Jul 21, 201612:41 PMBlaska's Bring It!
with David Blaska
For this voter, it’s all about Pence, Hillary, and Scalia
(page 1 of 2)
The morning message from Scott Walker to delegates to the Republican National Convention here in Cleveland amounts to this: Swallow hard.
“Is Donald Trump perfect? Hell no,” Walker said. And H-E-double-hockey-sticks is about as profane as this son of a preacher man gets.
But Walker and U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman gave the daily breakfast gathering three reasons to vote GOP at the top of the ticket: Mike Pence, Antonin Scalia, and Hillary Clinton.
Grothman admitted, “Some people still aren’t there.” (Was he looking at me?) This, on the day Donald Trump will give his nomination acceptance speech. The Wisconsin delegation went 42–6, Ted Cruz over Trump, reflecting its primary voters.
Only Hillary Clinton was booed more loudly at the Quicken Loans Arena Wednesday night than Ted Cruz.
‘Vote your conscience’
Vanquished candidate Cruz gave a great speech about the meaning of freedom, hitting Obama/Hillary hard, and was winning the crowded Quicken Loans Arena.
Entering the last lap, he exhorted delegates to “Please don't stay home this November.” Their appetite whetted, delegates were expecting to hear the name Trump pronounced for the first time, but Cruz would only encourage Americans to vote their conscience. Delegates began shouting “Endorse.” His finish was interrupted, and then virtually drowned out, by booing.
It is reported that Trump saw Cruz’s speech two hours beforehand but let him go on anyway. Why? Each night’s lineup features two or three too many speakers anyway. Why would the Trump campaign let the air out of the night, stepping on its own story?
Republicans can blame Ted Cruz for not heeding Laura Ingraham’s demand from the podium earlier in the evening to just get over it. But you don't disparage a man’s wife, accuse his father of the crime of the century, taunt him as a liar, and then expect that man to endorse your candidacy.
That’s on Trump. It’s not how you win voters.
George W. Bush in 2004 went onto the floor of his convention, microphone in hand, to say “I’m asking for the vote.” An incumbent president at his own political party’s convention. He was asking. The Trump campaign demands.
If Trump does fail, Cruz could claim the high ground, say he saw the car wreck coming. But Trump and his fervent supporters will claim a stab in the back and will salt the earth Ted Cruz walks on.
“Scott Walker gave a magnificent speech and today the headline is Ted Cruz,” lamented my friend Nancy Bartlett of Verona.
This morning, Walker recalled that he last spoke at the Q, as the convention venue is known here, nine months ago during one of the early presidential debates.
“Was Donald Trump my first choice? No,” Walker answered. “I was my first choice.”
“I said then that any of the Republican candidates was better than Hillary Clinton.”
For those who cannot abide Trump, Walker and Grothman raised the specter of Hillary as president nominating Elizabeth Warren to the Supreme Court as the first of up to three picks in a first term. The Wisconsin delegation emitted a collective shudder.
“Ronald Reagan nominated Antonin Scalia 31 years ago when I was in high school,” Walker warned.
From the Hilton meeting room, Walker was scheduled to visit make his case with “Never Trump” radio talker Charlie Sykes.
“You showed class and leadership by honoring your pledge,” state GOP chairman Brad Courtney told Walker.