Day 2: Peaceful kickoff for RNC; backlash over Melania Trump’s speech

The Republican Party formally nominated Donald Trump for president Tuesday evening

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump walks off the stage with his wife Melania during the Republican National Convention, Monday, July 18, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump walks off the stage with his wife Melania during the Republican National Convention, Monday, July 18, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Locher)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WKBN/AP) – It was a peaceful kick off to the second day of the Republican National Convention, although Donald Trump’s campaign faced backlash from some who say his wife, Melania, plagiarized Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic Convention speech.

Trump’s campaign responded to the criticism, denying that the speech was copied.

The first day of the RNC had no major incidents, with only two arrests. Protests were held at various locations in Cleveland with groups as big as 200, but all were peaceful.

Tuesday’s theme was “Make America Work Again” and featured Donald Trump, Jr., U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito from West Virginia, Ben Carson and Kimberlin Brown as headline speakers. The focus was Trump’s experience as a successful businessman, and how they believe he can create jobs and get the economy up and running.

Photos: 2016 Republican National Convention

Congressman Bill Johnson talked about recent security threats across the nation during a Tuesday morning breakfast session for delegates at their hotel. He stressed the importance of keeping the political process peaceful.

“To those waving the flag of another nation as they carry out their violent political protest, if you’re not a citizen of this country, then your political opinion doesn’t mean anything to us here,” Johnson said.

The breakfast’s featured speaker was Frank Lutz, pollster and author of “Words That Work,” who said Ohio voters will determine the outcome in the fall.

“That’s not meant as an applause line. It’s meant to really shake you up because if you leave here divided, you have no shot,” Luntz said.

He warned Ohio’s Republican delegation that they need to do a better job with their communication skills. He also told the group that they can’t afford to leave the RNC and Cleveland without being united behind their nominee, which was something local delegates and guests took to heart.

“It’s truly gonna be on Donald Trump’s shoulders to deliver a message which helps come together finally because if we don’t come together, we could lose this election,” said Mahoning County GOP Chair Mark Munroe.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who said he will not endorse Trump, hasn’t attended RNC events. Instead, he spoke to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Tuesday. He talked about his candidacy for president before he dropped out of the race.

“We left the race abruptly and the reason why we did is that I became convinced that in one way or another, to go forward, I would have to tell people things that I didn’t think were true,” he said.

He stressed the importance of working to improve the lives of Americans.

Also in Cleveland Tuesday was Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who has endorsed Trump. His endorsement has brought him lots of criticism from Democrats, who say he is putting his own interests above the state’s and country’s.

Portman’s campaign manager, Corry Bliss, denied reports of a rift between Portman and Kasich, calling the report from Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, “totally false.”

Earlier Monday, Manafort told an audience at a Bloomberg breakfast that Portman was “upset” with Kasich and believes the governor is hurting his re-election campaign.

Bliss later responded that the senator and Kasich “are working hand in hand” to defeat Democrat Ted Strickland and said any suggestion otherwise “is inaccurate.”

Tuesday, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine stressed the importance of a good relationship between Trump and Kasich, if Trump wants to win over Ohio voters.

During the roll call vote Tuesday evening, the Ohio delegation cheered every time a vote for John Kasich was announced. Delegates from Ohio cast 66 votes for Kasich.

In the end, the Republican Party formally nominated Trump for president, completing the New York billionaire’s rise from political outsider to major party candidate for the White House. A day after a disruptive fight over the party’s rules, there was little drama as delegates to the GOP convention united behind the real estate mogul and reality TV star.

Donald Trump’s son Donald Jr. cast the final votes his father needed to become the Republican presidential nominee. The younger Trump was on the floor and told the excited activists in the auditorium that New York was casting 89 votes for Trump and six for Ohio Gov. John Kasich. He then shouted out, “Congratulations, Dad, we love you.”

Delegates on the floor broke into cheers and waved signs as the song “New York, New York” played at Quicken Loans Arena. Also on the convention floor were some of Donald Trump’s other children, including Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump.

Donald Jr. said he’s watched as his father has built a movement and he said that movement has given Americans a voice again.

Tiffany Trump also spoke, saying her father is a “natural-born encourager” who has motivated her to work her hardest.

The 22-year-old told the Republican National Convention about her father’s character, and recalled how he’d leave notes on her report cards. She says she still has them.

Tiffany said the Trump way is to hold nothing back and never let fear get in the way. She said he’s the last person who would ever tell someone to lower their sights or give up on their dream.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said he’ll be sharing the rostrum with “President Donald Trump” the next time there’s a State of the Union address on Capitol Hill.

Ryan hesitated for a while before finally endorsing the businessman last month. The Wisconsin lawmaker told the Republican National Convention that only by electing Trump and running mate Mike Pence does the country “have a chance at a better way.”

Ryan said Hillary Clinton represents a third term of what he’s calling President Barack Obama’s failed presidency.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told the crowd that Hillary Clinton lied to the nation about “her selfish, awful judgment.” Christie, who fell short in his GOP presidential bid, said voters shouldn’t elect Clinton as president and reward what he calls her incompetence.

Christie claimed that Clinton’s performance as secretary of state was dismal. He said voters should hold her accountable for failures in Libya, Syria and elsewhere. He said Clinton is also responsible for a bad nuclear deal with Iran.

Christie said as a former federal prosecutor, he wants to hold Clinton accountable for her actions. He said he’s laying out what he says are facts about her to “a jury of her peers.”

Republicans broke out into chants of “lock her up.”

Christie asked his audience for a verdict about Clinton on her leadership on the Islamic State group, China and an al-Qaida-linked group in Nigeria. Each time, delegates responded with boisterous chants of “guilty.”

Former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said Hillary Clinton is promoting a “new world order” that would allow the government in Washington to trample Americans’ freedoms.

Carson said Clinton would appoint liberal Supreme Court justices who would cement what he calls “cancerous policies” that perpetuate poverty.

Make WKBN 27 First News your source for RNC coverage. Our team of experienced reporters will be in Cleveland all week reporting on what’s going on in the arena and on the streets. Live coverage continues throughout the day. See our special feature 2016 Republican National Convention for all of our reports online.

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