Republican Convention set to roll on LIVE - aksu360


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GOP Presidential nominee, Donald Trump

The city of Cleveland (Ohio) is pretty much ready to play host to the Republican convention scheduled to start today Monday. Over the weekend, Cleveland has literally been transformed into a militarized zone with large swaths of metal fencing going up around Quicken Loans Arena, where the convention will take place, and around the Huntington Convention Center, where there will be meetings and briefings.

aksu360 can report that Police and other security personnel were a highly visible presence, with heavily armed officers from the Department of Homeland Security patrolling downtown and Coast Guard vessels patrolling the Cuyahoga River. Several roads and bridges have been closed. A no-fly zone has also gone into effect across the area. Inside the arena, workers had built the stage and set the floor with enough chairs for the 2,472 delegates. Signs went up around the arena stating “Make America Great Again”,  #RNCinCLE (the official convention hashtag) and “Make America Safe Again”.

Party unity is the main item on the agenda for Republicans, but whether the GOP can unify behind its divisive Presidential nominee remains to be seen.

The lead-up to Donald Trump’s coronation has been chaotic at best. After a long, divisive primary, the pre-convention week was highlighted by a vice presidential announcement that was seen as awkward, and the rules/platform-setting meetings were contentious, at the least.

However, officials emphasized the GOP is ready to come together. “The party is united. Again there has been much ado about very little,” said Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort at a press briefing Sunday. “The party has united. It’s a few people who are holding out and they don’t reflect anyone other than their own opinions.”

The overwhelming majority of House Republicans in competitive races this fall season, won’t be at the Republican National Convention to watch Donald Trump accept the party’s nomination for president, for fear of a political backlash in their various constituency.

Many have concluded that keeping their distance (figuratively and physically) from Trump is in their best interest, particularly in racially diverse districts where the businessman is unpopular.

Despite the reduced attendance, most of the House GOP leadership team is slated to be in Cleveland to make a show of unity behind the nominee. Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) are both expected to deliver speeches during the GOP convention. Majority Whip Steve Scalise (La.), Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry (N.C.) and Rep. Greg Walden (Ore.), the chairman of House Republicans’ campaign arm, plan to be in Cleveland as well.

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) will not attend the convention, however. McMorris Rodgers endorsed Trump after he became the presumptive nominee but expressed concerns about his inflammatory comments regarding women and people with disabilities.

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