David Asp was a delegate to the Republican National Convention for CD3. Here are few excerpts from the daily notes and photos he sent from Cleveland. He also sent some insightful details about the rules committee and the “conscience clause” proposal, which we’ve placed separately on the SD49 website HERE.
TUESDAY, JULY 19
Yesterday was the first day of the Republican National Convention. We dealt with convention business in the early afternoon before moving into convention speeches last night. The theme for Monday was “Make America Safe Again,” focusing on homeland security, national security strategy, and foreign policy.
Photo - David Asp preparing to start the convention with Chris Tiedeman, Jen Niska, and Keith Downey.
Monday’s speakers featured Melania Trump, along with notable speakers like Sen. Joni Ernst, and Sen. Tom Cotton. In my opinion, the most interesting speech of the night came from former-Mayor Rudy Giuliani who argued for a stronger national security policy.
The Minnesota delegation is seated in the back of the arena in front of the media booths. If you’re watching coverage of the convention, you may see familiar faces walking around behind the news anchors.
Here’s a picture of the convention floor showing where the Minnesota delegation is seated:
WEDNESDAY, JULY 20
The theme of Tuesday, the second day of the Republican National Convention was "Make America Work Again" focusing on economic development and jobs.
Nomination of Presidential Candidate
The official business at Tuesday's convention was the nomination of Donald Trump for President. I promised no more rules updates, but I was interested in how the chair of the convention reported those results according to how state delegates were bound by primaries or caucuses because those reports reflected some of the rules decisions we made last week. Consistent with our caucus straw poll results, Minnesota cast 17 votes for Rubio, 13 votes for Cruz, and 8 votes for Trump.
Photo - Minnesota's delegation preparing to report its results.
Making America Work Again
The speakers on Tuesday, including Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, and Ben Carson, focused on contrasting the GOP policy vision with Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. I won't try to summarize all the speeches, but it is really interesting to watch some of the best speakers in our party in rapid progression on Tuesday night.
Many of our Minnesota delegates also use the convention as an opportunity to meet rising stars in the party. And I've enjoyed getting to know Republicans from around the state.
THURSDAY, JULY 21
The theme for Wednesday’s session was “Make America First Again,” and featured speeches by Gov. Mike Pence, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Newt Gingrich.
The primary speech belonged to Gov. Pence, who accepted the party’s nomination for vice president. Overall, our delegation was impressed with the selection of Gov. Pence and with his acceptance speech last night.
I was on the floor for Senator Cruz’s non-endorsement speech, which seems to be receiving the most coverage this morning. A vocal group of Trump supporters booed Senator Cruz during his speech when it became clear that he was not going to provide an endorsement. Much of that activity took place on the second level directly behind our seats, where the alternate delegates from New York were seated.
Today is the final day of the convention with a theme of “Make America One Again.” I'll plan to send a summary from the final day along with my concluding thoughts.
SUNDAY, JULY 24
Thank you for the chance to represent our Third Congressional District Republican Party at the Republican National Convention last week. It really was a privilege for me to participate in the convention. I thought I would use this final RNC update to respond to some questions I've received, and provide some final thoughts.
From a personal perspective, one of the best parts of going to the convention was the chance to develop relationships with other Minnesota Republicans. Our delegation had some very impressive people, and I enjoyed getting to know them and talking politics.
Photo David Asp with Alex Plechash and Rep. Cindy Pugh.
The other highlight for me was serving on the convention rules committee. As many of you know, I spend far more time thinking about convention rules than the average person. I spent a significant amount of time preparing for the committee, and I learned a lot during the process.
MN Delegation Events / Breakfast Speakers
I’ve received a couple of questions about events during the convention, and particularly about our delegation breakfasts. The breakfasts took place each morning with invited speakers. Our more-notable speakers included Congressman Patrick McHenry and two speakers from the National Rifle Association. We were scheduled to hear from Ambassador John Bolton on Tuesday morning, but that fell through because of a scheduling mix-up.
Apart from the breakfasts, there were two official receptions for the Minnesota delegation during afternoons, and there also were many opportunities to attend other receptions following the convention. The convention was held at the "Q" Arena, which is in downtown Cleveland and near most sponsored events. Our delegation hotel was in Mentor, Ohio, a suburb about 25 minutes away from downtown Cleveland. Groups from our delegation typically would use Uber to find a ride back to Mentor after these events.
Photo - Minnesotans during an event at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.
Thanks again for the chance to represent CD 3 at this convention.