Ivanka Trump's GOP Convention Speech Targeted Women And Millennials
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And let's get a taste of one of the other speeches from the Republican Convention's final night. Ivanka Trump introduced her father. She's 34. And at this Republican gathering, she signaled to the nation that she might not be one.
(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)
IVANKA TRUMP: Like many of my fellow millennials, I do not consider myself categorically Republican or Democrat. More than party affiliation, I vote based on what I believe is right for my family and for my country. Sometimes, it's a tough choice. That is not the case this time. As the proud daughter of your nominee, I am here to tell you that this is the moment, and Donald Trump is the person, to make America great again.
INSKEEP: NPR political reporter Scott Detrow is listening with us here. Scott, what's Ivanka Trump doing there?
SCOTT DETROW, BYLINE: Well, she shared a lot of personal stories about her dad. But broadly, this speech was an olive branch to two groups that Donald Trump is really struggling with, and that's younger voters and women. Just one recent poll from The Washington Post about a week ago - Hillary Clinton had a double-digit lead with women and a 20 point lead with voters under 40.
INSKEEP: Wow - which can be a big deal demographically in the election because the millennial group, even if they don't vote in the percentages that senior citizens do, there's just a lot of millennials out there.
INSKEEP: Let's listen to some more of what Ivanka Trump said.
(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)
I. TRUMP: In 2014, women made 83 cents for every dollar earned by a man. Single women without children earned 94 cents for each dollar earned by a man, whereas married mothers made only 77 cents. As researchers have noted, gender is no longer the factor creating the greatest wage discrepancy in this country - motherhood is.
I. TRUMP: As president, my father will change the labor laws that were put in place at a time when women were not a significant portion of the workforce. And he will focus on making quality childcare affordable and accessible for all.
INSKEEP: Scott Detrow, she's playing on themes that President Obama could say, in fact, has said - talked about discrepancies between men and women and what they get paid, talking about childcare and that sort of thing.
DETROW: Absolutely, and this was the moment where all the heads in the press row that I was at snapped up because these are things that are central planks of Hillary Clinton's campaign and something that President Obama's really pushed for. And this was basically the first time we've heard that from the Trump campaign. So it's going to be very interesting to see whether this is something that Donald Trump returns to or whether it ends up in any ads.
INSKEEP: I was interested, though, when Ivanka Trump talked about changing the labor laws to make them more favorable to women or particularly to working mothers, it sounded like. I couldn't remember if Donald Trump had actually signed on to any of that. Does Donald Trump support these things?
DETROW: I looked around, and I haven't seen any details in any speeches that Trump has given - he might have at one point or another, but again, this has not been a recurring theme of the Trump campaign up until this point.
INSKEEP: Let me ask about another speech that we heard last night. Peter Thiel, he's a venture capitalist, Silicon Valley - he made a statement that is a little bit surprising to hear at a Republican convention. He said, quote, "I am proud to be gay." He went on to say, I'm proud to be a Republican and, most of all, proud to be an American. He got applause for that line.
DETROW: He did. And Donald Trump talked about the LGBTQ community as well during his speech, as we heard in that story earlier. But these - and both of those comments got applause. But this happens at a week where the Republican Party passed a platform opposing same-sex marriage, opposing adoption for same-sex couples, and opposed President Obama's recent push for transgender rights in schools.
INSKEEP: And you have a difficult position if you're a Republican to argue on these issues, as we heard from a delegate elsewhere in the program. She's emphasizing, we're not hateful. We're not trying to be hateful. We just have certain concerns. And that's the line Republicans are trying to walk here, I guess.
DETROW: Yeah, there was a lot of talk about unity, saying that Republicans aren't against one group or another, that they're just for broader unity.
INSKEEP: OK, that's NPR's Scott Detrow. Now, the speech by Trump's daughter was aimed at Democratic-leaning groups as we heard - younger voters, women. So let's listen to what some Democratic viewers thought as Ivanka Trump's father took the stage. NPR's Don Gonyea reports from a pub in Phoenix, Ariz.
DON GONYEA, BYLINE: In a modern pub with brick walls and exposed steel beams overhead, a group of about 30 Democrats gathered near downtown Phoenix to watch Donald Trump's big moment.
SUE CASTNER: If we have to watch it, we might as well watch it together.
GONYEA: That's Sue Castner, a Hillary Clinton supporter who helped organize this gathering. They were mostly white, some Latinos, baby boomers and Gen Xers. Castner says she still can't quite grasp the fact that Donald Trump is the GOP nominee.
CASTNER: At first, it was funny because it was like the reality show of the presidency.
GONYEA: But no more, Castner says. It's now very serious. As she spoke, Ivanka Trump was on the half-dozen TV screens on the walls around us, finishing her introduction.
(SOUNBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
I. TRUMP: My father, and our next president, Donald J. Trump.
GONYEA: The arena in Cleveland erupted in cheers, but at this bar in Phoenix...
UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Booing).
GONYEA: Moments later, Trump led his crowd in this chant...
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
DONALD TRUMP: USA, USA, USA.
GONYEA: These Democrats joined in with this...
UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: Dump Trump. Dump Trump. Dump Trump.
GONYEA: As the speech progressed, the chanting in the bar stopped, replaced by a stream of verbal, real-time challenges of Trump's statements. And with each of the nominee's pronouncements - that he'll fight ISIS and defeat it quickly or that crime and violence in the U.S. will very soon come to an end once he's president - one simple question was repeatedly raised by this audience - how? 41-year-old attorney Brad Glass was seated at a table against the wall.
BRAD GLASS: How? How? How?
GONYEA: He says it's all promises but no specific proposals, no explanation of how Trump will do any of this.
GLASS: This is so offensive. It's so exhausting, so xenophobic. It's racist. It's misogynistic. It's nonsensical. It's not logical. It's just really difficult to listen to him.
GONYEA: Repeatedly, Trump spoke of the need for tough immigration laws of illegal immigrant families crossing the border - among them, dangerous criminals roaming free. Tony Navarrette was watching in Phoenix.
TONY NAVARETTE: All of these things that Donald Trump is talking about is - he's directly targeting a lot of the families in our communities.
GONYEA: Looking at the TV above his head, Navarette describes it as a wake-up call to get people out to vote...
NAVARETTE: To make sure that we are taking responsibility and making sure that we are registering our neighbors, registering our friends.
GONYEA: By the time Trump's speech wrapped up, Sue Castner said she felt kind of relieved that it was basically the same speech Trump has been giving all along, just on a bigger stage, as he heads into the general election.
CASTNER: It was a red-meat-for-his-base speech - so much for transitioning over to the general and appealing to a wider audience. He's feeding on people's fears.
GONYEA: And she said she doesn't think that will win Trump large numbers of new supporters - the kind he'll need come November. Don Gonyea, NPR News, Phoenix.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.