Politics July 20, 2016: GOP formally nominates Trump during convention roll call

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GOP formally nominates Trump during convention roll call

By Bonnie K. Goodman

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 19:  A screen on stage projects Donald Trump Jr., along with Ivanka Trump, taking part in the roll call in support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on the second day of the Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, OH – JULY 19: A screen on stage projects Donald Trump Jr., along with Ivanka Trump, taking part in the roll call in support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on the second day of the Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Donald Trump is officially the Republican Party’s presidential nominee. On Tuesday afternoon, July 19, 2016, state delegates officially nominated Trump during the roll call vote on the second day on of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Trump hit over the top of the threshold of necessary delegates after votes were announced from his home state of New York. Trump appeared via video afterward to accept the nomination.

The nominee’s son Donald Jr. was the Republican delegate from New York that announced the votes for his father putting Trump over the 1,237 delegates necessary to clinch the nomination. After announcing the 89 delegates for Trump, his son shouted, “It is my honor to be able to throw Donald Trump over the top tonight… Congratulations Dad, we love you!” His siblings, Ivanka, Eric, and Tiffany Trump, joined Donald, Jr. for the delegate reading. New York was the only state not to go alphabetically waiting until Trump reached the point he would go “over the top” with the necessary delegates.

The roll vote went off for the most part without incident. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan commenced the proceedings. The convention secretary went alphabetically through the states. Each chair of their state’s delegation announced their vote tally and also highlighted what makes heir state unique. When a state announced their delegates for Trump they would say, “the next president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.” Only the District of Columbia tried to deny Trump his delegates instead calling them for Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions was the one to put Trump’s name officially into consideration for the nomination. Sessions praised Trump, “The American voters heard this message, and they rewarded his courage and leadership with a huge victory in our primaries. He dispensed with one talented candidate after another, momentum started and a movement started. Democrats and independents responded. He received far more primary votes than any Republican candidate in history… Mr. Speaker, it is my distinct honor and great pleasure to nominate Donald J. Trump for the office of president of the United States.” Rep. Chris Collins (N.Y.) seconded the nomination. Both Sessions and Collins are Trump’s top supporters in Congress.

After the roll call vote was complete, the nominee appeared from his Trump Tower in New York in a pre-recorded video. In his message, Trump accepted the nomination, “A little over one year ago I announced my candidacy for president, and with your vote, today, this stage of the presidential process has come to a close. Together we can see historic results with the largest vote totals in the history of the Republican Party. This is a movement, but we have to go all the way. I’m so proud to be your nominee for president of the United States.”

The newly minted nominee also mentioned his vice presidential running mate Indiana Governor Mike Pence, saying, “It’s an honor to run on a ticket with Mike Pence, who is an extraordinary man and will make a great, great vice president.”

Trump also discussed the broad policy themes he would be speaking about in his nomination acceptance address on Thursday, July 21, the last night of the convention. The nominee promised, “This is going to be a leadership by the way that puts American people first. We’re going to get back our jobs. We’re going to rebuild our military and take care of our great veterans. We’re going to have strong borders and defeat ISIS and restore law and order and so many other things. I’ll be discussing that Thursday night, and we’ll be talking all about it. We are going to make America great again.”

Trump has been breaking convention precedent, addressing the convention once each day, rather than the traditional waiting until the last night to give their acceptance address. Trump introduced his wife Melania on Monday, July 18 before the Tuesday recorded a message. Trump also plans to be at the convention on Wednesday evening, July 20, when running-mate, Gov. Pence addresses the convention.

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Politics July 19, 2016: Melania Trump’s political plagiarism scandal is not the first, and not the last

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Melania Trump’s political plagiarism scandal is not the first, and not the last


Did Melania Trump really plagiarize Michelle Obamas 2008 Democratic convention speech?

By Bonnie K. Goodman

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18:  Melania Trump, wife of Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, delivers a speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, OH – JULY 18: Melania Trump, wife of Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, delivers a speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

It was supposed to be presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump’s wife, Melania’s big campaign debut, instead, it descended into controversy, as does everything in the Trump campaign. On Monday evening, July 18, 2016, Melania Trump gave the keynote address on the first night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Introduced by her husband, Melania’s job was to humanize Trump, who has been caricatured for much of his career and the campaign. Instead, her big moment was overshadowed by the similarities of two paragraphs with First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic Convention speech and accusations of plagiarism.

