Melania Trump at RNC 2016: 5 key things from her speech

Melania Trump, wife of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, speaks at the Republican National Convention on Monday night. (Getty Images)
Melania Trump, wife of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, speaks at the Republican National Convention on Monday night. (Getty Images)

Melania Trump spoke Monday night to the Republican National Convention, one of her first speeches before the party slated to send her husband to a contest with Hillary Clinton for the White House.

After a brief introduction by her husband, Donald Trump — “It is my great honor to present the next first lady of the United States, my wife, an amazing mother, an incredible woman, Melania Trump” — Mrs. Trump gave the GOP delegates background on her husband, family and beliefs.

Here are five key moments from her speech.

1. She gave a preview of a possible platform if she becomes first lady. Toward the end of her speech, Melania said she would “use that wonderful privilege to help people in our country who need it the most … helping women and children.”

2. This year is the 10th anniversary of her becoming a U.S. citizen. She told the crowd she gained her citizenship in July 2006 after immigrating from Slovenia, which was met with a big cheer by the Republican delegates.

3. She mostly read from a teleprompter and had just two stumbles. With her thick European accent, Melania mistook “adversaries” for “advisories,” and “tenacity” for — a word several reporters could not quite make out.

4. She seems ready to have a larger role in the spotlight. Melania told the delegates that “the primary season and its toughness is behind us,” but a bigger fight is ahead from the convention through November. With her convention speech, she puts herself in a position to be more visible than she has in the earlier stages of the campaign.

5. She said Donald Trump “has been concerned about our country for as long as I have known him.” She added, “If you want someone to fight for you and your country, I can assure you he’s the guy.”

>>RELATED: Melania Trump’s speech plagiarizes Michelle Obama’s ’08 convention speech

Follow The Palm Beach Post and Post on Politics for more updates and analysis from the Republican National Convention.

Who is Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, Jr.?

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke salutes the crowd prior to delivering a speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke salutes the crowd prior to delivering a speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke, Jr. took to the main stage in Cleveland at the Republican National Convention with a message that “Blue lives matter.”

Clarke has been in the news in recent days after clashing with CNN’s Don Lemon in an interview regarding the recent police shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La. where Clarke said he had “predicted this” would happen for the past two years.

“I’ve been watching this for two years. I’ve predicted this,” Clarke told Lemon. “This anti-police rhetoric sweeping the country has turned out some hateful things inside of people that are now playing themselves out on the American police officer.”

Though Clarke has been sheriff for Milwaukee County since 2002, he is increasingly gaining national attention.

Here are five fast facts about Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, Jr.:

  1. Clarke, 59, joined the Milwaukee Police Department in 1978 as a patrol officer and was elected to county sheriff in 2002, now serving his fourth term.
  2. Although he spoke at the Republican National Convention in support of presumptive nominee Donald Trump, Clarke is a registered Democrat. Clarke has a podcast on Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network called “David Clarke: The People’s Sheriff.” Clarke has defended being registered as a Democrat despite holding conservative political views, saying that sheriff elections should be nonpartisan. “Like me, most people question why the Office of Sheriff is a partisan election. I have never asked a person to vote for me because I run as a Democrat.”
  3. Clarke featured in a 2013 public service announcement ad calling for listeners to arm themselves “so you can defend yourself until we get there,” saying citizens can’t rely on the police to respond in time to a threat.
  4. Clarke has been a vocal opponent of the Black Lives Matter movement. According to Reuters, Clarke has called the group “Black Lies Matter,” and labelled their members “subhuman creeps.”
  5. Clarke’s sheriff deputies’ union and two of his individual officers successfully sued him in 2006 for mandating officers to attend staff meetings where members of  the evangelical Christian group the Fellowship of Christian Centurions proselytized to the officers.

Rubio, far from GOP convention, focuses on toxic algae

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, far from the Republican Party’s national convention in Cleveland, criticized the Obama Administration’s refusal of Florida’s request for a state of emergency to deal with toxic algae that has polluted the St. Lucie Estuary.

