What to expect from the GOP convention in Cleveland

There are 2,472 delegates to the GOP convention, and there may be as many opinions of the Trump-Pence ticket. Special correspondent Jeff Greenfield is in Cleveland with a sampling of those views and a preview of the four-day gathering.

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  • JEFF GREENFIELD:

    There's a good reason why the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland.

    It was here, on a WJW-AM Radio in the early 1950s, that disc jokey Alan Freed began playing records that introduced a generation — white as well as black — to the music that has evolved and endured.

    But when rock music first hit mainstream America some six decades ago — in Cleveland first, then across the country — it was an intensely polarizing force.

    Liberating, empowering to some, dangerous, malevolent to others.

    Next week another polarizing force will arrive in Cleveland.

  • DONALD TRUMP:

    "We are in a rigged rigged system"

  • JEFF GREENFIELD:

    A candidate whose past, and whose path to the nomination, is unlike any ever chosen by either major party.

    Joe Ann Davidson is a National Committeewoman from Ohio, who attended her first convention as a delegate for Gerald Ford in 1976.

  • JEFF GREENFIELD:

    I've always thought Americans wanted kind of the Gary Cooper type, the John Wayne type. Don't say much but you do much. You don't brag on yourself because that's not what a real leader does.

    Trump's broken all of those rules.

  • JO ANN DAVIDSON, RNC OHIO DELEGATE:

    Maybe we're moving into a new situation within politics which the old rules aren't going to apply anymore.

    And I think that's probably what's on many people's mind here. We had transition convention. We're transitioning to what we've always thought about, your sort of typical conventions, to a whole different setup. We'll see how it goes.

  • MITT ROMNEY:

    I feel I simply can't vote for him.

  • JEFF GREENFIELD:

    For a significant number of Republicans, Trump's triumph brings to mind John F. Kennedy's assertion that "sometimes party loyalty asks too much."

    18 Republican US Senators and more than 50 Republican members of the House are not attending the convention. Even the host governor, John Kasich, is skipping it. Many are staying away, because they simply cannot support the nominee.

    Which is why, as Republicans prepare for their 41st national convention, Trump's supporters and party foot soldiers have worked so hard to quell intra-party battles.

  • RULES COMMITTEE:

    I believe that completes our work on Rule 12.

  • JEFF GREENFIELD:

    The so-called "Never Trumpers" are going out not with a bang but a whimper. Their efforts to free delegates from commitments to support Trump's nomination on the first ballot failed.

    They needed 28 votes on the rules committee this week to force a floor fight on that, they got 12.

  • JEFF GREENFIELD:

    As for Trump's troubles with conservatives, well, Morton Blackwell has been at every GOP convention since 1964, when he was Barry Goldwater's youngest delegate.

  • MORTON BLACKWELL:

    There's always some people who have hurt feelings, disappointed ambitions, who don't come to a convention. But the tendency has always been, in my lifetime, for the party to unite.

  • JEFF GREENFIELD:

    He says Trump's choice of governor Mike Pence as his running mate sends the right message.

  • MORTON BLACKWELL:

    Movement conservatives are going to be looking for that sort of thing. Mike Pence is a conservative movement builder.

  • JEFF GREENFIELD:

    Former Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis, who's here as a delegate, is a conservative who backed Senator Ted Cruz in the primaries.

  • SAUL ANUZIS, RNC MICHIGAN DELEGATE:

    I would have preferred to have a more conservative candidate, somebody who's philosophically more consistent.

  • JEFF GREENFIELD:

    But, like many Trump skeptics, Anuzis says he can easily live with Trump when he considers the alternative.

  • SAUL ANUZIS:

    I think what Donald Trump has been doing is slowly building kind of a consensus to make conservatives and Republicans feel better about who he is and at least represent our values a lot closer than someone like Hillary Clinton ever would.

  • JEFF GREENFIELD:

    In an election where large numbers of voters still have serious doubts about Trump's temperament and stability, the convention is his chance to demonstrate a more reassuring image.

  • JEFF GREENFIELD:

    Ben Ginsberg is a top Republican election lawyer who advised the Bush and Romney campaigns.

  • BEN GINSBURG, RNC FMR. GENERAL COUNSEL:

    The convention can show that Donald Trump has a number of validators who can speak to the characteristics that he wants to put forward. If that's done well, then that will enhance the message of unity — and perhaps calm the dissident voices.

  • JEFF GREENFIELD:

    The Trump campaign has apparently won its battle for a disruption-free convention…but the harder battle will take place once it ends: can Trump and his allies convince the skeptics within the Republican-conservative community to stand with him–or at least, no openly against him?

    In that effort, their strongest argument will be the identity of his presumptive opponent.