CLEVELAND (MEDIA GENERAL) – Political conventions tend to follow a carefully crafted script. But much like the campaign of its candidate for president, the Republican National Convention has generated some unscripted story lines no one would have predicted.
A number of planned and unplanned moments in Cleveland generated headlines around the world this week. Here’s a look at five of the most talked about moments so far.
#1 Melania & Michelle’s speech
Donald Trump says he’s pleased that the staffer who wrote Michelle Obama’s words into Melania Trump’s speech has removed “that cloud” shadowing his wife’s otherwise well-received address.
The GOP presidential nominee told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that he appreciated Meredith McIver’s apology. He said it’s “terrific” that McIver, who is an employee of the Trump Organization, admitted inadvertently lifting the first lady’s phrasing from her 2008 convention speech word-for-word. He added that “now that cloud is lifted off” Mrs. Trump.
Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort had led a chorus the candidate’s surrogates denying Mrs. Trump’s speech contained any plagiarism, despite clear evidence to the contrary. McIver released a statement Wednesday saying that she had inadvertently included some phrases from Mrs. Obama’s speech into Mrs. Trump’s address and offered her resignation. Trump refused to accept it. He told ABC that “people make mistakes.”
#2 Trump’s nomination
Republican divisions erupted briefly on the convention floor Monday afternoon after party officials adopted rules by a shouted voice vote. Anti-Trump forces seeking to derail Donald Trump’s nomination responded with loud and angry chants, though they were quickly quieted and there were no lingering signs of the protests as delegates returned to the cavernous convention hall later that evening.
Trump hoped the chaos would be little more than a footnote. Despite persistent party divisions, his campaign remains confident Republicans will come together behind their shared disdain for Hillary Clinton.
The week in Cleveland culminates with Donald Trump accepting his party’s nomination for president, a possibility many thought improbable when Trump announced his candidacy many months ago. Trump’s children have been supporting him throughout the week and cheered from the floor of the convention hall as their dad was nominated.
#3 Ted Cruz booed
Ted Cruz says he won’t vote for Hillary Clinton, but he’s not promising to endorse DonaldTrump, “like a servile puppy dog.”
The Texas senator was heckled Thursday morning as he spoke to his home state delegation to the Republican National Convention.
He says he’ll “watching and listening” but won’t “sit down, shut up, support the team.” Cruz adds that he doesn’t intend to “throw rocks” at Trump, but he’s not ready to endorse him.
He adds that, “We either stand for shared principles or we’re not worth anything.”
Cruz and Trump have significant bad political blood between them. Trump nicknamed him, “Lyin’ Ted” and implied that Cruz’s father, Raphael, had a connection to President John F. Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. Trump also criticized the appearance of Cruz’s wife, Heidi.
He adds, “I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father.”
Cruz was booed offstage during his address to the GOP convention Wednesday night when it became clear that his speech would not include an endorsement of Trump.
#4 Trump’s ‘air kiss’ for Pence
Donald Trump’s would-be smooch of running mate Mike Pence drew attention on social media.
Pence’s teleprompter displayed the stage direction “embrace” just after his acceptance speech Wednesday at the Republican National Convention. But Trump, after coming onstage and shaking Pence’s hand, puckered his lips and appeared to go in for a kiss on the forehead of the Indiana governor before both men stopped short and smiled.
Some Twitter users say the awkward “air kiss” draws comparisons to Al and Tipper Gore’s famous kiss at the Democratic National Convention in 2000. One Facebook user says it was simply a New York-style show of affection by Trump.
#5 Protest arrests
Cleveland police say 17 people were arrested Wednesday following a chaotic protest near the arena hosting the convention.
The arrests happened as a protest group tried to burn an American flag near Quicken Loans Arena. It was the most turbulent protest since the four-day convention began Monday. More protests are expected on the conventions final day.