Party nominates 'warrior and winner' Trump
Accusations that mogul's wife lifted phrases from Obama speech
Published 20/07/2016 | 02:30
After vanquishing 16 party rivals, warring with much of the Republican establishment and provoking controversy at the party convention, Donald Trump last night secured the party's 2016 nomination for the White House.
His son, Donald Trump Jr, announced the support of New York, their home state, during a roll-call vote at the Republican National Convention, ensuring Mr Trump had the majority of delegates - 1,237 - needed to contest the November 8 US presidential election.
With three of Mr Trump's other children at his side, his son said: "It is my honour to be able to throw Donald Trump over the top in the delegate count tonight."
The state-by-state vote to put Mr Trump's name in nomination took place a day after opponents staged a failed attempt to force a vote opposing his candidacy, and after a speech by his wife, Melania, drew accusations of plagiarism.
Senator Jeff Sessions, an early backer of Mr Trump, placed the New York businessman's name in nomination, calling him "a warrior and a winner".
House Speaker Paul Ryan, the highest ranking elected Republican, ran the meeting and launched the nominating process.
Despite threats of another chaotic day, anti-Trump Republican US Senator Mike Lee said efforts by some delegates to block Mr Trump's nomination appeared finished.
Mr Trump's campaign has been marked by frequent controversy over his rhetoric on Muslims, Hispanics, illegal immigration and trade, alarming many in the Republican establishment. Party officials are hoping to use the four-day convention, which began on Monday, to smooth out some of his rough edges and present him as a job creator and a strong hand to combat security threats at home and abroad.
The theme of yesterday's convention was 'Make America Work Again', and speakers were to take aim at US President Barack Obama's record on the economy.
However, the second day of the Republican National Convention opened with an onslaught of accusations that Mr Trump's wife's speech lifted phrases from one delivered by Michelle Obama in 2008. The rare public speech by Melania Trump was intended to draw a more intimate portrait of a man who has built a blustering persona over years in the public eye. Instead, it created a headache for the presidential candidate and his party after it was discovered her words strongly echoed Ms Obama's.
The Trump campaign sent its chairman on a round of media interviews to deny any intentional plagiarism by the would-be first lady.
"To think that she would be cribbing Michelle Obama's words is crazy," Paul Manafort said on CNN. Mr Trump's wife used "common words and values".
"There's no feeling on her part that she did it," Mr Manafort said, adding that he blames Hillary Clinton's campaign for trying to "take her down" because Melania Trump threatens the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said at a Bloomberg Politics breakfast yesterday that Melania Trump wasn't to blame and that he would "probably" fire the speechwriter responsible, if it were up to him - at odds with Mr Manafort's assertion, in another interview on CBS, that "I don't think Donald Trump feels that there's anything to fire someone about."
Several people - including some outside the campaign - were involved in the speechwriting process, said a senior Trump aide, who asked not to be named, in a signal that the campaign was looking to assign blame elsewhere.
"From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say," Melania Trump (46), said as she told her life story in the speech on Monday night.
Eight years ago, Michelle Obama told her own story: "Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond," she said in Denver.
Michelle Obama then spoke of setting "out to build lives guided by these values, and to pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children - and all children in this nation - to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them."
Ms Trump tracked those lines closely as well. "We need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them."
In an interview with her husband and NBC's Matt Lauer before delivering her remarks at the convention, Ms Trump said, "I wrote it, with as little help as possible.''
The comparison between the speeches was first made on Twitter by Jarrett Hill, a television and radio producer in California.