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California Delegation Full Of Fun Faces, Interesting Stories

The California delegation at the Republican National Convention.
Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio
The California delegation at the Republican National Convention.

Live Blog: California Delegation Full Of Fun Faces, Interesting Stories
GUEST: Carl Luna, political science professor, Mesa College

Our top story on "KPBS Mid-Day Edition", it's Donald Trump's night tonight to address the Republican national convention. There's a great deal of anticipating -- anticipation to hear what he will say in his first speech as the GOP presidential nominee. One of the delegates tells us what he is hoping to hear tonight. I hope he says to all of the people that are in doubt, look through the windshield, not the rearview mirror. Let's go forward. To express his love of his family and love of his country. He doesn't have to be doing this. He's doing this for us. I'm so proud that he is accepting the ring and fighting the good fight for us. He will be able to stare down $120 trillion of debt. He will be able to run the country like a business rather than how it has been run before as a giveaway. I spoke with Carl Luna, political science professor at Mesa College. Thank you for joining us Karel. First off -- coral. First off, what you think Donald Trump is a tonight. --? He has to give a stirring address. So far it's been a little flat for speakers at this convention. The big question is does he have anything to add to his rhetoric. We will see if he is up to the task. You think that perhaps we will hear more of what we have heard from Donald Trump on the stump while he has been campaigning for this nomination. There was an old movie with Robert De Niro, the King of comedy where he played a guy who was desperate to get into the comedy stage and kidnaps the Jay Leno of the time. After all the controversy he gets his show and comes out the first night and the introduce him. He has absolutely nothing to say. That's the danger for Donald Trump. He has said it all. Unless he has got a new message, a new vision, what will Donald Trump's America be like, he may not come out of this convention with the usual bump that you need to be able to take it into the fall campaign. The RNC has branded this as an unconventional convention. Hasn't lived up to its title? It's like saying, we are doing an unconventional wedding because we forgot to put the deposit down on the room we were supposed to have. We didn't get the invitations out in time. It's unconventional but a bit of a model. The speakers have not been particularly -- model -- muddle. The speakers have not been particularly exciting. There were a lot of empty seats except for perhaps last night. If this was a Donald Trump production anti-is supposed to be taking a productions, it would not last long on Broadway. As you mention, Ted Cruz was given a primetime speaking spot and wound up not endorsing Donald Trump. [ Cheering and Applause ] If you love our country and love your children as much as I know that you do, stand and speak and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket to you trust to defend our freedom and be faithful to the Constitution. [ Cheering and Applause ] A hall not liking that very much -- the hall not liking that very much. Why do you think Ted Cruz did that? He is gotten to where he is by poking his finger at the perceived establishment. Now Donald Trump is the establishment of the Republican Party. By standing against him to the related indirectly endorsing, his hope is that this whole thing crashes and burns and he will be the guy to say I didn't endorse the guy unlike Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. I am the new face of the Republican Party. If you are planning for your parties defeat for your own victory in the future, how well will that play with folders the next time you are at the polls. You mention Melania Trump's speech then that had -- Ted Cruz apparently gave this speech to the Donald Trump people and he was given this primetime spot. These are highly managed events. What is going on? It shows an absence of real organization from the trunk campaign. This is supposed to be their party to post. They are allowing a lot of mistakes, the sort of things you are supposed to iron out I this point is you are going forward. Once they saw Ted Cruz's speech without an unequivocal endorsement to Donald Trump, they should have shown him out the back door. You don't usually that a primetime speaker on the convention floor who was not going to be unequivocally for the nominee. Never seen anything quite like that. The closest was probably tech Kennedys speech in 1980 when he endorsed Jimmy Carter but was less than enthusiastic about it. Is this possibly playing to the people who like Donald Trump as the non-politician? If it's an organized attempt, that might be the case. They probably would've been better with that Ted Cruz speech and then let someone come up on the stage and say thank you for endorsing Donald Trump. And then Ted Cruz could explain why he wasn't endorsing him. Donald Trump seems to like the stage. Why he was in the wall standing there listening to Ted Cruz seemed a little odd. Donald Trump also gave a lengthy interview to the New York Times about foreign policy yesterday. In it he said, as president he would have to decide if he would honor commitments made to members of NATO. Carl , that apparently shocked many European nations. That should shocked everybody. While Donald Trump is not that radical when it comes to domestic policy, standard Republican on something that even more moderate on social security than many Republicans. When it comes to NATO, article 5, an attack on one member is an attack on all. After 9/11, all of our NATO allies invoked to that clause to come to our aid in Afghanistan. For presidential nominee to say he wouldn't honor that clause is not only highly unusual but downright radical and possibly unconstitutional. Treaties are the highest law of the land after the Constitution itself perky either has to withdraw from NATO or honor the commitment. Talking about withdrawing from NATO is completely rearranging the power balance. During this convention, Carl, many of the speakers abashed Hillary Clinton more than they have praised Donald Trump perky you think that is because -- becoming the GOP strategy in this is election? At least he is not Hillary. That is their basic unifying point. We don't want Hillary Clinton in. The downside is how far they are on with that. I don't remember a convention ever going that far. I don't remember ever hearing people shouting about locking up the other candidate. I've seen people in conventions talking about shooting the nominee of the other party. If all you have is negativity running against the other side, it hurts you. Ronald Reagan ran a positive campaign. George Bush had a positive campaign, both of the bushes had a positive campaign. By November a lot of this anger will sour people in the may not show up to vote And speaking with Carl Luna, a political science professor at Mesa College and also a registered independent, thank you for your time. Thank you Maureen.


