July 20, 2016

Good morning from Cleveland!!

Wednesday was by far our busiest day yet, as we started with a 3 hour breakfast meeting, attended a major event for Senator Cruz, and then heard from a solid lineup of top speakers.

At breakfast I was honored to lead the United States Pledge of Allegiance for the Texas Delegation.   Following the pledges and prayer, former UN Ambassador John Bolton spoke to us about national security and the many mistakes made in the past 7 ½ years.  He also discussed his Yale law school days, concentrating on one law student who was in the class after his….Hillary Rodham.

The Ambassador was followed by Frank Luntz, known for his appearances on Fox News, Hannity, etc.  He noted that the four key states for this election were Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida.  Win 3 of 4 and you are the next President.

He also provided the line of the day: “I polled one thousand women and asked if, given the opportunity, they would have sex with Bill Clinton.  Twenty-one percent said never again!”

Matt Pinnell from the RNC (Oklahoma) discussed the positives that Texas has brought to the RNC.  Steve Munisteri started the Grassroots Club in 2010.  There are now 37 states that have similar plans, and the goal is for all 50 states to have a Grassroots Club shortly.  Makes you Texas Proud to know we were the first!

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick next discussed his appearance of the recent town hall with the President.  He noted that ABC News concentrated on his criticisms of the President, but edited out his joint statement with the son of a recent African American shooting victim asking for support of the police.  There was an ABC reporter in the room, and Dan Patrick called him out by name several times, asking why these moments were edited out and why the full tape was not being released.  Wow!

Congressmen Kevin Brady, Michael Burgess and Louie Gohmert addressed us on various issues, followed by the wife of the Navy SEAL who lost his life in Benghazi.  I admit I was tearing up a little hearing her story, both from his loss and from anger at the total lack of response by the current administration.

At Noon we traveled to a riverfront restaurant to the Ted Cruz event.  The free event was sold out via Evite quickly, and the wait list was over 700 people long.  Thanks to George Flint and his wife for finding us seats at the bar, where we had a lite lunch.  Ted thanked his supporters for their efforts…the crowd was huge.

The evening session was scheduled for 7:20 PM.  Around 6:30 PM the ‘house band’ started playing some great music.  When they played Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’ we all stood up and waved our Texas Milano hats to the beat, and I started actually singing the song as well.  It appears I have had my musical debut on TV….C-SPAN picked up my singing and hat waving and broadcast it to the world.  I can tell people are watching the convention, as I had so many text messages I had to recharge my phone when I got back to the hotel.  My hat-waving partner George Flint was also seen on C-SPAN.

Watch Neal sing Sweet Caroline in the video at the top of the post. He starts at about 20 seconds.

By the way, the Texas delegation continues to attract the press.  George and I were interview by the Dallas CBS and NBC affiliates.  I helped connect KRLD 1080 radio with the Lieutenant Governor, and in turn they interviewed me and sent that tape around the state.  Fox News apparently also had me on the air tonight.

As for the session, we had an all-star lineup.  Laura Ingraham led off with some great conservative points, and a few minutes later Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker fired up the crowd.  Senator Marco Rubio spoke to us via a video message, and then Senator Ted Cruz took the stage.  I and many others in the delegation were repeatedly asked the same question by the media…would he endorse Trump or wouldn’t he?  The almost unanimous consensus was that we all hoped he would, but did not expect it.  While his speech had some good points, we all waited for a sign, and then it became very apparent that he would not be endorsing Trump.  A loud cascade of boos filled the arena.  Many Texans were disappointed, and more than a few were upset that this split lingers.  Senator Cruz is scheduled to speak at our breakfast in the morning.

As Eric Trump took the stage to talk about his father, we saw the Trump family take their seats in the VIP area just 50 feet from my seat.  While our nominee looked serious as he listened to his son, he broke into a wide grin as Eric stated “my father didn’t need to run for President…”

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and wife Callista took the stage, and if you have heard him speak on television you know what he discussed tonight.

Our final speaker was Indiana Governor Mike Pence, now our nominee for Vice President.  He talked about family, creating jobs, and noted the strengths Donald Trump brings to the ticket.  I lost count of the standing ovations he received.

Our long day came to an end at 11:25, and I reached the hotel just before midnight.  As I finish writing this and answering tons of e-mails and texts, it is now 1:39 in the morning.  It is time to get at least a few hours of sleep.

I have received dozens of e-mails and texts thanking me for these reports.  It is great receiving your positive feedback, which I really appreciate.

On a final note, I was asked to be a Captain for the Mighty Texas Strike Force, which sends Texans around the country to help our candidates.  While I turned down a Captaincy due to my duties at HQ, I have volunteered to help Mighty Texas Strike Force Captain Cindy Asche as she travels to her territory to help Republicans get elected…….Dallas County.

Goodnight to all!