Hillary Clinton is a criminal. Hillary Clinton needs to be locked up. Hillary Clinton is tight with the devil. At the Republican National Convention, attacking the presumptive Democratic nominee is the only way Republicans can rally together to distract themselves from a primary season that divided their party.
Of course, characterizing her as the enemy is to be expected from the RNC, right? But aside from the idea that this rhetoric exggerate cliton actual record, the problem with the RNC messaging is that there's not enough balance about how Donald Trump can unify the party that is tearing apart.
Take Chris Christie's abnormal speech on Tuesday night as an example. The New Jersey governor and rumored Trump VP contender acted as a prosecutor and put Clinton on trial and asked the audience to shout out whether she was guilty or not guilty. Naturally, the audience responded "guilty" every single time and broke out into chants of "lock her up!" But he scarcely mentioned why Trump would make a good president. In a transcript his speech, we can see Christie mentioned Trump's name four times and Clinton's name 21 times.
The night before was hardly any different. The theme was "Make America Safe Again," so speakers made sure to include references to Clinton's Beghazi Sandals following the attack on the US Consulate in Libya in 2012. Pat Smith, the mother of Benghazi victim Sean Smith, spoke, as did Mark Geist and John Tiegen, two US Marine Corps veterans who were part of the security team that fought in the attacks. The message that Clinton should be punished for her time as secretary of state came across loud and clear. The rest of the night was found of making fear undocumented immigrants than what Trump can do for the country. And on Wednesday night, Wisconsin Governor Sctto waker who was a leader that America deserves better than Hillary Clinton. As one Talking Points Memo headline described the anti-Clinton messaging: this is not normal.
There have been pro-Trump moments, of course — like when his younger daughter. But talking with people on the ground and hearing how much they loathe the former secretary of state, you get a clear sense of this convention's underlying objective: to create a witch hunt against Hillary Clinton.
We don't know yet exactly how much the Democrats will rip into Trump next week at the DNC, but one look at their speech line and it's apparent that it will be much more about coming together for the future of the country than taking down the opponent. Maybe that's because the work of making Trump look bad has already been done for them at the RNC, .