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Republican convention: More about denouncing Hillary than endorsing Trump

After vanquishing 16 party rivals, Donald Trump on Tuesday secured the party's 2016 nomination for the White House. Photograph: (Getty)

Agencies Cleveland, United States Jul 21, 2016, 03.48 AM (IST)
Donald Trump's one-time Republican rival Ted Cruz threw the party convention into chaos on Wednesday, provocatively telling delegates to "vote their conscience" and refusing to endorse the mogul.

Activists' ovations and adulations for the conservative Texas senator turned to jeers and boos as it became clear he had not come to Cleveland to back the party nominee.

"We deserve leaders who stand for principle, who unite us all behind shared values, who cast aside anger for love," said Cruz, effectively listing criticisms levelled at Trump.

"If you love our country and love your children as much as I know that you do, stand and speak, and vote your conscience," he said as the crowd erupted into yells of anger.

The two men fought a bitter and at times deeply personal primary campaign in which Trump mocked Cruz's wife.

In another dramatic twist, Trump decided to step on Cruz's moment in the sun by entering the arena before the Texan had finished speaking.

Cruz, who is widely expected to run in 2020 should Trump lose to Hillary Clinton, was forced to wave and smile before completing his remarks and exiting to more jeers.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence accepted the Republican vice-presidential nomination at a tumultuous party convention in Cleveland Wednesday, describing his running mate Donald Trump as a "good man." 

"I am deeply humbled by your confidence," Pence told delegates, still reeling from a night of high drama and political infighting over Trump's anointment as the party's White House candidate.

Walker urges vote for Trump

Former Republican Presidential candidate, the current governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker spoke at the Republican National Convention (RNC) on Wednesday (July 20) calling on voters across America ot vote for Donald Trump.

"Last August, I said that any of the Republicans running would be better than Hillary Clinton. I meant it then, and I mean it now. So let me be clear: a vote for anyone other than Donald Trump in November is a vote for Hillary Clinton," Walker said.

Walker got the crowd to chant along with him screaming "Why? Because America deserves better."

"If you've had enough of Washington's brokenness, of Washington's wastefulness, of Washington's empty promises and of Washington's arrogance, I invite you here from across America join us. Help us elect Republicans to office - from the courthouse to the statehouse to the White House," Walker said.

After vanquishing 16 party rivals, warring with much of the Republican establishment and sparking controversy at the party convention, Donald Trump on Tuesday secured the party's 2016 nomination for the White House.

Trump won with 1,725 delegates, followed by Cruz of Texas with 475 delegates, Ohio Governor John Kasich with 120 and US Senator Marco Rubio of Florida with 114. Three other candidates emerged with a total of 12 delegates.

After the presidential vote, the convention by voice vote nominated Indiana Governor Mike Pence, 57, Trump's choice for his vice-presidential running mate.

A wealthy New York real estate developer and a reality TV celebrity, the 70-year-old Trump was a long shot when he entered the race for the Republican nomination more than a year ago, having never held elected office.

Protests erupt outside convention

Police arrested 17 people on Wednesday outside the Republican National Convention in Cleveland after protesters tried to burn American flags.Two officers were assaulted and suffered "minor bumps and bruises," Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said.

Two people were arrested on felony counts and 15 others on misdemeanor charges. "There are people that don't want to just protest," Williams said.

"Their only reason for being here is disruption, disorder and chaos." Tensions flared on the street in front of a secure entrance area to the Quicken Loans Arena, where Republicans anointed Donald Trump as their party's 2016 presidential nominee.

A protester tried to set an American flag on fire, and in the process caught his pant leg on fire. A police officer responded to put the flames out, and the protester punched and pushed the officer, Williams said.

In the skirmish, the pant legs of two other people nearby also caught on fire, the chief said.

Security forces, including horse-mounted police, closed ranks around the protesters, and detained people were seen kneeling with their hands behind their backs.

A group calling itself the Revolution Club sent out a press release earlier saying that Joey Johnson, a "notorious flag burner and revolutionary communist," would conduct civil disobedience in Cleveland.

Police declined to identify the arrestees, because they had not yet been booked and officially charged, but a member of the group said that Johnson was among those arrested.

A woman from the same group also was seen trying to burn a second flag. Police intervened and tussled with protesters as an officer snatched away the singed flag.

Later, the woman was arrested, as people chanted "Let her go!"

Demonstrations have taken place mostly peacefully in the city during the week of the convention, although scuffles have broken out during some protests.

The police chief emphasized that there have only been 22 arrests over the three days of the convention.

"So far so good," Williams said, "We're still out there. We're still vigilant."

Police have been on alert in the Ohio city, and security was ramped up dramatically for the week of the Republican convention in the wake of the recent killings of police officers in Dallas, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

(Agencies)
 
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