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Republican convention: Trump prepares, Clinton capitalises

17 July 2016, 14:46

New York — The Donald Trump-Mike Pence presidential ticket's debut at a weekend event may have seemed awkward at times.

Yet it highlighted a pairing designed in part to bring together fractious elements of the Republican Party on the eve of its national convention.

Trump spent more time talking about himself, "crooked" Hillary Clinton and standard policy positions than he did praising running mate Mike Pence in a nearly 30-minute introduction on Saturday.

He lauded Pence's personal character and conservative credentials and pointed to his record as governor of Indiana.

The trappings of a presumptive nominee's most significant announcement were missing in the Manhattan hotel ballroom where a few hundred supporters gathered on Saturday morning.

Choosing a venue in a state Trump has little chance of winning also broke with traditional politicking strategy.

Voter base

Hillary Clinton's campaign meanwhile is launching a major voter mobilization drive during the Republican Convention, setting a national goal of getting more than 3 million people to register and commit to vote in the 2016 election.

Clinton intends to announce the plan on Monday in a speech to the NAACP convention in Cincinnati, followed by a stop at an Ohio voter registration event with volunteers, campaign officials said on Sunday.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is kicking off the voter drive as Republicans meet in Cleveland to nominate businessman Donald Trump at their national convention.

The mobilization effort aims to capture the energy of Democrats watching the GOP convention each evening and harness it into a stronger voter base. President Barack Obama often told his campaign audiences, "Don't boo — vote," and Clinton's team wants their faithful not to fume, but to fight back.

"People will be watching Cleveland and Donald Trump the next few days and will be wondering, 'What can I do? What can I do to stop this?'" said David Pepper, the chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party.

"And the best thing they can do is to register voters."

- AP


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