Both Melania and Michelle’s passages in their speeches emphasized family values imbued by their parents and passing them to the next generation. The themes were similar and also common for the type of convention speech. Although the words were similar, the sentences were for the most part different with some similar points, and certain keywords, possibly invoking the paraphrasing or copying for verbatim debate. Only one phrase was copied verbatim, “your dreams and your willingness to work for them.” Plagiarism is described as “The practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.”

According to Harvard University‘s Faculty of Arts and Science “In academic writing, it is considered plagiarism to draw any idea or any language from someone else without adequately crediting that source in your paper. It doesn’t matter whether the source is a published author, another student, a Web site without clear authorship, a Web site that sells academic papers, or any other person: Taking credit for anyone else’s work is stealing, and it is unacceptable in all academic situations, whether you do it intentionally or by accident.” Harvard also lists different types of plagiarism, which include” “verbatim, mosaic, inadequate paraphrasing, uncited paraphrase, uncited quotations.” The only exception according to Harvard is “common knowledge.”

Melania’s speech excerpt read:

“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. They taught me to show the values and morals in my daily life. That is the lesson that I continue to pass along to our son. And we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

To compare here is Michelle’s speech from 2008:

“And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them. And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

Almost immediately, after Melania delivered her speech, a journalist specializing in interior design and not politics, Jarrett Hill called Melania out on Twitter accusing her of plagiarism. In his tweet, Hill wrote, “Melania must’ve liked Michelle Obama’s 2008 Convention speech since she plagiarized it.” Hill, who is African-American, has a history of Trump bashing and is a fan of the Obamas, already, had a biased view of the situation. Still, the news media picked up on the story, and it swept through a media who already negatively bashes Trump and his rhetoric and policy positions. Melania’s similar words just was another chance for criticism.

Just as quickly Trump’s campaign denied the accusation. Senior communications adviser Jason Miller issued a statement after the accusations, which read, “In writing her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking. Melania’s immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success.”

According to the campaign, chairman Paul Manafort appearing on CNN’s “New Day” telling Chris Cuomo that the allegation is “just really absurd.” Manafort dismissed the claims, saying, “To think that she would do something like that knowing how scrutinized her speech was going to be last night is just really absurd.” Continuing Manafort explained, “There’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech. These were common words and values. She cares about her family. To think that she’d be cribbing Michelle Obama’s words is crazy.”

Manafort then, in turn, blamed presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Trump campaign manager made his accusation, saying, “This is once again an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, she seeks out to demean her and take her down. It’s not going to work.”

According to a Republican close to the situation, recounted the process involved in crafting Melania’s speech. According to the “operative”, several aides edited the speech and gave suggestions to Melania. Manafort approved the speech in the end. The recount contradicts the account from Trump’s wife who claims to have a written the speech herself. Melania revealed to to NBC‘s Matt Lauer, “I read once over it, that’s all, because I wrote it … with (as) little help as possible.” Melania is not facing the brunt of the backlash but rather Trump’s speechwriters and even Manafort, although no one has been fired for the error.

President Obama’s former speechwriter, Jon Favreau, who was partly responsible for Michelle Obama’s speech, did not seem offended or upset by the possibility of plagiarism. After the accusations had started flying, Favreau tweeted and joked, “(To be honest), I was more offended by just about every other speech than Melania’s plagiarized paragraphs.”

The problem is writers, and academics and even students get away with plagiarism all the time. With the vast amount of information on the internet, many believe that it is fair game, especially if it is a blog or non-traditional source. Academics who plagiarize believe they will not be caught because they are taking ideas from someone they deem less educated and less well known. More often than not if someone does not bring the plagiarized passages up the one, who plagiarizes usually gets away with it.

As a writer, I have experienced being plagiarized, from a woman posting an entire article of mine that was an excerpt from my thesis taken verbatim without any credit, with listing it as her own. To a former professor who for years continually liberally borrows my ideas, themes from my articles for his, even phrases but manages to get away with it because they have the doctorate and the professorship although according to Harvard’s definitions what they have done is considered plagiarism.

