Donald Trump’s coronation as the Republican nominee for President began on Monday, but not without some controversy.
Trump and his wife Melania took centre stage on the first day of the four day convention. Trump broke with tradition to introduce his wife on stage before she gave the keynote address of the night. Typically the presumptive nominee doesn’t take the stage until Thursday.
The first day of the convention proved it would be different than most.
Delegates from Colorado and Iowa walked out in a dispute over the rules after they attempted a roll call vote on rules that would unbind delegates and allow them to vote against Trump.
It was a last gasp attempt by the anti-Trump faction of the Republican Party.
The floor fight was the talk of the convention to start, but it was Melania Trump’s speech that had everyone talking at the end of day one, on the convention floor and on social media.
Trump’s speech was widely praised at first, with one delegate saying everyone fell in love with her and another comparing the possible future First Lady to Jackie Kennedy.
Her address drew attention online after it was discovered two passages matched nearly word-for-word the speech that first lady Michelle Obama delivered in 2008 at the Democratic National Convention.
In an interview Tuesday morning on CNN, Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort said Mrs. Trump didn’t plagiarise Michelle Obama.
“Certainly, there’s no feeling on her part that she did it,” he said. “What she did was use words that are common words.”
Manafort added Mrs. Trump was aware of “how her speech was going to be scrutinized” and said any notion that she lifted portions of the First Lady’s 2008 speech was “just absurd.”
Mrs. Trump presented a softer and gentler side of her husband, whom she said “is tough when he has to be.” She told GOP delegates and voters, “If you want someone to fight for you and your country, I can assure you, he is the guy.”
Mrs. Trump was the first of several family members and friends who will take the stage in Cleveland.
Donald Trump told Fox News Channel that his Thursday night speech accepting the nomination will be “relatively long,” and will touch on national security and domestic policy.
Overall the first day of the convention was intense and foreboding with calls for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to be prosecuted and jailed.
The slogan for the night was “Make America Safe Again.”
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani delivered a speech that warned of threats from Syrian refugees, illegal immigrants, and crime.
“There’s no next election: This is it,” Giuliani said. “There’s no time left for us to revive our great country.”
He was one of many convention speakers who brought up dark scenarios that only Trump could prevent.
Recent violence in the U.S. hung over the convention.
It was just over a month ago a gunman killed 49 people at a gay club in Orlando while more recently there have been two deadly attacks on police that left five officers dead in Dallas and three officers dead in Baton Rouge and two high-profile police shootings.
Milwaukee sheriff David Clarke, who is African American, received one of the biggest cheers of the night when he went on stage to celebrate the news of this week’s acquittal of a Baltimore police oficer who had been charged in connection with the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.
“Someone with a nice tan needs to say this: All lives matter,” Colorado Senate candidate Darryl Glenn, who is also African American, said.
While Trump wasn’t able to attract any big Hollywood stars to speak at the convention, some familiar faces did take the stage, including actors Scott Baio and Antonio Sabato Jr. and Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson.
While all three kept their remarks PG on stage, Sabato later told ABC he believed President Obama was “absolutely” a secret Muslim while Baio told CNN he was standing by a tweet that called Clinton an obscene sexual epithet.
AM980’s Andrew Lawton is in Cleveland for the duration of the convention and will be reporting filing reports and giving first hand accounts from Ohio all week long.