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Pa. Delegate: State Will Swing Red; Fact-Checking Convention Statements


We've heard plenty from Republican critics of Donald Trump in the early part of the convention here. Let's hear from a delegate who strongly supports him - Lynn Ryan of Pennsylvania. She's a flight attendant, small business owner, sells topsoil in Pennsylvania. Good morning. Welcome to the program.

LYNN RYAN: Thank you.

INSKEEP: She - it's her first convention, we should mention. What do you think?

RYAN: I think it's been great so far. It's very electrifying, and it's a political junkie's Olympics.

INSKEEP: Are you a political junkie?

RYAN: Yes, yes, quite - quite the - I feel that quite the - quite well.

INSKEEP: How long have you been a Trump fan?

RYAN: Since he announced his campaign.

INSKEEP: You mean that initial speech June 16, 2015, you said this is the guy for me. Why?

RYAN: I just - I like the fact that he's an outsider. That he - when he addressed the situation of illegal immigration and national security issues, it totally resonated with my beliefs.

INSKEEP: What - when you say national security issues, what makes that a concern for you?

RYAN: Well, as a flight attendant, we are the target. You know, the airlines are the number one target of any type of terrorist attack that there is in the world. And it's extremely important that we be safe.

INSKEEP: Have you witnessed security threats of different kinds while in the air?

RYAN: No, not in particular, no.

INSKEEP: You also mentioned immigration. What makes that a concern for you?

RYAN: Well, we are a nation that immigrates more than any other. Our numbers are higher than any other country in the world.

INSKEEP: In terms of people coming in.

RYAN: Legally, legally - we have the highest numbers. It's the illegal issue. You know, we can accommodate people legally, but you have to come in legally. You can't cross the border. You can't fly in and overstay your visa. You can't circumvent the system. You have to come in legally.

INSKEEP: Have you had some personal experience with people who are here illegally?

RYAN: Me personally?



INSKEEP: OK. All right.

RYAN: No - but, you know, I haven't had anybody in my family shot or murdered or, you know, drunk drivers or the repeat offenders that are illegal immigrants, no.

INSKEEP: But you were concerned...

RYAN: That personally has not happened to me, but I'm well aware that it exists.

INSKEEP: You're personally concerned of cases where that's happened.

RYAN: Absolutely.

INSKEEP: Let me ask about another aspect here. Here you are. You're a Trump supporter. You're a woman. We note elsewhere in the program there are some surveys that find more than 70 percent of women disapproving of Donald Trump, has more trouble with women voters than with men voters. What do you say to people who bring up his remarks that are seen as disparaging of women?

RYAN: I don't agree with all of his remarks or all of his stances. But, you know, as a woman, I don't have a problem with his tough talk. You know, everybody is going to have to get a stiff backbone and buckle up and not be so politically correct - or offended by the political correctness in this country.

INSKEEP: You're saying that you're OK if he says something that bothers you, that you ought to just deal with it because you want to focus on more important things. Is that it?

RYAN: Absolutely, absolutely.

INSKEEP: And what do people say when you tell them that? Do they - have you been in arguments with friends and neighbors?

RYAN: No. You know what? Ironically, most of the women that I know support Trump.

INSKEEP: OK. Lynn...

RYAN: I would say 90 to 95 percent of the women that I associate myself with support Trump, and none of us have been polled. So I don't know where they're getting the polling data, but it's not from us.

INSKEEP: All right. Lynn Ryan of Pennsylvania, a Republican delegate here in Cleveland, thanks for coming by, really appreciate it.

RYAN: Thank you.

INSKEEP: All right. Let's mention that Republicans talked a lot about national security at the convention last night - Lynn Ryan's big issues, or one of them anyway. We heard it on NPR's Special Coverage last night.

This morning, we're going to check a few facts. A number of attacks on Hillary Clinton focused on the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012, which is when Clinton was secretary of state. Four Americans were killed. A couple of survivors spoke last night, men who were part of the security team - John Tiegen and Mark Geist.


MARK GEIST: Benghazi was about opportunities, opportunities taken when we defied the stand-down orders and opportunities squandered when Hillary failed to protect her people on the ground.

INSKEEP: So a couple of statements were in that presentation that had been debated - first, that there was a stand-down order for people who tried to rescue or wanted to rescue the people at the compound, also that Secretary Clinton failed to protect her people. NPR's Scott Detrow is here. He's covering the convention all week. What's known about those assertions, Scott?

SCOTT DETROW, BYLINE: Well, there's certainly been a lot of investigations into this. There was a lot of debate about how to respond, how quickly to respond. Some men on the ground there say they were told to wait, but these investigations haven't found any evidence there was an intentional decision or order to stand down.

INSKEEP: No evidence of that, you're saying.

DETROW: Correct.

INSKEEP: OK. Another part of last night's theme, make America safe again, was about illegal immigration - another of Lynn Ryan's issues. On a couple of occasions, we heard this charge against Hillary Clinton. Here's former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.


RUDY GIULIANI: You know Donald Trump will secure our borders. His opponent has had her chance to do this, and she has failed. Hillary Clinton is for open borders.

INSKEEP: Scott Detrow, what do we know of Clinton's plan for immigration and the borders? Is open borders a correct description?

DETROW: Well, Hillary Clinton has backed the Obama administration's executive action giving temporary relief to people in the country illegally. Of course, that was the plan blocked by the Supreme Court last month. She also has called for an increase in refugees being allowed in from Syria. That's something Donald Trump talks a lot about. She wants to increase that number to 65,000.

INSKEEP: OK, so a big difference here. It's not literally true that she's for open borders but a big difference on immigration is what is actually being discussed.

DETROW: Definitely a big difference.

INSKEEP: OK. That's NPR's Scott Detrow. And now, one of the big controversies last night actually came from a portion of the speech delivered by Melania Trump, the wife of Donald Trump. Some have noticed similarities with the speech that Michelle Obama delivered at the 2008 Democratic convention. Let's listen.


MICHELLE OBAMA: And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values...


MELANIA TRUMP: ...The values that you work hard for what you want in life...


OBAMA: ...You work hard for what you want in life...


TRUMP: ...That your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise...


OBAMA: ...That your word is your bond, that you do what you say you're going to do...


TRUMP: ...That you treat people with respect...


OBAMA: ...That you treat people with dignity and respect...


TRUMP: Because we want our children in this nation to know...


OBAMA: ...To know...


MICHELLE OBAMA AND MELANIA TRUMP: ...That the only limit to...


OBAMA: ...The height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and...


TRUMP: ...Your willingness to work for them.


OBAMA: ...Hard for them.


INSKEEP: Michelle Obama 2008, Melania Trump in 2016, mixed together there by the NPR Politics Podcast, which has a fresh episode every day this week. NPR's Scott Detrow is here. Scott, what is the Trump campaign saying about what some on the internet are calling plagiarism?

DETROW: They put out a statement last night. It did not directly address that accusation, but the campaign said she did work with a team of writers, and they're sticking to it. They called it a success.

INSKEEP: OK. And there's going to be plenty of discussion of that. Scott, thanks very much.

DETROW: Thank you.

INSKEEP: That's NPR's Scott Detrow, part of our team covering the Republican National Convention here in Cleveland. We're at WCPN ideastream. We'll be here the rest of the week. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.