Day 2: Protests fizzle, Trump nominated

VP candidate Mike Pence to speak Thursday


GOP nominates Donald Trump for president

Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman whose outsider campaign has both galvanized millions of voters and divided the Republican Party, is the 2016 GOP presidential nominee.

The New Yorker's embrace by the Republican National Convention marks a remarkable moment in U.S. political history and validates a campaign that shattered precedent, defied pundits and usurped the GOP establishment.

His son Donald Trump, Jr., cast the votes for the New York delegation that put the billionaire businessman over the top of the 1,237 delegates he needed to clinch the nomination, as any talk of disruptive protest votes or walkouts dissipated.

"It is my honor to be able to throw Donald Trump over the top in the delegate count tonight with 89 delegates," Donald Jr. said, surrounded by three of Trump's other children -- Ivanka, Eric and Tiffany.

"Congratulations Dad, we love you."

Donald Jr. was tearing up when he told Bash that putting his father over the top was "one of the more surreal moments of my life other perhaps than the birth of my children. To be able to do that is historic, it’s awesome."

Protests fizzle

An effort to place the name of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for nomination fizzled late Tuesday afternoon.

The effort had no chance of success since most of the delegates won by Trump in his GOP nominating victory were bound to vote for him in the roll call under the rules of the Republican primary process.

Cruz's inner circle had adamantly opposed any attempt to involve him in last minute convention floor intrigue, a senior adviser to the Texas senator told CNN.

"We're not encouraging it. We're actually trying to stop it," the adviser said.

A rebellion would have emphasized the divides in the GOP torn open by Trump's campaign, which was given little chance of success when he descended a golden escalator in Trump Tower with his wife Melania to set his sights on the White House last year.

Trump's name was put into the nomination by Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, an early supporter of the businessman, and was seconded by fellow early supporters New York Rep. Chris Collins and South Carolina Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster.

"We have gotten off course and the American people know it," Sessions said in his speech, warning that crime is rising, terrorist attacks are proliferating, and Congress is deadlocked, arguing that Trump is the only answer.

"The American voters heard his message and they rewarded his courage and his leadership with a huge victory in our primaries," Sessions said, drawing raucous cheers from Trump fans on the convention floor.

Why Alaska's delegates were counted for Donald Trump

When Alaska Republicans went to their caucuses on March 1, Ted Cruz was the top vote-getter, followed by Donald Trump and Marco Rubio.

Cruz captured 12 votes, Trump 11 and Rubio five. And that's what Alaska announced when its turn came on the Republican National Convention floor.

But Tuesday night, when the state called out its results, the convention secretary counted all 28 for Trump.

That didn't please the Alaska delegation, and after all the states had voted, it raised the attention of House Speaker Paul Ryan, who was presiding over the vote, demanding an explanation.

After a musical interlude, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus came on the stage after the delay to explain the rule that required Alaska's total to be 28 votes for Trump.

"This is a rule that affects only about four states," Priebus told the hall. "In this particular case, the state rules ... says that the candidates that are submitted that run in the election, if they drop out, the bound vote gets reallocated to the only candidate left that's running."

"So, because all candidates other than Trump dropped out, all of the former candidates' delegates were reallocated to Trump," said CNN delegate analyst and former Rubio staffer Will Holley.

Alaska chairman Tuckerman Babcock says he disagrees with the RNC ruling, although the state is behind Trump as the nominee.

Day 3 preview

Themed "Make America First Again," the day's speakers will make the case that United States' leadership role in the world has slipped under Obama and could be restored by Trump. The night kicks off at 7 p.m. ET.

The night's most prominent speech will come from Indiana Gov. Mike Pence -- who, as the GOP vice presidential candidate, will be the prime-time headliner.

Another close Trump ally and vice presidential contender, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, is up Wednesday evening, as is Eric Trump, another of Trump's sons.

Many Republicans will be closely watching three relatively young contenders in the 2016 primary: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. All three would be possible candidates in 2020 if Trump loses this year. Rubio won't be there in person but is submitting a video message.