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RNC: Giuliani, Gingrich, Ohio delegates say party is unified

Ohio's 66 delegates going to Kasich, Cruz speech 'non-issues,' says Gingrich, Ohio delegates

by Andrew Schunk | Editor Published: July 27, 2016 12:00 AM

Cleveland -- With Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump only hours from taking the stage at "The Q" to accept the party's nomination July 21, other movers and shakers in the GOP were attempting to restore the theme of Day 4 of the Republican National Convention: Make America One Again.

"I think all our delegates were hesitant to support Mr. Trump initially," said Ohio Senate president and delegate Keith Faber (R-12th). "But once the nomination occurred, I think we've unified."

"Donald Trump is my nominee. We are certainly unified in another thing: Hillary Clinton is a mistake for our country."

This most unconventional of conventions saw Ohio's 66 delegates go to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who was conspicuously absent from any of the pomp and circumstance of the RNC, choosing instead to host a rally at the neighboring Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

It saw Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, once a strong challenger to Trump in the primary campaign, congratulate but fail to endorse the nominee.

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"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," Cruz told a packed house July 20.

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, considered a vice presidential possibility for Trump before the selection of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, said Cruz's non-endorsement is a non-issue being cultivated by the media.

"Ted Cruz is one of those random hiccups in history," Gingrich said from the club level of the Q July 21.

As Gingrich was speaking to the media, a protester -- a black man -- began yelling at the former congressman from 20 or so feet away.

"Newt! No blacks in the Republican Party? Newt! No blacks in the Republican Party?" the man yelled before being escorted into a stairwell, just as Gingrich was shuffled away by the Secret Service.

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Edward Crawford, an Ohio delegate for District 14 and CEO of Cleveland-based Park-Ohio Holdings Corp., said he believed Cruz's speech was evidence of Trump's impartiality.

"I'm glad Mr. Trump let [Cruz] speak," Crawford said. "I think it's a testament to Donald Trump that all sides can be heard ... I would have liked to have seen an endorsement, but that's OK.

"I believe we will all be together in the end, even Gov. Kasich."

Crawford, who was recently named chairperson of the "RNC Trump Victory" committee by the Trump Campaign, said both issues -- the 66 delegates committed to Kasich and the Cruz speech -- were expected.

Ohio employs a winner-take-all primary, and Kasich won that primary March 15; copies of all speeches were issued to the media and Trump Campaign and quarantined before they were made.

"It was expected along those lines and it's all been very positive," Crawford said. "I've enjoyed a long career of supporting Republican candidates in the state of Ohio ... I hope Mr. Trump's acceptance speech will represent the qualities we've seen in his family."

While Crawford noted that he hoped to hear from Trump about job retention, support for the military and the importance of selecting a Supreme Court justice, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Trump was expected to "apply the same standards to all people" in his acceptance speech.

"I don't care if they are blue lives, black lives, brown lives or pink lives ... all lives matter," Giuliani said July 21. "He will support the police as he will support all people."

Faber said he he wanted to hear solutions to problems, not platitudes, but conceded that convention speeches are the place for platitudes.

"I'd like to see [Trump] temper some of his stances," Faber said. "But [general] elections are binary equations ... they're either one person or the other, either a one or a zero. And I'll support the one.

"I think Mr. Trump will do a great job."

Email: aschunk@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9424

Twitter: @twinsburgohio


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