social club” but must hold true to its values. Asked repeatedly whether he would back Trump, Cruz refused.

“This isn’t just a team sport,” Cruz shouted over angry Texans. “We either stand for shared principles or we’re not worth anything,”

Cruz didn’t close the door on an eventual endorsement of Trump, but after their bitter primary campaign, when Trump attacked his rival’s wife and father, Cruz made it clear the GOP nominee had not earned his vote.

“I am doing what millions of Americans are doing,” Cruz told fellow Texans, “I am watching and I am listening.”

“I don’t intend to throw rocks,” Cruz said, and when pressed if ant-Trump voters should cast for him insisted: “I am not encouraging anybody to write my name in.”

The expansive Texas delegation – some 300 delegates and alternates, many in cowboy hats and trademark Lone Star State dress shirts – grumbled and booed. They remained deeply divided over their once-favorite son – cheering over his principled stand, but disappointed by his refusal to help unite the fractured GOP. One shouted in disgust that his parsing sounded like that of a lawyer, which Cruz is.

Pressed why he would not keep his campaign pledge to party to support the nominee, Cruz said all bets were off when Trump attacked his family.

“You got to get over it!” shouted one Texan. “This is politics!”

“This is not a game!” Cruz shouted back. “This is not politics. Right and wrong matter.”

The risks for Cruz are clear. While his principled stand sets him apart from a GOP establishment that has reluctantly rallied around Trump, his refusal to lend his endorsement threatens to prolong the party disunity that has been on vivid display since the convention gaveled open this week in Cleveland.

The party is desperately trying to unify around Trump and salvage what many believe should be a prime chance this fall to compete for the White House against the unpopularity of Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Cruz may be take the high road, but it is not clear that the conservative voters who propelled his career – and his presidential run, as the last candidate standing next to Trump – will walk with him.

“He just eroded his base,” said Gina Castenada, a delegate from Houston, who voted for Cruz during the primary. “The support will not be there in the next election.”

“He’s hurting himself,” said Trump backer Tony Savarese. “He’s starting his campaign now, instead of trying to win this one.”

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Donald Trump resumes attacking Ted Cruz

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Join us tonight in downtown Los Angeles

Join us for a watch party in downtown Los Angeles as Donald Trump formally accepts the Republican presidential nomination Thursday. You can mingle with fellow Angelenos 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 RSVP here.

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Trump’s NATO policy puts American interests first, former Trump advisor says

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, now a TV commentator, defended the Republican nominee’s foreign policy ideas Thursday, saying Trump was seeking to put American interests first in questioning long-standing treaty obligations to allies.

“We’ve lived and abided by these treaties that have been written many years ago that don’t actually benefit the United States anymore,” Corey Lewandowski said on CNN’s “New Day.”

He added that the GOP nominee was questioning more than 30 years of U.S. foreign policy, which Trump plans to review if elected.

On Wednesday, the New York Times published an interview with Trump in which he said that as president, he would not necessarily follow U.S. obligations under the NATO treaty to defend European allies against a Russian attack. Specifically, if the small Baltic republics of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia were invaded, he would not necessarily defend them, Trump said.

Those words already have deepened the divide between the candidate and his party’s foreign policy establishment.

“If we are not going to be reasonably reimbursed for the tremendous cost of protecting these massive nations with tremendous wealth --” Trump started, pausing to check if the Times reporters were recording. “-- We’re talking about countries that are doing very well. Then yes, I would be absolutely prepared to tell those countries, ‘Congratulations, you will be defending yourself.’ ”

The three Baltic countries are hardly massive, being among the smallest and most vulnerable countries in Europe. They were taken over by the Soviet Union in the 1940s, achieved independence in 1991 after communist rule in Moscow collapsed, and joined NATO in 2004.

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Trump’s campaign manager says Ted Cruz ‘made a mistake’ by not endorsing the GOP nominee

Donald Trump’s campaign chairman Thursday called Sen. Ted Cruz’s refusal to endorse the Republican presidential nominee a “mistake,” after Cruz’s speech to the party’s convention tore open old wounds in what was intended to be a unifying week for the GOP.

“Cruz used very bad judgment,” top Trump aide Paul Manafort told NBC’s “Today.” “... He made a mistake. I think he was not respectful of the invitation by the convention to come and speak.”

Manafort called the Texas lawmaker’s move a failure to adhere to the responsibilities of the position he accepted as a GOP leader and speaker at the event.

Cruz, who was a Trump rival during the primary season, instead encouraged voters to come out in November and “vote your conscience,” which was the rallying cry of the anti-Trump movement.

“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,” Cruz said. “Vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”

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Donald Trump forgives loans he made to his campaign and ends June with $20 million in the bank

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures after vice presidential candidate Mike Pence delivered his speech on the third day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures after vice presidential candidate Mike Pence delivered his speech on the third day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
(John Moore / Getty Images)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump ended June with more than $20 million in the bank, according to federal campaign finance filings, as he rebounded from earlier dismal fundraising efforts.

But Trump still significantly lags behind Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in raising cash and spending to build a general-election campaign apparatus.

Trump fulfilled his promise to forgive $47.5 million in loans he gave to his campaign, according to Federal Election Commission reports filed late Wednesday.

He raked in $22 million in contributions to his campaign committee last month, up from $3 million in May. After a concerted online push in June to attract small-dollar donors, Trump brought in $12 million from contributions in increments under $200.