UPDATE: 7:16 a.m. 

California delegates to the Republican National Convention areblasting Texas Senator Ted Cruz for not endorsing GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Trump California delegate Alyssa Nicole Salogie recounted Cruz's refusal to endorse Trump.

"At first everybody was very excited, everyone gave him a really warm welcome. Everyone was on their feet cheering. It was really great, it was a good moment for Cruz. It was an opportunity for him to support our candidate, unite the party, bring everyone into the huddle and as it went on and on we realized that it didn't look like we were going to get an endorsement. There was that one moment toward then end when he paused and everyone thought for sure he was going to endorse him. We all waited, we were all yelling 'endorse Trump, endorse Trump' and it didn't happen and after that he kinda just had this smirk on his face and after that everyone just went crazy and kept yelling 'endorse Trump' ... and no one was really paying attention to what he was saying at all," she said.

"Everyone was booing him because everyone was frustrated at that point. I mean he just kept making it about himself and we have a nominee for our party now and it's about us as a party and our nominee," Salogie said.



The hundreds of California delegates, alternates and guests at the Republican National Convention include plenty of colorful characters. 

The California delegation asked its delegates and alternates to swap credentials for a while Wednesday night. So alternate Rachel Gunther of Long Beach got her first chance to go on the floor. She almost skipped the night entirely.

"I had a horrible headache and I wasn't gonna come tonight," Gunther said. 

But her roommate convinced her to come and convinced her to wear a certain pair of overalls.

"American flag overalls, red white and blue," Gunther said.

Gunther bought them at a thrift store. She's Filipina-American. Her parents brought her to the United States when she was 10. And Donald Trump's position on immigration resonates with her.

"Being a legal immigrant, I know the sacrifices that my parents went through to get us here legally," she said. "And I resent as a legal immigrant the chaos and inequity, that has been caused by illegal immigration or immigration that has not been enacted properly and followed." 

Gunther wasn't the only Californian sporting the stars and stripes. An Orange County alternate and his son each wore American flag suits. 

B Cooper is pictured at the Republican National Convention.
Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio
B Cooper is pictured at the Republican National Convention.

And then, there's also B Cooper the Patriot. He has six different Revolutionary War outfits.

"I'm wearing a full battle dress for the North Carolina regiment," Cooper said. "I'm also wearing my powder keg and I don't have my musket, because if I bring in my musket, I might use it." 

But he said he never dresses up as the generals.

"I'm the warrior," Cooper said. 

Cooper's from Arizona but he spends time in Beverly Hills, so he's hung out this week with both state's delegations.

"In 1787, we were losing a war," he said. "And right now, we're losing the war. So I feel like we're in 1787 all over again. The battle's not over yet. The war's not over yet."

Cooper and Gunther are just two of the many passionate and colorful Donald Trump supporters with the California delegation at the Republican National Convention.

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