Hidden GOP Convention Highlights


You have heard about the big ticket items: Ivanka “sampling” Michelle, Cruz’s non-endorsement endorsement speech, Trump’s l-o-o-o-o-n-n-g closer. Here are a few picks from myself and from friends of speeches that got less press but were just as interesting.

To be clear: I’m not endorsing Trump (whom I have written plenty about), just sharing interesting tidbits from the convention.

Donald Trump Jr.’s speech revealed some surprising information about his dad’s choices in raising his children. His sons spent time on real work sites, and in board rooms also. Start at minute 4:00 (h/t Rebecca Teti):

(Click on pictures for videos … or better, right-click and open in a new tab)
donald junior

Catholic convert Laura Ingraham’s remarks included great stories about her hard-working blue-collar Polish immigrant grandparents sacrificing for their children’s education.


After an embarrassing opening prayer that made Trump sound like a Messiah, Pastor Mark Burns gave a great speech insisting that while “All Lives Matter”  we also need to understand the desperation of the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

Mark Burns

The raw, painful, heart-rending speech of Patricia Smith would have led broadcasts around the country if it were directed at George W. Bush. I want to share it here because it got little attention, since it targets Hillary Clinton.

Patricia Smith

Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty represented everything good about Trump supporters (as distinguished from Trump himself): At their best, Trump supporters are like old-school country songs that value family, hard work and prayer.


Finally, you have to love Marlan VanHoose’s National Anthem. The blind girl did a truly beautiful job:

national anthem

Share other good speeches in the comments below.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org


About Author

Tom Hoopes, author of What Pope Francis Really Said, is writer in residence at Benedictine College, in Atchison, Kansas, where he teaches in the Journalism and Mass Communications Department and edits The Gregorian, a Catholic identity speech digest. He was previously editor of the National Catholic Register for 10 years and with his wife, April, of Faith & Family magazine for five. A frequent contributor to Catholic publications, he began his career as a reporter in the Washington, D.C., area and as press secretary for U.S. House Ways & Means Chairman Bill Archer. He lives in Atchison with his wife and those of his nine children still at home. The views and opinions expressed on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of Benedictine College or the Gregorian Institute.


  1. Tom, This is all very interesting, but if I were a Estonian, Latvian or Lithuanian I’d be scared as hell that Trump might get elected signaling Putin to start a covert op to return my county to Russian occupation, not worrying about a defanged NATO.

    • If I were an Estonian, Latvian or Lithuhanian I’d be a lot more worried about Hil being elected.

      Putin retook the Crimea on her watch-with no consequences borne.

      What other countries should we be thinking about when filling out our US presidential election ballots, Greg? Is there a list or something?

    • My money is on Trump in any Trump-Putin interaction. Putin looks ‘good’ only due to ineffectual and corrupt US leadership over the last decade..

      You should be scared as hell if Hellary gets elected.

      NATO has long-been defanged. Trump will update this old dinosaur to make it meet its current day obligations.

      Wise up.

    • Bill LaRocco on

      Do you honestly believe that would happen. Some of what Trump says is to provoc the liberals. It works.

  2. Well the Clinton’s work the server again. Anyone who votes for her is placing in office a woman, who would do any evil to become President. She has several times betrayed this Country, sales of 20% of our uranium to Russia for a 50,000 dollar speech by Bill in Moscow and $145,000.000 donation to the
    foundation. The former was as Secretary of State that she messed up so badly. Another, was the permission by Bill of our missile guidance manufactures to sale the information to China for 5,000,000 dollars that went directly into the e=election fund for Bill & Gore.
    Ladies this isn’t the time to vote for one of the worst woman, who would sale any secret for money or power. I am sure that we will have an honest woman in the future that will be selected.

    Leaked DNC emails reveal secret plans to take on Sanders

    The trove of emails was released by WikiLeaks days before the Democratic convention.