The weirdness factor was turned up to 11 today. Here are my five favorite moments:
- After spending all of Tuesday insisting that Melania Trump plagiarized nothing, the campaign admits she did and blames it on her speechwriter.
- The teleprompter goes out on Michelle Van Etten, who ends up giving perhaps the worst speech ever at a national convention. Before that, she was busily hawking Youngevity, a pyramid scheme that sells pseudoscience vitamin supplements. This may also have been a first for a national convention.
- Not satisfied with merely locking her up, Trump advisor Al Baldasaro says Hillary Clinton should be shot for treason. The Secret Service investigates. Trump is forced to release a statement saying he “does not agree” that Hillary should be shot.
- Ted Cruz declines to endorse Trump in his speech. “Don’t stay home in November,” he says to cheers, but then with a smirk tells them not to vote for Trump, but to “vote your conscience.” When everyone finally catches on to what’s going on, they begin booing and chanting “We want Trump.” The Trump family sits through the entire speech with stony expressions on their faces. After it’s all over, Heidi Cruz is escorted out by security while Trump supporters heckle her.
- Instead of just letting this go, Newt Gingrich insists on putting it in the spotlight a second time by claiming fancifully that when Cruz said “vote your conscience,” he really meant “vote for Trump.” Nice try, Newt.
On the bright side, they finally got their scheduling in order tonight, filling the entire primetime hour with marquee speakers. It’s the first time this week.