President Donald Trump blasted cable TV networks for failing to cover the roll call of states as the Republican National Convention kicked off Monday, while griping at Fox News anchors who talked over the action.
Trump tweeted about the roll call as the RNC made its effort to run through the official state delegate tallies – an event that typically takes place in pact arenas with screaming partisans and colorfully dressed delegates.
Instead, Republican delegates spoke in front of a convention background poster, while making brief speeches about their states which were piped into the convention hall in Charlotte where more than 300 delegates gathered.
‘Incredible that @CNN & MSDNC aren’t covering the Roll Call of States. Fake News! This is what the Republican Party is up against. Also, I’d like to hear the remarks of the Delegates from individual States, rather than @FoxNews anchors. Ridiculous!’ Trump wrote.
Trump then took his complaints to the delegates themselves in a surprise speech at the Charlotte gathering.
He called it ‘our big deal, the roll call.’
‘What’s more important than the roll call, you’re the ones calling it,’ he told them during an improvised speech that ran longer than 20 minutes.
He complained that CNN was showing House hearings with the Postmaster General.
‘They’re trying to show the post office so when their mail-in thing fizzles, they’ll blame the post office,’ Trump said, referencing mail-in voting.
He said the hearing was ‘Very boring, actually.’
Democrats opted to have their delegations speak remotely from far-flung locales – including one from American Samoa which featured lush scenery and a pair of uniformed military members.
The networks were stiffing a roll call that is often a fan favorite of convention viewers – but that is usually held during prime time.
Instead, the RNC opted to show it beginning in the late morning Monday. CNN kept its coverage to testimony by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, an event Trump complained earlier interfered with the convention.
Speaking for the Minnesota delegation was MyPillow company founder Mike Lindell, a friend of Trump’s who has appeared at the White House.
‘Minnesota has been blue since 1972,’ he said, calling out ‘destruction of so much of my great state and country.’
‘With Democratic leadership being exposed for what it is and President Trump’s great pragmatic leadership, we will win Minnesota,’ he predicted.
Lindell called Trump ‘the greatest president ever.’
The Maryland delegation was chaired by David Bossie of Citizens United, who a key Trump campaign advisor in 2016. But Bossie flubbed while making an effort pointing to positive elements of Maryland’s complex racial past.
‘Maryland is home to the Underground Railroad, and two of our greatest segrega – abolitionists, Frederic Douglass and Harriet Tubman,’ Bossie said, correcting himself in mid-sentence during an election cycle featuring steep racial divisions.
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski spoke as chair of the New Hampshire delegation, where he recalled patriotic history and then put in a plug for his book.
‘New Hampshire is known for our maple syrup, comedian Adam Sandler, poet Robert Frost and New York Times bestselling author Corey Lewandowski’ said.
Don Kaltschmidt sported a Montana, saying his state was now affectionately being called ‘Trump-tana.’
‘We fish we hunt, we boat and we have at least five guns in every home,’ he quipped, days after Democrats at their convention featured a long video about victims of gun violence and protests that grew out of school shootings.
Wisconsin’s former Gov. Scott Walker gave a speech endorsing Mike Pence as Trump’s vice presidential running mate again – and delivered the conventions first attack on Joe Biden.
‘Mike Pence believes in the sanctity of life, he always has and he always will,’ he said.
He said both Pence and Trump ‘have a deep and abiding love for America and for the American people.’
‘That’s why both of them were in Wisconsin last week during the Democrats’ convention while Joe Biden was hanging out in his basement in Delaware. Delaware– the place that he hasn’t left not just to go criss-cross the country, but he hasn’t even been to Wisconsin one time since the start of his run for president,’ he said.
Trump and Pence visited Wisconsin last week. Biden begged off, citing the coronavirus.
He has travelled to Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington, D.C. since the pandemic.