By early evening Tuesday, Donald Trump wrapped up the Republican nomination. He spoke briefly from New York, telling the convention he would share his thoughts on Thursday. With Trump off-site, Democrat Hillary Clinton duly became the center of attention in Cleveland.
“Hillary Clinton always wanted more government,” said Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson. “If you liked the last eight years, Hillary will give you double for your trouble.”
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey told the convention that the way Hillary Clinton handled government secrets, “exquisitely sums up case against her presidency.” In Mukasey’s view, Hillary Clinton, would be the first to take the presidential oath “after violating it.”
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said progressives had “delivered everything except progress.” In Ryan’s view, Obama was the most liberal president ever and Hillary Clinton was “offering a third Obama term brought to you by another Clinton.” Said Ryan, “the Obama years are almost over, the Clinton years are way over.”
New Jersey governor Chris Christie noted that the administration had failed to hold Hillary accountable, so he proceeded to make the case against her. Every region of the world, he said, had been “infected by her flawed judgment.”
The former presidential contender outlined Hillary’s record in Libya where “ISIS is now dominating” and Nigeria, where Hillary had been “an apologist of an al Qaida affiliate” that “abducted hundreds of young women.” She called Syria’s Assad “a reformer” and in Iran championed “the worst nuclear deal in history.”
Hillary Clinton gave Russia “the reset button,” Christie said, and coddled the Castro brothers, who harbor Joanne Chesimard, an American who murdered a New Jersey state trooper. Hillary, “cared more about protecting her secrets than America’s secrets,” and “made the world a more violent and dangerous place with every bad judgment.” She would be “all the failures of Obama years but less charm and more lies.”
Surgeon and former presidential contender Ben Carson said he hated political correctness and challenged a narrative “by some in our own party,” that “Hillary Clinton would not be that bad.” In Carson’s view “America may never recover” from Hillary, and he reminded the conventioneers that her hero and mentor was Rules for Radicals author Saul Alinsky.
The speakers, including Donald Trump Jr., did their best, but it was hard to follow Rudy Giuliani from Monday night, when the theme was “make America safe again.” Giuliani observed that Americans don’t feel safe, and thanked police officers for their service.
“When they come to save you life they don’t ask if you are black or white,” Giuliani said. “They just come to save you.” The crowd loved it, and he ramped it up by calling out “Islamic extremist terrorism.” For the sake of the media, he said, he did not mean all of Islam or even most of Islam. It was only “Islamic extremist terrorism” he was talking about.
“You know who you are,” he said, “and we are coming to get you.”
Giuliani also invoked the fear of being politically correct, which was not a new theme for the former New York mayor. Political correctness, he said, has “serious consequences,” such as the case of Major Nidal Hasan, yelling “Allahu akbar” as he killed.
“The only person who could not figure out this was an Islamic extremist attack was Barack Obama, who called it ‘workplace violence.’” For Giuliani, “this is why our enemies see us as weak and vulnerable.” Giuliani sought to identify the enemies and put them on defense. “If they are at war with us,” he said, “we must commit ourselves to unconditional victory against them.”
Giuliani decried the practice of giving money to Iran, in his view the greatest sponsor of terrorism, “to kill us and our allies. Are we crazy?” The goal, he said, should be a “non-nuclear Iran.”
Giuliani blasted former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her “dereliction of duty” and failure in Benghazi, where terrorists killed Americans Chris Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Glen Dougherty and Sean Smith. Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration, he said, “lied about the attacks,” and Hillary Clinton “lied to families of people killed right to their face.” Quoting her explanation of “what difference at this point does it make?” and said anyone who could say that “should not be our commander in chief.”
Giuliani also showed a sense of urgency. There was “no next election,” he said. “This is it.” There was “no more time to revive our great country,” and “we can’t afford to repeat the mistakes of the past.”
Also on Monday, Patricia Smith, mother of Benghazi victim Sean Smith, blamed Hillary Clinton personally for the death of her son. “She lied to me and then called me a liar,” Mrs. Smith said, and before stepping down shouted “Hillary for prison,” and “She deserves to be in stripes.”