‘I think tonight we hired somebody’Published: 6 hours ago
Delegates at RNC July 21, 2016 (WND photo)
CLEVELAND – While they certainly didn’t convince every doubter among the delegates on the floor of the Quicken Loans Arena Thursday night, Donald Trump’s acceptance speech and the testimony of his daughter Ivanka appear to have largely fulfilled the aim of helping unify the party while making a case to America for a Trump White House.
As the balloons and confetti continued to fall, WND spoke to a sampling of delegates who included supporters of Sen. Ted Cruz, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz. (WND photo)
Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, who previously endorsed Cruz, told WND after the speech, “I absolutely feel much better.
“I think their speeches tonight were magnificent,” he said. “I think it demonstrates to the world Donald Trump can find the discipline to speak in a cogent way that reaches a broad sector of the American electorate.”
Franks said Cruz made a big mistake Wednesday night in choosing not to endorse Trump in his convention speech .
“I was terribly disappointed in Ted,” Franks told WND. “In spite of the legitimate injustices that in my opinion he did have to endure, in circumstances like this, it is the duty of every statesman to look to the betterment of the country and the future generations rather than their own unfortunate circumstances at time.”
As WND reported, a number of Texas delegates defended Cruz after he was booed for not endorsing Trump, but some expressed disappointment in him.
“He was standing on the podium of the Republican Party convention,” Franks continued, “and that was the time to make sure that we protected the future for them and all future generations and families of every sort.
“This is about potentially the freedom of the human family."
Asked if he will be an enthusiastic campaigner for Trump, Franks said: “I am able to unequivocally support Donald Trump without the slightest reticence, and I think any time someone can say that when they walk into the voting booth, that’s confidence enough.”
‘I think tonight we hired somebody’
South Carolina delegate Jim Corbett of Columbia backed former Sen. Rick Santorum, followed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and then former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
“Trump was one of those guys that was, ‘He’d be OK, but he was not my choice,'” said Corbett.
“My biggest thing was that in the debates he never answered a question, and he was always attacking people,” the South Carolinian continued.
“Tonight, he gave a speech and he answered a lot of questions about what he’s going to do, how he’s going to do it.
“I think tonight we hired somebody. To do the job, a tough job,” Corbett declared.
“I mean, a lot of people do ‘rah rah’ at these things,” said Corbett, noting it was his fifth convention.
“I feel a real quiet surge of confidence that this guy is going to do what he says. So he’s my man now.”
‘Status quo is broken’
Pennsylvania delegate Scott Uehlinger, a 28-year Navy veteran and retired CIA operations officer from Topton, has backed Trump from the beginning.
Pennsylvania delegate Scott Uehlinger (WND photo)
“I supported him because he’s a fresh new voice,” he told WND.
“The status quo is broken. I think most Americans realize that. The monied interest of the establishment of both parties is simply unable to meet the needs of the people anymore,” Uehlinger said. “That’s why Mr. Trump was so popular.”
His training as a CIA officer, he said, enables him to read the mood of the people, and he saw early on that Trump was resonating.
“I knew that the people were tired of the same old same old, and I knew that he would surge forward,” he said. “Maybe even I didn’t dare to dream that he would actually get the nomination. But I knew that he would be quite successful in the primaries, whereas all the experts thought he didn’t have a snowball’s chance, that he would drop out after several weeks.”
Uehlinger, an adjunct professor at New York University, said he thought it was “a fantastic convention.”
“I had never been to one before, and I think the party leaves very unified to make America great again,” he said.
He acknowledged there “were some back and forths,” a few protesters and the controversy over Cruz’s non-endorsement, but he called it a “sideshow.”
“What happened is that Donald Trump has spoken directly to the American people,” Uehlinger said.
Trump brought up President Obama’s refusal to name the enemy, and Uehlinger pointed out that worldwide, terrorist incidents have increased by about six-fold in the last eight years.
“Donald Trump’s willingness to address the threat for what it is, means that not only the United States but the West will have the moral courage to do what is required to ensure that its citizens are safe,” he said.
Need an action plan
Washington state delegate Kathleen Estabrook of Mill Creek, near Seattle, campaigned for Cruz, including going door to door.
“I really liked what Trump had to say today, but I’m still not committed to him in November,” she told WND.
