Trump looks to clinch nomination at Republican Convention

After nearly a year of primaries, debates and insults, Donald Trump, the one-time reality star-turned-political powerhouse, will arrive in Ohio, with running mate Mike Pence at his side, to secure the Republican nomination for president.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump faces a news conference where he announces Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate in New York City. July 16, 2016.

The Republican National Convention 2016, the final stop for the party’s presidential race front-runner, Donald Trump, before he can officially begin campaigning, is set to begin on Monday.

Trump’s role as the presumptive nominee at this year’s convention, held in the Midwestern state of Ohio, represents the end of a remarkable journey for the businessman and reality star whose polarising statements have managed to attract millions of followers across the United States.

On his way to the convention, Trump battled his way through five months of primaries which saw the candidate pool slowly whittle down from 17 candidates to one.

Trump, who last week announced former Indiana governor Mike Pence as his running mate, is looking to the four-day proceedings as the final step to clinching the Republican nomination. After that point, he can begin his official campaign for the presidency.

With such high-profile speakers as former Rudolph Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York City, Newt Gingrich, ex-speaker of the House of Representatives and Senator Ted Cruz, Trump’s main rival for the nomination, all set to speak, security has become a primary concern in the days and hours leading up to the convention.

Activists carry a prop during a protest march by various groups, including Black Lives Matter and Shut Down Trump and the RNC, ahead of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, US. July 17, 2016.

Though the president and CEO of this year’s convention, David Gilbert, said he feels confident about the security situation leading up to the week’s proceedings, the killing of three police officers in Louisiana on Sunday did lead to extra concerns around the safety of an event that will attract thousands of participants.

Though a local police union called for a temporary suspension of the state’s open carry law, which gives residents the ability to carry a non-concealed weapon without a permit or licence, Ohio Governor John Kasich said that would not be possible.

"Ohio governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested. The bonds between our communities and police must be reset and rebuilt— as we're doing in Ohio— so our communities and officers can both be safe. Everyone has an important role to play in that renewal," Emmalee Kalmbach, spokeswoman for Kasich said.

Kasich, who has served as governor of Ohio since 2010, was one of Trump’s rivals during the primaries, but suspended his campaign after the Indiana primary in May.

Throughout the campaigns it was assumed Kasich was banking on a brokered convention — in which no one candidate has enough delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot — to defeat Trump. The last brokered convention was in 1952, when Dwight D Eisenhower was on the ballot.

The Trump-ed up wall

During the conventions, Trump proved a controversial candidate as he made highly-criticised statements about building a wall along the US-Mexico border, calling for a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States and even berated his fellow candidates with disparaging remarks.

These remarks, along with his questionable past as a real estate mogul and reality TV star, had led many Republicans to distance themselves from the man who increasingly looked to be their party’s nominee for the presidency.

However, in spite of these difficulties, a contested or brokered convention still look highly unlikely. In fact, Cruz, who came in second to Trump, is set to appear at the convention on Wednesday.

Though dissent amongst the ranks seems unlikely, other groups have promised to boycott the convention due to Trump’s highly charged statements about everything from the growing number of Black and Latino citizens shot by police and Syrian refugees.

Among the groups slated to protest outside the proceedings are the New Black Panther Party, who were angered by Trump’s statements around the Black Lives Matter movement, which he accused of “dividing” the nation.

A protester carrying a peace flag walks in downtown Cleveland, Sunday, July 17, 2016, in preparation for the Republican National Convention that starts Monday.

TRTWorld and agencies