Donald Trump Officially Wins GOP Nomination

Jul 19, 2016
Originally published on July 19, 2016 6:26 pm
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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel in Cleveland for day two of the Republican National Convention. And of course the big news here is that Donald Trump is now the Republican Party's nominee for president. In the past hour, the votes of the delegates were counted in a roll call, and the privilege of putting Trump over a majority went to his home state and his own family. Donald Trump Jr. was the member of the New York State delegation who announced the tally and said, Dad, we love you.

NPR's Scott Horsley joins me. He was on the floor at that moment when Trump went over the top and the convention literally went over the top. What was it like?

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Well, the Jumbotron here at the Quicken Loans Arena lit up with electronic fireworks and the slogan, over the top. And the band - the house band here struck up - what else? - "New York, New York." It was the culmination of an unlikely primary campaign in which Donald Trump Sr. borrowed from another Sinatra song and did it his way.

He proved a lot of naysayers wrong, and it was - I have to say that the support on the floor of the arena was not unanimous, but it was sizable. Even Washington state, which was one of the states calling yesterday to unbind the delegates, wound up casting all of its votes for Donald Trump.

SIEGEL: What's happening right, now by the way? The outcome of the roll call was never in doubt at any point. But there were a couple of states that insisted on reporting the votes as they were cast. They didn't recognize that their delegates had been bound, and for about 10, 12 minutes, we had a disco music break here as the parliamentarians and the chair of the Convention, Paul Ryan, speaker of the House, tried to figure out how to deal with a recount of the Alaskan delegation.

HORSLEY: An unscheduled delay.

SIEGEL: Yes.

HORSLEY: And one of one of the things that's done is push off the expected voice vote for Donald Trump's running mate, Mike Pence.

SIEGEL: Yeah. there will be no roll call. That will be done by affirmation. The naming of Mike Pence, governor of Indiana, was - and within a matter of minutes, he should be the nominee for vice president. This was a major moment in Donald Trump's march to the nomination.

HORSLEY: Yes, and you know, Mike Pence is a conventional addition to what has been a very unconventional campaign, and that was I think by design. He he looks the part. Donald Trump himself has said he looks like somebody out of central casting as a Republican politician.

Mike Pence is disciplined where Donald Trump is not. Mike Pence is civil where Donald Trump is sometimes incivil. He is very conservative on social issues where Donald Trump is not. But mostly what he offers to the ticket is sort of a reassurance of some normalcy to those mainstream politcal observers who worry about Trump breaking all the rules.

SIEGEL: And while his nomination was very welcome to Republican conservatives, he was one of those governors who went for the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare.

HORSLEY: There are lots of areas where Mike Pence breaks with Donald Trump on policy grounds for sure.

SIEGEL: Pretty soon his nomination will be a done deal. It'll be prime time. Tell us about the headlining speakers tonight.

HORSLEY: We have a lot of politicians who will be speaking tonight, including Paul Ryan who we're just hearing from about that Alaska re-polling. We're going to hear from the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, and Donald Trump himself will introduce McConnell on - by remote from New York. And then we're also going to be hearing from a couple of Donald Trump's erstwhile primary opponents - Chris Christie and Ben Carson.

SIEGEL: OK, that's NPR correspondent Scott Horsley with me here in the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.