The theme of the third night of the Republican National Convention was "Make America First Again."
In case you missed it live, here are the biggest things that happened on the third night of the Republican convention.
1) Former Trump adversaries tried the party unity thing. Results were mixed.
Back during the primary season, both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio were two of the most formidable contenders for the party’s nomination. They also clashed with Donald Trump pretty regularly. However, last night, in the name of party unity, both (kinda) delivered remarks (sorta) in support of Trump. Technically, Rubio didn’t show up — he beamed in, in the form of a pretaped, nondescript speech mostly about Hillary Clinton. When he did mention Trump, it was always in contrast to his opponent:
Unlike Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump is committed to cut taxes and get our national debt under control. Unlike Obama and Clinton, Trump takes seriously the threat from Islamic radicals and wants to rebuild our military. And Trump wants to commit proper judges who respect the role of the judiciary.
Cruz was braver, and decided to deliver his comments in living color. It didn’t go terribly well.
2) Ted Cruz told the audience to "vote your conscience" and got booed
Fed up by the noncommittal statements that marked Cruz’s entire speech, the delegation from New York began to chant, "Endorse Trump!" With the finesse of a politician adept at ducking and dodging, Cruz cheesed and said, "I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation." But the chants grew and eventually turned into jeers when Cruz told delegates to "vote your conscience." He finished his remarks — without giving Trump an outright endorsement — and left the stage amid a mix of cheers and boos.
Chris Christie, increasingly playing the role of Trump’s personal attack dog, reportedly called Cruz’s speech "awful and selfish."
Watch: Ted Cruz gets booed and heckled
3) Trump supporters really want to "lock [Hillary Clinton] up"
Though each night of the convention has its own pre-designated theme, the real overarching theme seems to be anti-Clinton posturing. As happened the night before, on Wednesday the crowd broke into many spontaneous chants for Clinton’s imprisonment.
While most of the speakers of the night smiled and waited patiently for the commotion to die down, Pam Bondi, the sitting Florida attorney general, joined in, telling the crowd that she "loves it."
4) The Trump version of the GOP showed off its ... diversity
Most likely in the effort to counteract Trump’s reputation for xenophobia and racism, Wednesday’s speaker lineup featured quite a few people of color. These included Darrell Scott, an outspoken Cleveland Heights pastor, Kentucky state Sen. Ralph Alvarado, who delivered part of his speech in Spanish, and Lynne Patton, vice president of the Eric Trump Foundation.
Patton’s speech was especially noteworthy for its slightly off-script nod to the "senseless deaths of young black men." The line didn’t get much response from the crowd, but audience members were very receptive when Patton ultimately ended her speech in "All Lives Matter" rhetoric:
But tonight, as a minority, I personally pledge to you that Donald Trump knows that your life matters, he knows that my life matters, he knows that the LGBTQ lives matter, and he knows that veterans' lives matter, and he knows that blue lives matter.
5) Generic Republican Mike Pence gave a "status quo" VP acceptance speech
In the grand scheme of political conventions, Mike Pence’s speech didn’t stand out as especially noteworthy. But when considered against the general weirdness that has marked the Republican convention, it was remarkably effective. He was coherent, personable, and even funny.
6) Terrorism took center stage again
Next to Clinton, terrorism and safety have been the biggest fixtures of the RNC thus far. This was especially true last night, when Newt Gingrich delivered a relatively long speech in which he listed off, in quick succession, recent terror events around the globe.