Just last week in the UK’s the Guardian Higher Education section a writer on the Academic Anonymous blog recounted finding a creative writing Ph.D. dissertation with 100 passages plagiarized verbatim. When the academic discovered the plagiarism reported it to the dissertation advisor at the British university, the professor protected their student by ensuring copies of the dissertation were removed from the university’s library and made unavailable in any other form to the public. Only a year later was the thesis put back on the shelves, but the Ph.D. graduate was never stripped of their degree or even reprimanded for the extensive and blatant plagiarism, in the most important capstone project of their university education.

Melania Trump’s plagiarism case is hardly the first involving politicians that rocked the political world. The most famous case is Vice President Joe Biden who in 1987, had to withdraw from the 1988 Democratic presidential race after it was discovered that he plagiarized a speech with passages from former Democratic candidates Hubert Humphrey, Robert Kennedy, and former President John F. Kennedy. Other notable political plagiarism scandals include Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Montana Senator John Walsh, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, and even President Barack Obama.

In 2007, then Democratic candidate Obama lifted some passages from then-Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s lines from a 2006 speech when he delivered a speech at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Wisconsin. Rival Hillary Clinton’s campaign revealed what Obama did. Obama dismissed it all as nothing much saying, “Deval and I do trade ideas all the time, and you know he’s occasionally used lines of mine. I would add I’ve noticed on occasion Sen. Clinton has used words of mine as well. As I said before, I really don’t think this is too big of a deal.”

Donald McCabe, a retired business professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey, conducted a survey in 2010 and determined a prevalence of cheating and plagiarism among college undergraduate and graduate students.

The following are the results of his survey:

  • 36% of undergraduates and 24% of graduate students admit to “paraphrasing/copying few sentences from Internet source without footnoting it.”
  • 38% of undergraduates and 25% of graduate students admit to “paraphrasing/copying few sentences from written source without footnoting it.”
  • 14% of undergraduates and 7% of graduate students admit to “fabricating/falsifying a bibliography.”
  • 7% of undergraduates 4% of graduate students and admit to copying materials “almost word for word from a written source without citation.”
  • 7% of undergraduates and 3% of graduate students admit to “turning in work done by another.” Finally, 3% of undergraduates and 2% of graduate students admit to “obtaining a paper from term paper mill.”

Another survey conducted in 2011 by the Pew Research Center and The Chronicle of Higher Education asked college presidents about plagiarism and cheating at their respective colleges among students. Of the 1,055 presidents asked, 55 percent said that there had been an increase in plagiarism in the ten preceding years, and they predominately, 89 percent, blamed the internet for rampant cheating.

In this case, Melania or most precisely her speechwriters used a common theme for conventions and wives’ of the running mates but made the mistake of staying too closely to a recent and famous speech from a beloved first lady. Viewed by millions, with enough people opposed to Trump, Melania’s first major foray was bound to be scrutinized.

The moment caught the press the Trump campaign wanted but not for the reasons they wanted. Trump, however, will survive the plagiarism scandal as the world can be forgiving just ask historian Doris Goodwin Kearns and even Joe Biden and Barack Obama, who plagiarized speeches once and still ended becoming a popular vice president and president.

Politics July 18, 2016: Never Trump’s last stand GOP convention erupts in chaos over rules vote

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Never Trumps last stand GOP convention erupts in chaos over rules vote

By Bonnie K. Goodman

TOPSHOT - Delegates wave signs on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The Republican Party opened its national convention Monday, kicking off a four-day political jamboree that will anoint billionaire Donald Trump as its presidential nominee. Some 2,000 delegates descended on a tightly secured Cleveland arena where Trump's wife will take center stage later in the day to make a personal pitch to voters that her billionaire husband is the best candidate for the White House. / AFP / ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS        (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

TOPSHOT – Delegates wave signs on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Republican Party opened its national convention Monday, kicking off a four-day political jamboree that will anoint billionaire Donald Trump as its presidential nominee. Some 2,000 delegates descended on a tightly secured Cleveland arena where Trump’s wife will take center stage later in the day to make a personal pitch to voters that her billionaire husband is the best candidate for the White House. / AFP / ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

The Never Trump movement made their last attempt to derail presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump’s nomination. At almost the start of the Republican National Convention on Monday afternoon, July 18, 2016, Never Trump delegates tried to disrupt the convention rules vote, hoping they could still change the rules to not vote for the presumptive nominee.

