Right Hooks

GOP Convention Highlights, Day 1

"Make America Safe Again"

Political Editors · Jul. 19, 2016

On Day One of the unconventional GOP convention, the slate of speakers was interesting. Here are a few choice quotes:

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry: “Making America great again starts with taking care of our veterans.”

Marcus Luttrell, former Navy Seal: “We’ve got to make sure the hell the veterans return from is not the hell they come home to. … Who among you will love something more than you love yourself? I challenge all of you to fight for this country and each and every one of us. … America is the light.”

Pat Smith, mother of Sean Smith, who was killed in Benghazi: “We lost four brave Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for the country they chose to serve. And the American people lost the truth. For all of this loss, for all of this grief, for all of the cynicism the tragedy in Benghazi has wrought upon America, I blame Hillary Clinton. I blame Hillary Clinton personally for the death of my son.”

Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson: “We need a president who will have our back. … If you’re looking for a job or trying to grow a business, Donald Trump will have your back. If you’re a serviceman fighting overseas or a cop keeping us safe at home, Donald Trump will have your back. If you’re an average American who feels like you’ve been forgotten, neglected by faraway leaders, that the deck is stacked against you and you just can’t win, Donald Trump will have your back.”

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke: “From attacks on our own soil and overseas to the tragedy in Benghazi, the policies of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have left us vulnerable. Our immigration system is broken, leaving our country open to security threats and the negative consequences of illegal immigration. A Donald Trump administration will listen to and learn from our nation’s heroes who have put themselves in harm’s way and pursue a national security strategy and foreign policy that will strengthen our military and make America safe again.”

Melania Trump: “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 and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect.” (Editor’s Note: Media outlets are claiming that this line was “borrowed,” almost verbatim, from Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech. Mrs. Trump can’t pass this charge off to a subordinate speech writer because, before delivering her remarks, she claimed to have written them herself.)

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani: “Who would trust [Hillary Clinton] to protect them? I do not. Do you? … Hillary Clinton is for open borders. She is in favor of taking in Syrian refugees, even though the Islamic State has told us they are going to put their operatives in these groups so they can carry out terrorist acts against us and our allies. We can’t afford to repeat the mistakes of the past.”

Sen. Tom Cotton: “Our warriors and their families don’t ask for much. But there are a few things we’d like. A commander in chief who speaks of winning wars and not merely ending wars, calls the enemy by its name, and draws red lines carefully but enforces them ruthlessly. And politicians who treat our common defense as the chief responsibility of our federal government, not just another government program. This isn’t much to ask for, but eight years without it is more than enough.”

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn: “Tonight, Americans stand as one, with strength and confidence to overcome the last eight years of the Obama-Clinton failures such as bumbling indecisiveness, willful ignorance and total incompetence that has challenged the very heart and soul of every American, and single-handedly brought continued mayhem, murder and destruction into our neighborhoods and onto the world’s streets.”

Sen. Joni Ernst: “Hillary Clinton cannot be trusted. Her judgment and character are not suited to be sitting in the most powerful office in the world. She has already failed us too many times before. … We need a commander in chief who will stand up to our enemies, support our allies, and stand up for our veterans. We need a leader who will ensure America remains a strong, stabilizing force around the globe, and who will keep us safe here at home. Our country cannot take another four years just like the eight we’ve just had.”

(Updated)

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