With the theme “Make America First Again,” night three of the Republican National Convention featured noted politicians like Scott Walker, Newt Gingrich, Ted Cruz and Mike Pence as well as several Joe the Plumber types voicing their support for Donald Trump, often in bizarre fashion.
Here were some of the stranger moments of the evening.
1. A Nazi salute?
Conservative talk-radio personality Laura Ingraham gave a rather Nazi-esque salute to the audience — a move that could be interpreted as playing to the white nationalist sensibilities that have been prevalent throughout the Trump campaign.
2. Trump is called a “tsunami”
A rambling older gentleman named Phil Ruffin — a Las Vegas mogul, apparently — called his friend Donald Trump a “tsunami” in his long, strange speech. He seemed to mean that as a compliment, despite tsunamis being destructive, deadly forces.
3. That weird space video
Apparently someone involved in organizing this year’s convention decided it’d be smart to honor the anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon with a video celebrating America’s space-exploration program. Fine. Inoffensive. Inspirational, even. But the video was out of place, considering Republicans have in recent years been generally against funding for NASA. Trump has a mixed record on that front, but said last year that NASA funding is not a priority.
4. Trump is compared to a circus man
Florida small business owner Michelle Van Etten (who, it seems, peddles “anti-cancer” snake oil) gave a speech with a strong clown theme; she spoke of her childhood desire to run away and join the circus, and ended her speech by calling Trump the “ultimate ringmaster” — as though that is a positive thing, especially after a GOP primary that was widely derided as a clown car.
5. Ted Cruz refuses to endorse Trump, gets booed
Former primary rival Ted Cruz spoke Wednesday, despite not having endorsed Donald Trump, and despite the many bitter battles the two had on the campaign trail. (Remember that whole ugly-wife thing? That happened.) Everyone was curious what Cruz would say in his speech — whether it would be tepid or full-throated. In the end, he merely urged Americans to “vote your conscience,” for which he was heartily booed by the Trump supporters in the crowd.