Thursday is the final day of the Republican National Convention. Here are five things to look for.
- Convention controversy has waited until the morning to break out, but tomorrow’s firestorm is already brewing. While his VP nominee Mike Pence talked of rebuilding relationships with allies, especially following the Iran deal, Donald Trump told the New York Times he wouldn’t necessarily defend Baltic States against Russia as the United States is bound by NATO. The statement brings serious concerns after months of questions about his relationship with Russia and Vladimir Putin, financial ties to Russia, his campaign’s extensive interests in Russia, and his campaign manager Paul Manafort. Manafort was campaign manager for Viktor Yanukovych, the Putin apparatchik that was forced out of the Ukrainian presidency after a popular revolt and is now living in exile in Russia. Manafort was targeted by John Kasich strategist Jeff Weaver earlier in the week. Weaver mocked Manafort, saying “he’s brought great professionalism, direct from Kiev (Ukraine) to Trump world.” He also added, “Manafort’s problem, after all those years on the lam with thugs and autocrats, is that he can’t recognize principle and integrity.”
- Donald Trump‘s style on the stump has been off the cuff, sometimes ranting, stream of conscious, and bounced from politically incorrect to personal storytelling. Trump has his moment at the podium for the first time as the official Republican nominee. Does Trump lighten his tone or turn it up?
- Ted Cruz‘s speech, and the vitriolic reaction from the crowd, will reverberate through the rest of the convention. Mike Pence‘s eloquent speech was the best of the convention, but it couldn’t drown the Cruz fiasco out of the news cycle. It also led to one Trump campaign official to call for Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich to be booted from the party.
- Each night has featured a different theme based off the Trump campaign motto, Thursday’s will be “Make America One Again.” The night starts with a motivational speaker, moves on to Jerry Falwell Jr. and finishes with Trump’s daughter Ivanka speaking before her father takes the stage to accept the nomination.
- The first three days of the convention have been short on policy, with celebrities and family sharing personal stories of Trump and the politicians turning it loose on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Does the theme continue the last night, or does Trump wrap up the last night on a more specific and positive note?