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Trump echoes Nixon 1968 on law and order, a risky bet in a more racially diverse nation

From the start of his campaign, Donald Trump’s slogan, “Make America great again,” has captured an aspiration to return the nation to an era when his core audience of working-class whites occupied a more dominant place in society.

Now, in the aftermath of the killing of five police officers in Dallas and three in Baton Rouge, La., Trump sees a chance to broaden his support by playing off public anxiety over the violence. In doing so, he is openly imitating Richard Nixon’s run for the White House in 1968 amid deep racial strife and social upheaval.

Trump’s vow to restore law and order is likely to be a central theme of what may be his most important speech of the campaign, his address Thursday night accepting the Republican presidential nomination at the party convention in Cleveland.

At a breakfast with reporters this week in Cleveland, Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, said Nixon’s 1968 speech accepting the nomination at the Republican convention in Miami Beach was “pretty much on line with a lot of the issues that are going on today.”

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What to expect on the final day of the Republican convention: High stakes for Donald Trump’s speech

(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

The chaotic unfolding of the Republican National Convention has raised the stakes for Donald Trump as he prepares for Thursday’s crucial prime-time speech accepting the party’s presidential nomination.

“Never in the history of conventions has Day 4 been more important,” declared Mark McKinnon, a top campaign advisor to George W. Bush, the last Republican to win the White House.

The booing of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Wednesday night when he refused to endorse Trump effectively ended all pretense that Republicans were uniting behind their nominee. Delegates wandering out of the hall afterward openly trashed Trump or Cruz, depending on their allegiance.

To Texas delegate and Trump supporter Shaun Ireland, Cruz’s speech “turned into a big middle finger to this convention.” “He did damage here,” Ireland said.

Fellow Texas delegate Erin Swanson accused Trump of disrupting Cruz’s speech by walking into the back of the arena before he was finished, leading the crowd to collectively turn its back on the senator as he was booed. “It’s just classless,” she said of Trump.

Add to that the two-day drama of the campaign first denying, and then admitting, that part of Melania Trump’s speech Monday was cribbed from First Lady Michelle Obama, and the result was an extra high burden for a breakout performance by the candidate in his convention address.

If ever Trump’s skills as a showman were called for, it’s now. But he must also put to rest the doubts many Americans have about whether he is qualified to serve as president.

“He’s got to perform some magic and some miracles,” McKinnon said. “Trump has an opportunity to do a reset. His challenge – it’s a really high bar now.”

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Republicans are talking about Hillary Clinton -- a lot

On the third night of the Republican National Convention, Hillary Clinton was very popular.

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Booing isn’t always bad in politics

The booing of Ted Cruz at the Republican National Convention rocked the political landscape Wednesday night, with pundits speculating about it harming the Texas senator’s future political career.

But history shows it’s not always bad to be booed.

In 1990, when Dianne Feinstein was running in California’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, she flaunted her support for the death penalty, an anathema among the gathered liberal activists. They loudly booed her as she stared into the cameras recording the scene.

Her campaign had anticipated the reaction and used the footage in advertisements to argue she was more independent than her anti-death penalty rival, then-Atty. Gen. John Van de Kamp. Feinstein beat Van de Kamp in the primary but lost the general election to Pete Wilson.

Two years later, she was elected to the U.S. Senate, a post she holds to this day.

For Cruz, how Wednesday night’s clash affects him will depend on whether GOP nominee Donald Trump wins the presidential race in the fall, and whether the party reverts to its traditional conservative base.

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As the RNC hopes to ‘Make American One Again,’ can it make itself whole?

Tonight’s theme is Make America One Again. But the Republican Party, it seems, is not fully one, at least not yet.

Sen. Ted Cruz on Wednesday night fired the freshest shots yet in a war to define the party. As Cathleen Decker writes, that war is one that will persist through November and beyond, regardless of whether Donald Trump wins the White House.

Four hours after closing his speech, to boos, in Cleveland, Cruz had a message for his supporters: “Our fight goes on.” In a fundraising email, Cruz talked about “a return to freedom” and how Americans are “rightly” furious.

“We must make the most of our moment – to fight for freedom, to protect our God-given rights, even of those with whom we don’t agree, so when we are old, and our work is done, we will be able to say, ‘Freedom matters, and I fought to save it,’” Cruz wrote. “I promise to lead the fight for freedom and our liberty every day from the United States Senate.”

We’ll see who will prevail in this fight. For now, the focus is on Trump, and what he’ll say when formally accepting the party nomination tonight.

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Mike Pence delivered something in short supply at the RNC on Wednesday — coherence

Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s choice for vice president, did exactly what a running mate is supposed to do Wednesday: He delivered the most coherent pitch anyone has given for the Republican ticket all year.

Pence was chosen precisely because he’s a calm, conventional, almost colorless conservative — but all those mild attributes turned out to be assets at a convention that’s been dominated by hyperbole and discord.

Pence served up plenty of attack lines against Hillary Clinton and the Democrats, but he leavened them with a dose of Midwestern folksiness that was reminiscent — yes, I’m going to say it — of Ronald Reagan.

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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.

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Watch: Day 3 of the Republican National Convention in less than 3 minutes

Relive the highlights of the third night of the Republican National Convention.

Ray Whitehouse and Cleon Arrey present the evening in less than 3 minutes:

Watch: Day Three of the Republican National Convention in less than 3 minutes. More convention coverage at latimes.com/trailguide.

Watch Day 1

Watch Day 2

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