Chris Christie, shaking off the disappointment of being passed over as Trump’s running mate, performed a show trial of Hillary Clinton, whipping the crowd into frenzied chants of “Lock her Up! Lock her up!”
Trump’s son, Donald Jr., marked himself as a rising political star, sketching a portrait of his father as a champion of the working man who could unleash America’s potential. His half-sister Tiffany offered a more tender view of her father.
The coordinated attacks against Clinton and glimpses of the New York real estate magnate’s family life delighted a raucous crowd after a plagiarism controversy over a speech from Trump’s wife, Melania, sidetracked the convention’s opening night Monday.
In the highlight of the night, Christie turned Quicken Loans Arena into a courtroom as he branded Hillary Clinton a liar who coddled tyrants, terrorists and American enemies.
Christie, one of Trump’s closest allies and a former federal prosecutor, said that Clinton’s policies while secretary of state had helped an al Qaeda-affiliated terror group abduct 300 young schoolgirls in Nigeria and accused her of abetting President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, enabling Iran and Cuba’s Castro brothers along with lying to Americans about her private email server.
“Is she guilty or not guilty?” Christie asked after every charge he laid before the crowd.
The delegates responded with a resounding: “Guilty!”
“We don’t disqualify Hillary Clinton to be the president of the United States,” Christie said. “The facts of her life and career disqualify her.”
Clinton’s campaign quickly responded to Christie’s speech.
“If you think Chris Christie can lecture anyone on ethics, we have a bridge to sell you,” the campaign said on her Twitter account, a reference to the 2013 George Washington Bridge line closure scandal that badly damaged Christie’s own political brand.
In another powerful moment, Trump’s son Donald Jr., who earlier choked up after casting New York’s nominating votes that put his father over the top in the delegate count, vowed that his father would restore American potential.
Trump Jr. said that his father ensured that his children learned from blue collar workers “with a doctorate in common sense.”
In a speech in which he showed himself to be sometimes more fluent in the language of conservatism than his father, he vowed that Trump would unleash the “greatness” of hardworking American people and wouldn’t use “the highest office in the land as a path to personal enrichment.”
“That President can only be my mentor, my best friend, my father, Donald Trump,” his son said.
Donald Jr.’s half sister Tiffany, 22, who has just graduated college and rarely appears on the campaign trail lifted the lid on her father’s personable side, calling him friendly, considerate, funny and real.
“My Dad is a natural born encourager, the last person ever to tell you to lower your sights,” Tiffany Trump said.
The focus of the night was supposed to be on the economy, but it was Clinton who was in the spotlight.
Michael Mukasey, a former attorney general under George W. Bush, said Clinton lied about her motivations in
setting up a private email server while secretary of state and said that disqualified her from being President.
“Hillary Clinton is asking the people of this country and the people of the United States to make her the first President in history to take the oath of office after already having violated it,” he said.
The message, Mukasey said, the convention should send to her should be “loud, clear and short: No way, Hillary. No way on earth.”
‘Third Obama term’
House Speaker Paul Ryan, who had previously offered a lukewarm endorsement of Trump, said he looked forward to sitting behind him in the House chamber when the GOP nominee delivers the State of the Union address. He said,
unlike the GOP, Democrats have settled on a tired nominee for 2016.
“They are offering you a third Obama term, brought to you by another Clinton,” Ryan said.
Chris Cox, a National Rifle Association lobbyist, said that Clinton would stack the Supreme Court with justices who opposed the Second Amendment. “A Hillary Clinton Supreme Court means your right to own a firearm is gone,” Cox told delegates.
The Clinton campaign says the former secretary of state has no plans to abolish the right to own a gun, but has called for universal background checks and stricter control of firearms.
For his part, Trump basked in the success of officially becoming the Republican Party’s nominee after the roll call vote of state delegates Tuesday and said he is proud to be the party’s choice to battle Clinton in November.
“Together, we have achieved historic results, with the largest vote total in the history of the Republican Party,” he told delegates at the Republican National Convention in a live video from Trump Tower. “This is a movement, but we have to go all the way.”