During a voice vote for the procedural rules that Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack presided over he determined the procedural vote passed during the first voice vote. Womack took a break walking off the stage and then conducted a second voice vote, which he determined passed. In response, Never Trump delegates starting shouting “Roll call vote” and “USA.”

Utah Sen. Mike Lee commented during the chaos, “I have never in all my life… seen anything like this. There is no precedent for this and parliamentary procedure. There is no precedent for this in the rules of the Republican National Convention. We are now in uncharted territory. Somebody owes us an explanation. I have never seen the chair abandoned like that. They vacated the stage entirely.”

Womack recognized a Utah’s delegate request for a roll vote. However, only six states voted for a roll call, failing the threshold of seven states. Some states dropped off afterward, and Womack determined the vote passed. Womack declared, “The secretary received requests from a total of nine states requesting roll call vote on adoption of report on the committee on rules.” Subsequently, the secretary received withdrawals, which caused three states to fall below the threshold required under the rule. Accordingly, the chair has found insufficient support for the request for a record vote.”

Before the vote, Delegates Unbound believed they had enough support to force a roll call vote. They wanted the rules package to fail to add a rule that allows unbounded pledged delegates to vote their conscious for the nominee rather than Trump, who they were pledged to vote. If the vote had failed, the rules would have gone back to the rules committee for reconsideration.

Delegates Unbound co-founder M. Dane Waters said in a statement, “Despite every obstacle thrown in our way, the movement of all the stakeholders involved in this effort have gained a majority of the delegates in 10 states. Now we take this fight to the floor.” Although the attempt failed, it was still a display of party disunity as the world all had eyes on the Republican Party.

Politics July 18, 2016: Republican National Convention program and schedule announced

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Republican National Convention program and schedule announced

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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The full schedule for the 2016 Republican National Convention is finally here. On Sunday, July 17, 2016, Jeff Larson, CEO of the 2016 Republican National Convention issued a press release announcing a full schedule, and speakers list for the convention. The GOP convention nominating businessman Donald Trump is entitled “Make America Great Again,” and is being held from July 18 to 21 in Cleveland, Ohio.

The press release describes the lineup as “unconventional.” Larson says, “Veterans, political outsiders, faith leaders and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s family members will lead an unconventional lineup of speakers who have real-world experience and will make a serious case against the status quo and for an agenda that will make America great again.”

Daily Themes & Headliners:

Monday: Make America Safe Again about creating “a national security strategy and foreign policy that will strengthen our military and make America safe again.”

Headliners: Melania Trump, Lieutenant General (ret.) Michael Flynn, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Jason Beardsley and U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke (Mont.).

Additional speakers include: Willie Robertson of “Duck Dynasty,” former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, actor Scott Baio, Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, Sen. Tom Cotton, Sen. Jeff Sessions and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Tuesday: Make America Work Again about “getting America’s economy up and running … and get Americans working again.”

Headliners: Donald Trump, Jr., U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (WV), Ben Carson and Kimberlin Brown.

Additional speakers include: Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Wednesday: Make America First Again focusing on making America “once again be a beacon of progress and opportunity.”

Headliners: Lynne Patton; Eric Trump; former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista; and Indiana Governor Mike Pence, whom Donald Trump has chosen as his vice presidential running mate.

Additional speakers include: Radio host Laura Ingraham, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Marco Rubio, and Sen. Ted Cruz.

Thursday: Make America One Again emphasizing that “Trump will move our country beyond the divisive identity politics that have been holding us back by restoring leadership, building trust, and focusing on our shared love of country and our common goal of making America great again.”

Headliners: Peter Thiel, Tom Barrack, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump

Additional speakers include: Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr.

