Donald Trump secures Republican nomination
Party names billionaire as their nominee in Ohio crowning extraordinary victory
Crowning the end a remarkable primary campaign and a victory considered unimaginable a year ago, Mr Trump was nominated to be the party’s standard-bearer in the November 8th election against likely rival Democrat Hillary Clinton after crossing the required threshold of 1,237 delegate votes. He received 1,725 when the final tally of delegates was counted.
The official declaration of his nomination came more than two months after he saw off the last of 16 opponent, mostly career politicians, as his winning delegates were formally counted state-by-state.
New York, Mr Trump’s home state, called formal victory for the Manhattan billionaire as his children stood with delegates from the state on the convention floor and his eldest son, Donald jr, had the opportunity to announce that his father had secured enough support to be declared victor.
‘We love you’
“It is my honour to throw Donald Trump over the top with 89 delegates,” said his son, who was caught up in the emotion of the night. “Congratulations, Dad, we love you.”
A band just off stage blasted out Frank Sinatra’s anthem New York, New York, disco lights shone and a big sign on the screens above the stage read: “Over the top!”
Later, the procedural task of confirming Mr Trump as the nominee fell to Paul Ryan, the highest elected Republican and the speaker of the US House of Representatives who had spoken out against Mr Trump’s most inflammatory proposals and remarks and been initially cool on his candidacy.
“I formally declare Donald J Trump and Michael R Pence the Republican nominees for president and vice president of these United States, ” said the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee.
The newly proclaimed nominee did not appear in person but was instead beamed onto the big screens in the Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland via a satellite link from Trump Tower, his headquarters in New York City.
“I am so proud to be your nominee for president of the United States,” the property developer said.
“With your vote today, this stage of the presidential process has come to a close. Together we have received historic results, with the largest vote total in the history of the Republican Party. This is a movement and we have to go all the way.”
Mr Trump gave a sneak preview of his Thursday night address night where he will formally accept the party’s nomination in the headline speech of the Republican convention, sign-posting a list of well-aired policies from the primary campaign such as securing the southern American border with Mexico, eradicating Islamic State militants and “restoring law and order”.
The businessman survived a last-gasp revolt by the Never Trump movement on Monday and then eleventh-hour drama Tuesday night as Alaska contested the recording of the nomination vote.
But the roll call of state after state declaring their delegates for Mr Trump was a stunning confirmation of his decisive victories, the largest by any Republican candidate in history.
Mr Trump entered the presidential race more than a year ago and ripped up the standard political rulebook with a campaign filled with profanities, insults and a level of vitriol not witnessed in a presidential election in modern times that stunned the US political establishment.
“For my father, impossible is just the starting point,” said the businessman’s son, Donald (38) in the strongest speech delivered yet at the four-day Republican national convention.
“That’s why the person who had never run for office before stood on the stage 11 months ago in this very arena with 16 professional politicians and this week that same man will stand before you as our party’s nominee for the president of the United States of America.”
The speech was part of the Trump camp’s charm offense to soften the businessman’s brash image as he attempts to pivot back to the ideological centre for the national campaign after the divisive primary.
The young Trump, who runs his father’s business interests with his siblings, delivered a speech laden with conservative policies and ideas that fired up the crowd.
He railed against the burden of the Dodd-Frank bill reforming Wall Street, the need for less regulation and more competition, and a dysfunction US immigration system.
Donald jr painted his father both as a doting family man and a hard-nosed businessman, recalling him “teaching his granddaughter how to swing a golf club or tackling the toughest negotiations”.
Tiffany Trump, the businessman’s 22-year-old recently graduated daughter, spoke too, humanising his father in contrast to the bombastic campaigner that upended this year’s election.
“I still keep all of my report cards, some dating back to kindergarten, because I like to see his sweet notes on each and everyone of them,” she said, on a rare appearance by his lowest-profile adult child.
‘Lock her up’
The attack of the night fell to New Jersey governor Chris Christie, the one-time candidate this year and now a close adviser to Mr Trump. The former US federal attorney used his prime-time address to prosecute a pretend case against Mrs Clinton on her record at home and abroad.
“Let’s do something fun tonight. Tonight as a former federal prosecutor, I welcome the opportunity to hold Hillary Clinton accountable for her performance and her character,” said Mr Christie.
“I’m going to present the case now on the facts against Hillary Rodham Clinton. ”
He listed each decision from her time as president Barack Obama’s first secretary of state that have been most criticised by Republicans, including the Iran nuclear deal, relations with China and her “reset” in relations with Russia, and asked the crowd whether she was “guilty or not guilty”.
Each time the crowd shouted, “Guilty!” and on several occasions broke into chants that filled the large arena with “Lock her up! Lock her up!”
Paul Ryan, in his address to the convention, called on Republicans to unify around the nominee he took months to endorse. While he only mentioned Mr Trump’s name twice in his speech, he gave his full-throated backing last night to the businessman.
“The next time there’s a state of the union address,” said Mr Ryan, “I don’t know where Joe Biden or Barack Obama are going to be but you’ll find me right there on the rostrum with Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump.”