Good evening from Cleveland, where Donald Trump is preparing for the most important speech of his life. Expectations for the bombastic billionaire are low, following a week of distractions and intra-party tension at the Republican National Convention, but that’s not an awful thing for the GOP nominee. The candidate has been preparing a scripted address for weeks and will deliver it off a teleprompter—to clear the expectations bar he merely has to read. The fireworks that Trump has promised for the convention have mostly been of the negative sort, so the campaign would consider a more traditional night to be a small victory. He’ll be introduced by his daughter Ivanka, a media personality and successful businesswoman in her own right who has proven to be her father’s best surrogate on the campaign trail. The night will be Trump’s final time to communicate directly to this many voters until the debates in the fall, and Trump’s campaign has signaled they intend to shift away from some of the gloom-and-doom messaging from earlier this week to offer a more optimistic and hopeful tone.
Also speaking Thursday night will be several pastors, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, and businessman Peter Thiel. And you tell us: What Year Was America Great?
What you missed today: Ted Cruz doubling down on his refusal to endorse Donald Trump, and Trump surrogates firing back. So, really not that much.
What you’ll hear tonight: Outreach from faith leaders. Lots of praise for Donald Trump the man and businessman. More appeals for party unity.
What you’ll want to look out for during the speeches: Will yet another speaker—or even the nominee—veer the convention off script at its climax?
Read the best from the convention below and check Time.com for updates all night:
How the Establishment Beat Ted Cruz and Never Trump
The inside story of their defeat [TIME]
Donald Trump Torpedoes ‘Peace Through Strength’
Trump undercuts the decades-old U.S. embrace of deterrence through collective security, TIME’s Massimo Calabresi writes
Ted Cruz Says He Won’t Support Donald Trump For Attacks on His Wife and Father
“I ain’t gonna do it,” he says [TIME]
Gary Johnson Feels the Love in Cleveland
The Libertarian finds a place at the GOP convention
“I’d probably use the same verbiage.” — RNC communications director and chief strategist Sean Spicer on Rep. Peter King calling Ted Cruz an “a–hole”
Bits and Bites
Donald Trump Explains Why He Didn’t Let Speechwriter Meredith McIver Resign [TIME]
What Year Was America Great? You Tell Us [TIME]
Trump Las Vegas Hotel Reaches Settlement in Union Lawsuit [TIME]
Hillary Clinton Releases Ad Featuring Donald Trump Praising Her [TIME]
Trump Lawyer Sends ‘Art of the Deal’ Ghostwriter a Cease-and-Desist Letter [New York Times]
See Unpublished Protest Photos From the 1968 Democratic Convention [TIME]
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