Republican Convention Starts In Cleveland Under Tight Security

Monday, 18 July 2016, 12:08 Hrs
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CLEVELAND: The Republican convention, which will formally coronate billionaire Donald Trump as the party's presidential candidate, will kick off here amid tight security and heightened tensions following a series of shootings in the US.

Sleuths of security forces and secret service agents have converged on the city and huge make-shift iron walls have come up several blocks around the Quicken Loans Arena where the Republican National Convention would be held over the next few days — July 18 to July 21.

The convention is aimed at Americans to "get to know Donald Trump the man" rather than Trump the candidate, his top campaign aide said here yesterday.

A different and new image of Trump, a successful businessman and a great human being, would be narrated through the personal stories of people who have known him and worked with him throughout the past several decades and along with his own family members, his campaign manager Paul Manafort said.

Manafort said the line to speakers have been selected in such a way which so that "Americans would get to know Trump the man" and not the candidate.

"They're going to see more of the man. I mean, they've seen him on the campaign trail, but they haven't seen him in the back, in the boardrooms. They haven't seen him up close and personal. They have a perspective of the man, but this convention is going to focus on the whole part of the personality," Manafort said.

Trump, 70, is scheduled to arrive in the city on Monday, but is unlikely to address the convention which would have a theme beginning with "Make America Safe Again".

Main speakers as per the list announced are Melania Trump, Lieutenant General (ret) Michael Flynn, Senator Joni Ernst, Jason Beardsley and Congressman Ryan Zinke.

"A Donald Trump administration will listen to and learn from our nation's heroes who have put themselves in harm's way and pursue a national security strategy and foreign policy that will strengthen our military and make America safe again," the Republican Convention said in a statement.

"You're going to have his family speaking. You're going to have friends who have known him speaking. You're going to have people who have worked with him both inside the company and outside of the company. And so you're going to see how he's built his successful empire," Manafort said.

Strongly refuting the allegations that the party is divided, Manafort said the Republican was united under Trump.

"It is a Trump convention. The delegates on the floor are going to be his delegates. More importantly, the message is going to be his. The platform that was passed in this past week that will be adopted by the convention," Manafort said.

Trump will deliver the acceptance speech on Thursday night when the theme is "Make America One Again." Other speakers on that day are Peter Thiel, Tom Barrack and Ivanka Trump.

"America faces serious challenges at home and threats from abroad. In order to turn our challenges into opportunities and keep America secure, we need leadership that will focus on what unites us, not what divides us," a statement said.

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Source: PTI