Cleveland – RNC chairman Reince Priebus gaveled open the Republican National Convention on Monday as the speakers blared “Happy Together,” though the chipper music couldn’t hide the fractures within the GOP.
Donald Trump’s de facto campaign manager Paul Manafort assailed Ohio Gov. John Kasich for refusing to endorse the presumptive nominee, leading Kasich adviser John Weaver to poke fun of both Manafort and Trump’s sometimes-bizarre introduction of Mike Pence as his running mate.
Most of Georgia’s delegation has united behind Trump – only one delegate said publicly he would not support the candidate – but even so some state officials appeared concerned. Even Georgia’s top Trump surrogate, Sen. David Perdue, opened a speech Sunday to the group by exhorting Trump skeptics to “get over it.” Rumors of walkouts by the Ohio delegation and maneuvering by Colorado’s contingent swirled.
And even as the anti-Trump forces hoping to derail his nomination were largely scuttled before the four-day bash, thousands of protesters gathered outside Quicken Loans Arena under the threat of violence. Meanwhile, Republican delegates who hoped to strip language perceived as anti-gay from the party’s platform abandoned their efforts after failing to drum up enough support, prompting criticism from gay rights groups.
Yet many of the Georgia delegation’s leading lights said they were confident the party would rally behind Trump despite a bumpy start. Here’s a snippet from a Facebook Live conversation with Michael McNeely, the Georgia GOP vice chair and a delegate, and his wife Jennifer, an alternate, about the atmosphere in Cleveland as the convention kicks off.
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