CLEVELAND (CBSNewYork/AP) — PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel got a rousing ovation when he told the Republican National Convention that he was “proud to be gay.”
“I am proud to be gay, I am proud to be a Republican, but most of all I am proud to be an American,” Thiel said to applause.
Thiel said he doesn’t agree with every part of the party’s policy platform. But he said what he calls “fake culture wars” only distract Americans from economic issues.
He then touched on the controversy over North Carolina’s law barring transgender Americans from using public bathrooms of the gender they identify with.
“Now we are told that the great debate is about who gets to use which bathroom. This is a distraction to our real problems. Who cares?” Thiel said.
The Silicon Valley billionaire said Donald Trump’s “Make America great again” slogan isn’t about returning to the past but leading “us back to that bright future.”
Thiel called Hillary Clinton incompetent, saying that she pushed for a war in Libya that has pushed the country into a state of terrorism.
“Instead of going to Mars, we have invaded the Middle East. We don’t need to see Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails, her incompetence is in plain sight,” Thiel said.
He continued, “It’s time to end the era of stupid wars and rebuild our country.”
Thiel has faced some blowback in Silicon Valley for backing Trump. The GOP nominee said he’d nominate Supreme Court justices who might overturn the decision legalizing gay marriage.
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