CLEVELAND (CBSNewYork/AP) — Now that Donald Trump has been crowned as the Republican standard-bearer in the presidential election, some of the remaining GOP convention time will be focused on party unity.
Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, will be the keynote speaker Wednesday as he officially accepts his party’s nomination for the Vice President of the United States.
“It is very humbling for me,” he said.
California delegate Marilyn Barke said she is looking forward to his address.
“I look forward to hearing what they’ll do together and how they’ll put America first,” she said.
Also speaking at the convention Wednesday night will be Trump’s former Republican rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the man Trump once called “Lyin’ Ted.”
Critics are saying that what Cruz says when he addresses the crowd may give clues about his presidential ambitions for 2020 if Trump loses the White House.
CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported Trump’s children lined up to greet him after he arrived in Cleveland Wednesday.
“I just want to introduce a man that’s become a friend of mine and who’s going to make an unbelievable vice president, Gov. Mike Pence,” Trump said.
“It is such an honor to join you and your family to welcome you to Cleveland. We’re excited to hear you address the nation tomorrow night,” Pence said. “It’s been exciting to hear from your family, more to come tonight and I’m convinced what begins in Cleveland ends in the White House.”
Pence practiced his big speech Wednesday morning at the Quicken Loans Arena. Since he lacks the name recognition in many parts of the country, it will be his opportunity to introduce himself to the nation and display the conservative values that made him a key part of the Trump ticket.
“They’re very different personality wise — you need that balance,” Donald Trump Jr. said. “I love the fact that he got into politics, seeing the Clinton disasters of the 90s, and that’s why he wanted to come in and do the right thing.”
Several presidential wannabees are also on the Wednesday night program, but not included is Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is boycotting the convention and has pointedly refused to endorse Trump, despite signing a pledge at the beginning of the primary to back the winner.
Trump retaliated by moving the seats of the Ohio delegation to the back of the arena.
“I’m disappointed in Kasich who I supported and I say to John Kasich you know you signed a pledge,” former New York Sen. Alfonse D’Amato said. “You talk about communing with God, but what about that pledge you signed? You signed it when it’s in your own political interests and then you just walk away from it. I’m very disappointed.”
In another development, it was revealed that the person who wrote Melania Trump’s controversial speech was one of Trump’s in-house writers. Meredith McIver offered to resign, but Donald Trump rejected it.
“Good news is Melania’s speech got more publicity than any in the history of politics especially if you believe that all press is good press!” Trump said on Twitter.
The second day of the RNC proved to be a family affair. After Trump was formally named the GOP’s presidential nominee, two of his children addressed the convention.
“He’s always helped me be the best version of myself,” his daughter, Tiffany Trump, said.
“I know when people tell him it can’t get done, that guarantees that he gets it done,” his son, Donald Trump Jr., said.
But much of the convention so far has been more about Hillary Clinton than the Republican nominee.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie electrified the crowd with his so-called indictment of Clinton.
“For risking America’s secrets to keep her own — guilty!” he said.
Clinton fired back at Christie over Twitter, writing, “If you think Chris Christie can lecture anyone on ethics, we have a bridge to sell you.”
The war of words continued immediately after Christie’s speech.
“If Hillary Clinton wants to take me on, I’m happy to take her on every day between now and the end of the campaign,” Christie said.
The anti-Clinton tone could change a bit Wednesday with Pence’s speech. Trump selected Pence to help unify Republicans who are leery of Trump’s conservative credentials.
“Because of his popularity with the grassroots, the Republican party both in Washington and across the country, we feel, he helps us to accelerate the unification of the party,” Trump Convention Manager Paul Manafort said.
Some say the empty seats during prime time speeches show party unity is still an issue.
“I just think this is a party that is sort of resigned to this nominee, but not excited about him,” said 2012 Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan campaign advisor Dan Senor.
But the delegates say that’s not necessarily true.
“Just because people weren’t on the floor doesn’t mean they weren’t actively engaged in the hallway,” said Florida delegate Jan Face Glassman.
Eric Trump will represent the family on stage Wednesday telling stories about his father.
Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, will introduce her father Thursday night on the final night of the convention.
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