U. affiliates discuss plagiarism, Clinton, and future of GOP at Cleveland Convention
CLEVELAND – After four nights of speeches, the 2016 Republican National Convention was gaveled to a close. Delegates formally nominated Donald Trump and Mike Pence for president and vice president, respectively.Pence accepted his nominationWednesdaywith Trump’s acceptance followingon Thursday. Speakers included Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Texas Senator Ted Cruz ’92, former Republican candidate Ben Carson, New Jersey Governor and ex officio trustee of the University Chris Christie and members of Trump’s family.
Although Cleveland was prepared for a riot from protestors both for and against the Republican nominee, only 24 arrests were made related to the convention, accordingto USA Today. Trump even called Cleveland police Chief Calvin Williamsto thank himfor keeping the RNC safe, according toCleveland.com.2,800 out-of-town law enforcement officers bolstered the Cleveland Police Department’s efforts, with even the Ohio National Guard called in to protect the dormitories at Case Western Reserve University that housed guest officers. Other universities in the area also helped house officers.
The convention’s opening night featured Trump’s wife, Melania, speaking in support of her husband. In her speech, she listed many of the qualities she believes her husband possesses that make him ready to be president. Most conspicuously however, within an hour of the end of Trump’s speech, it was shown that she had copied, nearly word-for-word, more than an entire paragraph of First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech from the 2008 Democratic National Convention. In this section, Melania Trump spoke of the values that she and her husband shared that she wished to pass on to her children.
Paul Manafort, a top aide of the Trump campaign, said to CNNon Tuesdaythat “There’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech” and that the allegedly copied words, sentences and phrases “are common words and values,”according to the Los Angeles Times.
“As many people have said, it’s particularly striking that she would plagiarize the wife of a president her husband so vilifies,” Andrew Yarrow ’81, a former speechwriter in the Labor Department of the Clinton administration, said. “It also speaks to extremely sloppy speechwriting.”
Yarrow has written speeches for assistant Secretaries of Labor, as well as former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. He noted that department speeches would go through a “pretty intense vetting process.”“It would go through all the experts of an issue, all the political people to make sure it wasn’t off-message with the department or administration and it would be pretty carefully fact-checked,” Yarrow said. He added that this was before there was software to check for plagiarism.
Christie said that 93 percent of the speech was not plagiarized on theTodayshow. He added that this was only the first day of the convention, so there would be more things to cover in the coming days of the convention.
“It does show some desperation on Christie’s part to curry favor with Trump,” Yarrow said.
Tuesdaynight, Christie addressed the delegates and conventioneers during prime-time coverage.
He followed a theme that traced Senator Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy. Clinton is the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, a former First Lady, former Senator and former Secretary of State. Christie noted his experience as a federal prosecutor and said that he wanted to “hold her accountable for her performance and her character” in front of a “jury of her peers” at the convention. This was met with chants of “Lock her up!” that lasted for about a minute.
“I’m gonna present the case now on the facts against Hillary Rodham Clinton,” he said. He noted her policies in Libya, Nigeria, China, Syria and Iran where he said “she launched the negotiations that brought about the worst nuclear deal in history.”
He added, saying that “the indictment is hardly complete,” that there were other failures in Russia and Cuba, saying that she is a “coddler of the brutal Castro brothers.” At the end of each example, he asked “Guilty or not guilty?” to which there was a resounding “Guilty!” in response. He concluded by asking if she was guilty of sharing American secrets in her emails.
Andrew Christie ’16, Christie’s son, was a delegate for New Jersey at the convention. He did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
On Wednesday, Cruzaddressed the conventionand refused to endorse Trump, citing examples of Trump “maligning” Cruz’s wife and father. Instead, Cruz told the convention to “Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”
These lines were almost immediately met with boos from delegates, with considerable enthusiasm from the New York delegation. Chants of “We want Trump!” rang inside the convention hall and almost simultaneously, Trump appeared in the back of the arena.