Politics July 15, 2016: Trump announces that Mike Pence is his pick for vice presidential running mate

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Trump announces that Mike Pence is his pick for vice presidential running mate

By Bonnie K. Goodman

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 16:  Donald Trump introduces Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as Vice Presidential running mate at a press conference at the Hilton Hotel on July 16, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Steve Sands/WireImage)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 16: Donald Trump introduces Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as Vice Presidential running mate at a press conference at the Hilton Hotel on July 16, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Sands/WireImage)

The worst kept secret in the 2016 presidential campaign is no longer a secret. On Friday morning, July 15, 2016, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump announced via Twitter that he chose Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate. Trump was supposed to make the formal announcement at a press conference in New York Friday morning. After the terror attacks in Nice, France on Bastille Day that killed over 80 people, Trump postponed the formal declaration until Saturday morning same time and place, 11 a.m. Trump Tower, New York City.

On Friday morning, Trump made his decision official ending a day of rampant speculation in the news media about his choice of running mate. The GOP nominee wrote, “I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my Vice Presidential running mate. News conference tomorrow at 11:00 A.M.”

On Thursday afternoon, July 14, the news media was already announcing that Trump chose the Indiana Governor. Pence emerged as the frontrunner from a pool of four candidates, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Alabama Rep. Jeff Sessions.

CNN reported late Thursday afternoon; that Trump had phone Pence offering him the post and Pence agreed. Later Pence was seen arriving in New Jersey with a police detail accompanying him. Even the Indianapolis Star reported that Pence decided to be Trump’s running mate forgoing running for re-election as Indiana’s Governor, withdrawing from that race, as the law does not permit him to do both.

Trump’s campaign, however, kept denying that the nominee chose Pence. Trump added fuel with his Fox News interview with Greta Van Susteren Thursday evening. Trump said, “I haven’t made my final, final decision. I mean, I’ve got three people that are fantastic. I think Newt (Gingrich) is a fantastic person. I think Chris Christie is a fantastic person, been a friend of mine for 15 years. Just a fantastic person. And there’s Mike, and Mike has done a great job as governor of Indiana. You look at the numbers, and it’s been great — he’s done really a fantastic job. But I haven’t made a final, final decision.”

With Pence, Trump pleases the GOP establishment, who has been reticent about the nominee and reluctant to support him. Trump is hoping to unify the party with his VP choice, a social and fiscal conservative, with experience in the House of Representatives and executive experience governing Indiana for one term. Pence has the support of the Tea Party, as well as influential donors including the Koch brother, who Trump needs in the general election, and have not yet supported his nomination.

Although Pence differed with Trump on policy during the primary opposing his Muslim ban and endorsing rival Texas Senator Ted Cruz before Indiana’s May primary, Trump won him over, with Pence praising him and vowing to help the nominee will the election in November. Pence emerged as the frontrunner this week after a rally on Tuesday, July 12, in Indiana, where the governor introduced Trump and fiercely criticized presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton declaring she “must never become president of the United States.”

Recently, Pence praised Trump to reporters, telling them, “I think he is going to be a great president. I think he is someone who has connected with everyday Americans like no one since Ronald Reagan. I think he has spoken into the frustration and the longings of the American people as no one since the 40th president, and I think you’re going to continue to see him do that.” Trump and Pence will be formally nominated as the party’s official nominees at next week’s Republican National Convention.

Politics July 14, 2016: GOP National Convention speaker list released

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GOP National Convention speaker list released

By Bonnie K. Goodman

The first draft of the speakers list for the Republican National Convention has been released, and it includes and a mix of political figures, leaders, entertainment personalities and Donald Trump’s family members. RNC CEO Jeff Larson released the list of 60 speakers on Thursday morning, July 14, 2016.

Larson in his announcement said, “The convention’s theme, ‘Make America Great Again,’ will focus on the core themes of Republican Presidential Nominee Donald J. Trump’s campaign: national security, immigration, trade, and jobs.”

The list includes Trump’s former primary rivals, “Ted Cruz of Texas, Dr. Ben Carson, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.” Lawmakers and Congressional leaders will also speak including, “House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa.”

