Mary­land del­e­gates praise Trump’s GOP ac­cep­tance speech


Cap­i­tal News Ser­vice

— Mo­ments af­ter GOP pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump fin­ished his speech at the Repub­li­can National Con­ven­tion Thursday night, Mary­land del­e­gates re­acted with univer­sal praise and op­ti­mism about his chances against pre­sump­tive Demo­cratic nom­i­nee Hil­lary Clin­ton.

With tor­rents of red, white and blue bal­loons falling from the ceil­ing of the Quicken Loans Arena onto the cheer­ing crowd, Joe Clus­ter, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Mary­land Repub­li­can Party, said Trump’s speech will likely draw in un­de­cided voters.

“You saw a side of Trump where he is try­ing to unite all Amer­i­cans be­hind his cam­paign,” Clus­ter said. “You know, he’s out there saying he wants to work for the Amer­i­can peo­ple and not ask­ing for peo­ple to be ‘with her’, he’ll be ‘with them.’”

Much of Trump’s speech had a dark tone, as he be­moaned the ter­ror­ist at­tacks and “un­fair trade deals” that he at­trib­uted to Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and, by ex­ten­sion, Clin­ton, who served as sec­re­tary of state dur­ing his first term.

“This is the legacy of Hil­lary Clin­ton: death, de­struc­tion and weak­ness,” Trump said. “But Hil­lary Clin­ton’s legacy does not have to be Amer­ica’s legacy.”

Trump spent sev­eral min­utes talking about unem­ploy­ment and poverty in mi­nor­ity com­mu­ni­ties. He also handed an olive branch to the LGBTQ com­mu­nity by promis­ing to “do ev­ery­thing in my power to pro­tect our LGBTQ ci­ti­zens from the vi­o­lence and op­pres­sion of a hate­ful for­eign ide­ol­ogy.”

Ken­del Ehrlich, for­mer first lady of Mary­land and at­large del­e­gate, said she ex­pected Trump to reach out to di­verse sub­sets of the pop­u­la­tion like the LGBTQ com­mu­nity, even if some peo­ple were sur­prised to hear that mes­sage from the nom­i­nee.

“I wasn’t sur­prised at all (about his com­ments),” Ehrlich said. “He is about tak­ing care of Amer­ica, ev­ery­body in­cluded. And the Repub­li­can Party has been that way for a long time — you can’t lis­ten to the me­dia.”

Ehrlich also said she be­lieved that Trump, es­pe­cially in an elec­tion cy­cle with an anti-es­tab­lish­ment sen­ti­ment, will ul­ti­mately tri­umph.

“The Repub­li­cans are go­ing to win this elec­tion,” she said. “The Democrats are the party of sta­tus quo, and that’s ex­actly what (Trump) said


tonight. He is the new fresh face that’s go­ing to get things done.”

The Mary­land Demo­cratic Party, how­ever, crit­i­cized Trump on Twit­ter for avoid­ing spe­cific pol­icy de­tails in his re­marks.

“Ev­ery­thing will hap­pen ‘fast’ or ‘ very quickly’ in a Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion,” the party tweeted. “Lots of prom­ises, few de­tails.”

Trump made a con­certed ef­fort to ap­pear as a ser­vant to the Amer­i­can peo­ple, ar­gu­ing that Clin­ton’s run for pres­i­dent was self-serv­ing.

“I have loved my life in busi­ness,” Trump said. “But now, my sole and ex­clu­sive mis­sion is to go to work for our coun­try — to go to work for all of you. It’s time to de­liver a vic­tory for the Amer­i­can peo­ple.”

Ben Marchi, a Mary­land del­e­gate from the first con­gres­sional district, said Trump ap­pealed not only to the con­ser­va­tive base with his re­marks, but “blue col­lar Rea­gan Democrats” as well.

“With an at­ti­tude like this and a mes­sage like this, we are go­ing to beat Hil­lary like El­iz­a­beth War­ren beats a tom-tom,” Marchi said, ref­er­enc­ing the ongoing bat­tle be­tween War­ren and Trump over War­ren’s Na­tive Amer­i­can her­itage.

Diana Water­man, chairman of the Mary­land GOP, agreed with the other mem­bers of the state’s del­e­ga­tion that Trump’s speech was “amazing.”

Mov­ing for­ward, it will also strengthen his bid for the pres­i­dency, she added.

“I think the com­bi­na­tion of his speech, Gov. (Mike) Pence’s speech and all of the speeches from his kids have re­ally helped so­lid­ify him as a can­di­date,” Water­man said. “I think Amer­ica is go­ing to take a bet­ter look at him.”


Don­ald Trump, seen here in Las Ve­gas in Fe­bru­ary, of­fi­cially ac­cepted the Repub­li­can Party nom­i­na­tion on Thursday night, cap­ping an un­ex­pected run to the gen­eral elec­tion.

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