In remarks before a Lake Okeechobee roundtable meeting at Indian River State College’s Chastain campus, Rubio touted the Central Everglades Planning Project as a critical part of the solution.

CEPP is a collection of storage, cleaning and conveyance projects south of the lake. The projects are part of federal legislation that have passed the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee.

“We are as close as we have ever been to getting the CEPP authorized,” Rubio said. “Our hope is to get it passed and authorized in September. It would be malpractice for us to not get that done.”

Rubio, whose presidential run never gained traction, said he is not at his party’s national convention in Cleveland because he made a late decision to run for re-election and he wants to focus on his race.

On Tuesday, Rubio is scheduled to visit businesses impacted by the Orlando nightclub massacre.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio speaks during an algae bloom discussion in Stuart Monday. (Wayne Washington/Palm Beach Post)
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio speaks during an algae bloom discussion in Stuart Monday. (Wayne Washington/Palm Beach Post)

Hillary Clinton to visit Florida as GOP convention wraps up

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses the crowd at the 107th Annual NAACP Convention at the Duke Energy Center July 18, 2016, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hillary Clinton continued to campaign for the general election in November.  (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses the crowd at the 107th Annual NAACP Convention at the Duke Energy Center July 18, 2016, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hillary Clinton continued to campaign for the general election in November. (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)

One day after Donald Trump is set to accept the Republican nomination for president, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will visit Florida.

Clinton’s campaign announced Monday — the first day of the Republican National Convention — that she will have an event in Orlando on Friday, and hold rallies in Tampa Bay on Friday and a to-be-announced South Florida city on Saturday.

Her visit comes as Florida’s Democratic delegates prepare to travel to Pennsylvania for that party’s national convention.

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Follow The Palm Beach Post for live coverage from the Republican National Convention this week and the Democratic National Convention next week.

These sculptures outside the GOP convention are made of duct tape

This bald eagle made of duct tape is standing outside the GOP convention in Cleveland. (Kristina Webb/The Palm Beach Post)
This bald eagle made of duct tape is standing outside the GOP convention in Cleveland. (Kristina Webb/The Palm Beach Post)

Yes, that bald eagle sculpture outside the Republican National Convention is made out of duct tape.

To be more specific, it’s made out of Duck Tape. The popular binding brand is headquartered just outside Cleveland in Avon, Ohio.

The company has its sculptures at four locations throughout the city: the Cleveland Zoo, Cracker Park, the east bank of the Flats and off West 6th Street at West St. Clair.

Melanie Canning, director of marketing communications for Duck Tape, said there’s a 25-foot tall sculpture of the Empire State Building at Cracker Park; a Mount Rushmore statue, called Mount Duckmore because it features the company’s mascot, at the Flats; and an elephant at the zoo.

At the West Sixth Street location, Duck Tape has set up a display with a large bald eagle, the Statue of Liberty and a guitar.

This Statue of Liberty is made of duct tape. (Kristina Webb/The Palm Beach Post)
This Statue of Liberty is made of duct tape. (Kristina Webb/The Palm Beach Post)

 

A guitar made of duct tape. Yes, duct tape. (Kristina Webb/The Palm Beach Post)
A guitar made of duct tape. Yes, duct tape. (Kristina Webb/The Palm Beach Post)

Local woman whose son died in Afghanistan to speak at Republican convention

A podium microphone and teleprompters stand ready on stage ahead of the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena on July 16, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The RNC is set to begin on July 18. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
A podium microphone and teleprompters stand ready on stage ahead of the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena on July 16, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The RNC is set to begin on July 18. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Nearly five years to the day since her son was killed when the Chinook helicopter he and 29 other U.S. service members were on crashed in Afghanistan, Stuart resident Karen Vaughn will take her message of support for the military to the Republican National Convention.

Vaughn is one of dozens of speakers slated for primetime during the four-day-long convention, which begins Monday.

And she’s set to speak on opening night.

