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3 Things To Watch For On Day 3 Of The RNC: Pence, Cruz Take The Stage

Vice Presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana points as he sits during the second day session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Tuesday, July 19, 2016.

Vice Presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana points as he sits during the second day session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Tuesday, July 19, 2016.

John Locher/OPB

On the second day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, the GOP formally nominated Donald Trump and Mike Pence for president and vice president respectively. Now, as the convention moves on to its third day, we will hear from Pence on a national stage for the first time since Trump selected him as his running mate. Also in the works? A trio of former GOP presidential candidates are set to take the stage.

Here are the three things you should watch for Wednesday at the RNC:

1: Mike Pence’s Big Turn On The National Stage:

The Indiana governor is set to take the stage in Cleveland to formally accept the nomination as the Republican candidate for vice president Wednesday evening. For Pence, this marks one of the first opportunities to speak to a national audience since Trump tapped him as his running mate last week. So who is Pence and what should we expect to hear from him Wednesday night?

A brief rehash, if you will: Pence served for 12 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, starting in 2000. In 2012, the former Indiana representative and conservative talk show host was elected governor of the Hoosier State, where he instantly implemented policies to combat unemployment, lower taxes and create job growth. 

Pence, according to many political experts, is a direct opposite to Trump’s, bold, brash, in-your-face style of conservatism. Considered by many to be the moderate that will help Trump appeal to a wider portion of the GOP establishment, don’t expect Pence to come out to the sounds of Queen with fog rolling over the stage. Expect a dash of Midwestern politeness in his speech, with a side of toeing the party line.

2.  Theme Of The Night Is “Make America First Again”: 

Each night of the Republican National Convention features a theme. On Day 1, the theme was “Make America Safe Again,” on Day 2, it was “Make America Work Again,” and Wednesday’s theme is a common one in Trump’s campaign for the nation’s highest office: restoring America to first on the world leaderboard. 

Since launching his campaign, Trump’s official campaign motto has been similar to Wednesday’s theme and centers around the idea of restoring America’s status as “a beacon of progress and opportunity.” Wednesday, the speakers will focus on ways that the Republican Party’s platform will restore jobs, mainly in manufacturing, to the American heartland. Cleveland is an interesting host city for this discussion; in the 1950s it thrived off the back of U.S. manufacturing, but subsequent economic shifts and economic downturn saw the city’s manufacturing base shrink and eventually nearly disappear, like much of the U.S. 

3. What Will Ted Cruz Say?:  

Some former contenders for the Republican nomination take the stage Wednesday night, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, whom Trump famously sparred with early in the debate season, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. But most eyes will be on Sen. Ted Cruz, (R-Texas), who was one of the final three seeking the Republican nomination for president in a heated race with Donald Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Cruz has made his stance on Trump clear: he’s not a fan.

Cruz is an interesting speaker choice on this night not only because of his opposition to Trump, but also because he still has a lot of support among the delegates. What will his message be? Many expect Cruz to outline his own vision for the GOP’s future, with a strong push towards improving his stance for the 2020 election. But, will the Texas senator toe the party line and endorse Trump for president for this election? We’ll have to watch and see.

Have you checked out the latest special episode of OPB Politics Now? Each night Think Out Loud Host Dave Miller, Political Reporter Jeff Mapes and Think Out Loud Producer Julie Sabatier break down the day’s events with a Northwest twist. In the third installment from their time at this year’s RNC, the trio discuss the party’s platform to hand federally-controlled Western public lands over to the states. Listen on OPB or wherever you find your podcasts. 


Presidential Race Republican National Convention Donald Trump Ted Cruz Scott Walker Mike Pence Marco Rubio

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