Donald J. Trump, the New York real estate developer and businessman whose larger-than-life persona has made him a household name for 30-plus years, and who last June officially turned to politics with what many considered a long shot bid for the White House, was officially nominated for president by delegates Tuesday at the Republican National Convention.
The decisive votes came from the candidate’s eldest son, Donald Trump, Jr., who cast 89 of his home state of New York’s 95 delegates for his father inside Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Tuesday.
“It is my honor to throw Donald Trump over the top. Congratulations, Dad, we love you,” the younger Trump said, while flanked by his three adult siblings, Ivanka, Eric and Tiffany.
Afterward, the Trump children, who were all scheduled to address the convention over the next three days, expressed pride in their father and confidence he will prevail in November’s general election.
“I’ve watched him work so hard in this and speak to so many real people who are just feeling left out and left in the dark, here in New York and across the country. To be able to do that, it’s historic, it’s awesome,” Trump, Jr., told CNN immediately after casting the deciding votes.
“The second he announced, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about my father, don’t bet against him when he puts his mind to get something done.
“We want this country to be better for our kids than the way we’ve received it and that’s not the way we’re going. Politicians have ruined this country time and time again. What’s going to change? What’s different about this batch than the last? He’s such an outsider he can do that, he can make those changes and he’s going to do a phenomenal job.”
Trump is scheduled to formally accept the party’s nomination on Thursday.
Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the first sitting senator to endorse Trump, offered the first motion in a speech from the dais to put Trump’s name in nomination. Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., the first sitting member of either house of Congress to endorse Trump, seconded that motion in another speech.
Sessions rallied the delegates inside Quicken Loans Arena, saying Trump is the candidate best suited to solve the nation’s problems both foreign and domestic. Sessions said Trump displayed bravery, defying political and societal institutions predisposed to discouraging dissent from those running for high constitutional office.
“Unstated is a threat, if you persist in your complaints, we will attack you. But this time it’s different. One man, Donald Trump, was not intimidated. He would not be silenced. He spoke the truth, he gave voice to the people’s concerns,” Sessions said.
“The American voters heard this message and they rewarded his courage and his leadership with a huge victory in our primaries. He dispatched one talented, fine candidate after another. Momentum continued to grow. A movement started.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — a former prosecutor — later slammed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton like he was making a closing argument in a courtroom, saying she showed an “extraordinarily dangerous lack of judgment” during her time as secretary of state. Delegates frequently shouted “Lock her up!” after each accusation.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., called for party unity, much as he as since he became speaker, and tried to clarify and define Republican ideals, as he has often split with the nominee over several of Trump’s statements.
“It still comes down to a contest of ideas, which is really good news,” Ryan said. “When it’s about ideas the advantage goes to us. The Republican party stands as the great alternative party.”