This undated family photo, provided by the US Navy shows Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class, Aaron C. Vaughn, 30, of Stuart. Vaughn was killed on Aug. 6, 2011. (US Navy)
This undated family photo, provided by the US Navy shows Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class, Aaron C. Vaughn, 30, of Stuart. Vaughn was killed on Aug. 6, 2011. (US Navy)

“It’s very emotional to think of everything that’s transpired in that amount of time,” Vaughn said. “It’s very overwhelming.”

Navy SEAL Aaron Carson Vaughn was 30 years old when he was killed on Aug. 6, 2011. In addition to Vaughn and the 29 other U.S. troops killed when the helicopter crashed, eight Afghans and a U.S. military dog also died. Aaron Vaughn left behind a wife, Kimberly, and two children, now 7 and 5 years old.

Since her son’s death, Vaughn and her husband, Billy, have spoken on national and international talk shows and written as contributors for conservative news outlets Breitbart and The Blaze.

Together, they’ve spearheaded efforts to call attention to the conditions under which troops are fighting in Afghanistan. And Vaughn said that will be the focus of her speech Monday night.

With the theme of the night being “Make America Strong Again,” Vaughn said she’ll speak about “defending those who defend us.”

Vaughn also said she wants people to know about the nonprofit she and her husband started in memory of her son, Operation 300, where children whose fathers were killed in action come from across the country to spend a weekend in Martin County.

“They just get to be kids, spending time with father-aged mentors,” she said. The program brings in six groups of 30 children each year, with the next camp coming up at the end of July.

Vaughn said she was asked to speak by the convention several weeks ago. The convention’s organizers were looking for “everyday Americans with stories,” she said, and the RNC press secretary, who worked with Vaughn at an organization where she volunteers, mentioned her name.

“It’s surreal,” she said, “to be able to share our story at such an important moment.”

When to watch: Karen Vaughn will speak at the Republican National Convention at 9:44 p.m. Monday.

While Republicans gather in Cleveland, Rubio stumps for re-election in Florida

After finding out New Hampshire wasn't Marco Rubio Country, Florida senator now stumping for re-election in home state
After finding out New Hampshire wasn’t Marco Rubio Country, Florida senator now stumping for re-election in home state

With Congress off on its longest recess of the modern era, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio will begin barnstorming across Florida next week as he steps up his re-election campaign.

Rubio plans to hit nine cities next week, beginning Monday with visits to Fort Myers and West Palm Beach. The road trip even has a name: Rubio’s campaign is calling it, “The Fight Starts Now Tour.”

It’s Rubio’s second campaign go-around this year. He abandoned him presidential bid after badly losing the Florida primary to Donald Trump in March.

Details on next week’s stops aren’t yet available. But the candidate will be mostly hitting North and Central Florida, with the West Palm Beach event the only one planned for Miami-Dade, Broward or Palm Beach counties.

While Rubio is stumping, most of the GOP’s focus will be on Cleveland, where the Republican National Convention opens Monday. Rubio is skipping, because of his re-election campaign, but is sending a video speech so RNC-goers won’t feel ignored.

Rubio’s first re-election test comes Aug. 30 in the state’s Republican primary, when he faces longshot Carlos Beruff, a Manatee County developer, and two other self-styled contenders.

U.S. Reps. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter and Alan Grayson of Orlando are the most prominent Democrats seeking their party’s nomination for the November election.

With Republicans in a battle to retain control of the Senate, GOP leaders in the House and Senate have sent Congress home for a seven-week recess, the longest since some kind of summer break become customary in the late 1960s.

 

Trump veepstakes near finish — running mate choice to be announced by end of week

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

The Donald Trump veepstakes are nearing the finish.

Trump told the Washington Post on Monday that he plans to announce his vice presidential candidate by the end of the week, presumably giving an energy jolt to the Republican National Convention, which begins next week in Cleveland.

Trump said he has five people on his short list, including retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a critic of President Obama who formerly ran the Defense Intelligence Agency.

But Trump told the Post he was leaning toward making a “political” pick. That would seem to lower the odds on the part-time Palm Beacher choosing from among New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, or someone else.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has been mentioned occasionally as a Trump running mate, but not lately. Scott said in May that he has the job he wants and won’t leave it.