By Jonathan Gang
BU News Service
Despite the day’s nominal theme of “Make America Work Again,” the majority of the speeches delivered from the stage of Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena during the second night of the Republican National Convention focused squarely on Donald Trump’s opponent in the upcoming election.
Speakers including politicians such as Chris Christie, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell tore into Hillary Clinton’s integrity and fitness to lead the country.
“Strength, boldness and new energy are not words that describe Hillary Clinton,” said Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, establishing the evening’s theme early in the program. “This is the same Hillary we knew in Arkansas and later in Washington for so many years. Hillary always wanted more government, and her dreams have only gotten bigger.”
Many of the attacks focused on the regular Republican talking points of Clinton’s actions around the 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi and the private email server she used while serving as secretary of state.
“She lied about her emails. She lied about her server. She lied about Benghazi,” said McConnell. “She lied about sniper fire. She even lied about why her parents named her Hillary.”
In one of the night’s most outlandish attacks, retired neurosurgeon and former presidential candidate Ben Carson accused Clinton of sympathy for the devil, bringing up her college thesis on the early 20th century American writer and community organizer Saul Alinsky.
“He wrote a book called ‘Rules for Radicals.’ It acknowledges Lucifer, the original radical who gained his own kingdom,” said Carson of Alinsky. “This is a nation where every coin in our pockets and every bill in our wallet says, ‘In God We Trust.’ So are we willing to elect someone as president who has as their role model somebody who acknowledges Lucifer?”
The majority of direct praise for the party’s nominee people came from business leaders like the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s Dana White and Standard Waterproofing President Andy Wist, as well as Trump’s children Donald Trump Jr. and Tiffany Trump.
Wist, by far the evening’s least well-known name, offered a passionate endorsement for Trump from the perspective of someone who, in his words, is not a “big important person.”
“I’m just a regular guy,” he said, speaking in a thick Brooklyn accent. “I love my family. I love my country. I’ve lived a great life… When I’m gone, I want my children, your children, and our grandchildren to be able to live the American Dream like I have. And the only way we keep the American Dream alive is by electing Donald Trump president.”