Among the Trump supporters and usual suspects are some glaring absences including Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, fueling Vice President speculation. Some of the more buzz-worthy speakers are “astronaut Eileen Collins, football star Tim Tebow, actor Antonio Sabàto Jr., golfer Natalie Gulbis, and president of Ultimate Fighting Championship Dana White.

Additionally, co-founder of PayPal Peter Thiel, real estate investor Tom Barrack; and Las Vegas casino owner Phil Ruffin” will be speaking. Survivors of the 2012 Benghazi, Libya attack Mark Geist and John Tiegen will also discuss former Secretary of State and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s incompetence.

Larson said the list is a work in progress, “A final list of speakers and information on convention themes will follow.” Trump spokesman Jason Miller commented, “This impressive lineup of veterans, political outsiders, faith leaders and those who know Donald Trump the best – his family and longtime friends – represent a cross-section of real people facing the same challenges as every American household.”

The following is the full list of GOP Convention speakers; the convention starts on Monday, July 18.

Pastor Mark Burns
Phil Ruffin
Congressman Ryan Zinke
Pat Smith
Mark Geist
John Tiegen
Congressman Michael McCaul
Sheriff David Clarke
Congressman Sean Duffy
Darryl Glenn
Senator Tom Cotton
Karen Vaughn
Governor Mike Huckabee
Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Melania Trump
Senator Joni Ernst
Kathryn Gates-Skipper
Marcus Luttrell
Dana White
Governor Asa Hutchinson
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
Michael Mukasey
Andy Wist
Senator Jeff Sessions
Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn
Alex Smith
Speaker Paul Ryan
Congressman Kevin McCarthy
Kerry Woolard .
Senator Shelley Moore Capito
Dr. Ben Carson
Co-Chair Sharon Day
Natalie Gulbis
Kimberlin Brown
Antonio Sabato, Jr.
Peter Thiel
Eileen Collins
Senator Ted Cruz
Newt Gingrich
Michelle Van Etten
Lynne Patton
Eric Trump
Harold Hamm
Congressman Chris Collins
Brock Mealer
Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn
Governor Mary Fallin
Darrell Scott
Lisa Shin
Governor Rick Scott
Chairman Reince Priebus
Tom Barrack
Ivanka Trump
Attorney General Pam Bondi
Jerry Falwell Jr.
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein
Chris Cox
Senator Mitch McConnell
Tiffany Trump
Governor Chris Christie
Donald J. Trump Jr.
Governor Scott Walker

Politics April 6, 2016: Cruz’s big Wisconsin win puts Trump in bind contested convention on table

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Cruz’s big Wisconsin win puts Trump in bind contested convention on table

By Bonnie K. Goodman

April 6, 2016 1:29 PM MST

 Texas Senator Ted Cruz won the Wisconsin primary challenging GOP frontrunner Donald Trump's path to the nomination and setting up a contested convention fight, April 5, 2016
Texas Senator Ted Cruz won the Wisconsin primary challenging GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s path to the nomination and setting up a contested convention fight, April 5, 2016
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Politics March 19, 2016: Trump strikes back at Romney for voting for Cruz in Utah attacks Mormon faith

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Trump strikes back at Romney for voting for Cruz in Utah attacks Mormon faith

By Bonnie K. Goodman

March 19, 2016 3:50 PM MST

 GOP frontrunner Donald Trump is not letting 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney off lightly after he announced he would vote for Cruz in the Utah caucuses, Trump decided to go after Romney's Mormon faith, March 19, 2016
GOP frontrunner Donald Trump is not letting 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney off lightly after he announced he would vote for Cruz in the Utah caucuses, Trump decided to go after Romney’s Mormon faith, March 19, 2016
Photo by George Frey/Getty Images

Politics December 13, 2015: Mitt Romney at the center of GOP’s plans for a brokered convention, will he run?

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Mitt Romney at the center of GOP’s plans for a brokered convention, will he run?

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, December 13, 2015, 2:31 PM MST

Mitt Romney still insists he would not run for president despite plans to draft Mitt at a possible brokered Republican National Convention, Dec. 12, 2015
Mitt Romney still insists he would not run for president despite plans to draft Mitt at a possible brokered Republican National Convention, Dec. 12, 2015
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images