She said she is focused now on campaigning for down-ballot candidates, including in the race for governor.
Estabrook said she was not surprised that Cruz didn’t endorse Trump, because as far as she knew, Trump has not apologized for the personal attacks on Cruz’s wife and his father.
“I was disgusted by people’s disrespect,” she said of the booing.
Estabrook said Trump’s reversals on many issues concerns her.
“While he had great things to say tonight, I can’t trust the words out of his mouth 100 percent, because of his flip-flopping,” she said.
“So, until he can demonstrate an action plan, and a little more substance to it, I’m not 100 percent committed.”
Texas delegate Rey Gonzalez, a candidate for Congress in San Benito, Texas, near the border, supported Cruz’s presidential campaign.
Texas delegates Rey Gonzalez, left, and Brad Burkes at the RNC July 21, 2016 (WND photo)
“I’m more enthusiastic than I was at about 5 o’clock today,” he said after Trump’s speech.
He said the Texas delegates leave the convention supporting Trump, but “the question is are we all leaving supporting him enthusiastically?”
“I was one of those who wasn’t super enthusiastic, but I’m after that speech – and not so much his, but Ivanka’s,” he said.
“Ivanka’s speech, I think, closed some of the gaps for those of us that were still on the fence,” said Gonzalez. “His speech was what I expected, a laundry list of the things that he’s going to fix.”
Gonzalez said that those who leave the convention “supportive but not enthusiastically supportive” may be moved by the upcoming debates.
“I think just physically placing them next to each other on a stage is going to galvanize the Trump supporters and turn those who were supportive into enthusiastically supportive,” he said.
The recounting Thursday night of a long list of Trump’s successes “coupled with the fact that these are genuinely good kids” was persuasive, said Gonzalez. “As someone said earlier today, it’s impossible to fake good kids.”
Another Texas delegate, Brad Burkes, a pastor in Brownsville, said his first choice was former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, but he supported Cruz after Huckabee withdrew.
He told WND he heard something Thursday night that he had not heard before from Trump: humility.
Burkes pointed to Trump’s word of thanks to evangelicals and his comment that he didn’t feel like he deserved the support.
The pastor wondered if it might have had something to do with the reports that Trump recently had a Christian conversion experience.
“To me that gave a ring of genuineness, of authenticity that I hadn’t seen before in him. And that tells me that that change is possibly real,” he said,
But it’s “not like we have a godly alternative,” said Burkes.
“Hillary Clinton has been very very ungodly, and so at this point, I’m all for Trump.”
The pastor said there is no way he could support Clinton.
He said that anyone who has difficulty supporting Trump can think of it terms of “voting against Hillary by marking Trump’s box and thinking about Mike Pence as they do it.”
New York delegate John Burnett (WND photo)
New York delegate John Burnett, a strategic adviser for the New York Republican State Committee, said he had settled on Trump months ago, but his philosophy has always been that he would fully back the nominee regardless of who it is.
He told WND he appreciated Trump elaborating more on job creation and solutions to the problems of the inner city.
“When you look at the crime in the inner city, the black-on-black crime … a lot of the symptoms stem from people being trapped in poverty, last of job skills, lack of education,” said Burnett, an African-American.. “Those are the things that he talked about tonight.”
He noted the Democratic Party platform calls for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
“That will decimate and crush the very same people it claims to help, the low-skilled worker, because companies will automate and ship more jobs overseas, based upon the current trade deals,” he said.
“That means less opportunities and more of a dependency on government. So that’s not really freedom. Everyone says they want to help you, or promise to help you, like Ivanka said.”
Ohio alternate delegate John Creed of Warren backed Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
As the field of candidates got smaller, he warmed up to Trump, “even though [Trump] had a unique style.”
“He got a little rude there, a little rash, which pushed us away, but at the end of the day, he seemed to sound pretty good,” Creed said.
Creed is director of technology for a company that supplies the military with special tents and other equipment.
“At the end of the day, [Trump] connected with me, just an average guy,” he said.
Creed believes Trump will win Ohio, a crucial swing state, noting it has many working-class voters who are attracted to the real estate billionaire’s emphasis on preventing jobs from going overseas.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2016/07/trump-speech-wins-over-wary-cruz-kasich-delegates/#bfxK2upLKpLrrlXy.99