Washington: Donald Trump officially won the Republican Party’s presidential nomination on Tuesday, making the businessman the GOP standard-bearer after a rollicking primary season that saw him vanquish 16 rivals.
The roll call vote of states gave Trump enough delegates at the Republican National Convention to win the nomination after months of speculation and dissent among the GOP ranks. There was little opposition on the floor as delegates cast votes for Trump state by state.
The vote came on the second day of the Cleveland convention, where the theme was billed as “Make America Work Again.” Though the focus was supposed to be jobs, speakers spent more time denouncing presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. She was talked about more than Trump himself.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said Clinton represents a third term of Barack Obama’s presidency instead of the “clean break from a failed system.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky, said Clinton has “a tortured relationship to the truth”.
Trump himself briefly appeared in a videotaped statement: “This is a movement, but we have to go all the way,” he said.
What to know about the second day of the convention:
The boisterous roll call featured officials bragging about their states, per tradition, and enthusiastically declaring Trump the winner of their delegates. New York put him over the top in the delegate count, with Trump’s son Donald Jr. delivering that state’s results.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s name wasn’t formally placed in nomination even though he was closest to Trump in the primaries. Earlier on Tuesday, some Republicans were saying Cruz’s supporters wanted to gather enough signatures to allow the Texan to be nominated.
Being officially nominated means a candidate is entitled to have supporters deliver a nominating and seconding speech. But Trump’s campaign and GOP officials eager for a show of unity behind Trump worked to head that off.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a former federal prosecutor, laid out an aggressive case against Clinton, asking the crowd to weigh in on her leadership on Daesh, China, and an Al Qaida-linked group in Nigeria. Riled up, the crowd yelled “Lock her up! Lock her up!”
Failed Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson went so far as to associate Clinton with Lucifer.
While politicians at the podium heaped criticism on Clinton, Trump’s children made direct appeals in favour of Trump. Tiffany Trump, the candidate’s 22-year-old daughter from his marriage to Marla Maples, said her father is a “natural-born encourager” who has motivated her to work her hardest.
Donald Trump Jr., his eldest son and an executive vice-president at The Trump Organisation, cited his father’s business acumen and said his father approaches business projects the same way he has approached his campaign and life in general.
Speakers also included some unknown names, such as Andy Wist, founder and CEO of a waterproofing company in the Bronx, as well as Dana White, president of the popular Ultimate Fighting Championship, which promotes mixed martial arts.
Clinton said the first day of the Republican gathering had been “surreal,” comparing it to the classic fantasy film “Wizard of Oz.”
“When you pull back the curtain, it was just Donald Trump with nothing to offer to the American people,” Clinton said during a speech in Las Vegas.
After the roll call, Clinton tweeted a fund-raising appeal: “Donald Trump just became the Republican nominee. Chip in now to make sure he never steps foot in the Oval Office.”
Trump’s wife, Melania, received criticism because her speech on Monday included two passages with similarities to a speech first lady Michelle Obama delivered at the 2008 Democratic convention. Mrs Trump’s speech was well received in the convention hall.
Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort called the criticism “just absurd” and said the issue had been “totally blown out of proportion”.
Police broke up scuffles between groups of demonstrators a few blocks from the Republican National Convention as crowds in the hundreds gathered on Tuesday afternoon.
There were no arrests, police said, despite several tense moments that saw officers step in between protesters pushing and shouting at each other during some of the biggest, most raucous gatherings in downtown Cleveland since the four-day convention began on Monday.
One skirmish broke out when right-wing conspiracy theorist and radio show host Alex Jones started speaking in downtown’s Public Square through a bullhorn. Police on bicycles pushed back a surging crowd, and Jones was whisked away.
Vice-presidential pick Mike Pence, the Indiana governor, is set to speak on Wednesday. Cruz, who has not yet endorsed Trump, is set to speak too. Trump will close the convention with an acceptance speech on Thursday night.