The opening half of the convention stands as a warm up before the latter days in which the key players take to the stage. With this in mind after car crash moments time and time again the Republican Convention in Cleveland was heading in a downward spiral to disaster. Day three only served to accelerate this descent.
We will get to that later. First we need to talk about someone from a little closer to home that has come to experience the convention.
A week away from British shores made me think that the Brexit whirlwind would not be on my mind. How wrong that has proved to be. Rumours circulated last week that Nigel Farage would be attending the RNC after being invited by a Republican delegate. Following help from our partners at CNS we tracked the MEP down at a breakfast in the Cleveland Flats hosted by McClatchy.
The recently departed UKIP leader charmed the American audience with his straight talking approach. Farage’s public appearances are taking the format of a stand up act. The passport made an appearance. Dexit, Nexit, maybe even Sexit was well received and the inevitable slamming of the Westminster establishment. On this particular occasion Farage commented that this group of politicians “went to the same schools, graduated from the same university and married each others sisters.” An interesting opening public appearance on American soil.
The British media at the event, myself included, were less enthused by Farage’s Brexit messages. For us it is something that we have heard before and are unlikely to want to review again. Conversly, Farage did go on to speak at length about comparisons between the state of US and UK politics, what he hopes to achieve visiting the RNC and a damning verdict on Hillary Clinton: “I wouldn’t vote for Hillary if you paid me.” When asked to justify this stand point Farage explained his view that he does not agree in his own words with Clinton’s self-belief that she has a right to the presidency.
After a short Q and A session we spoke to Farage about his trip to Cleveland, security, immigration and youth engagement in politics. Head over to our youtube page to view these videos and all our coverage from the RNC in Cleveland. View our package for CNS below:
Cruz to despair
The RNC session resumed at the Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday evening under the Trump campaign theme of “Make America First Again”. In line with the first two days of the convention the line up of speakers for the most part was lacking in both political and celebrity power. Of the early speakers, Michelle Van Etten’s speech “Women in business for Trump” will be remember a long time after the convention circus moves out of Cleveland. Unfortunately not for its powerful message. Rather its truly commical nature and delivery. Watch for yourself (Credit ABC Arizona):
Back to the serious business of the convention. Well as serious as you could view this convention that has been in dire need of some political rhetoric and policy. Ted Cruz was not due to be the star of the show on Wednesday with Gov. Mike Pence set to end the night after being named as Trump’s running mate. Cruz had other plans. The former Republican presidential candidate caused major controversy with his speech. If the Republican party was not divided already, Cruz sawed it in two like a piece of timber. By failing to endorse Trump, rather encouraging the American people to “vote your conscience”, Cruz left the stage to boos. Cruz has since made it clear that he will not be voting for Clinton, whilst at the same time refusing to confirm his vote for Trump.
This speech has sent social media into frenzy and the political experts working overtime to draw their conclusions on the impact for the Trump campaign, Cruz’s future as a prominent Republican and the state of the Republican party as a collective.
What is certain is that Cruz stole the headlines from day three of the convention with no attention being taken for Pence’s speech. As fallout continues from Wednesday at the RNC it seems policy has been shelved for media attention. Whilst we will not complain about this fact, come November the Republicans may be regretting the four day long calamity that should have been used to promote their campaign message. In fact maybe this is the Trump message and we are set for several months of spats and controversy.
At this time the only thing that Republicans can be unanimous on is their hatred of Hillary Clinton. That probably will not be enough to get Donald Trump to the White house.