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Ohio Delegate Prepares For Republican National Convention

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Dimitrious Stanley is a delegate to this week's convention. He's from Columbus, Ohio, and he had hoped to go to Charlotte along with his family. Now, though, he's staying in his state. And he joins us now. Hi.

DIMITRIOUS STANLEY: Hey, how you doing?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm doing well. Did the GOP leave the planning of this convention too late in your view?

STANLEY: Everything was all set to go down to North Carolina. And then, of course, the pandemic hit. And so they were going to have it where a portion of us was going to be still in North Carolina, and the other portion was going to be in Jacksonville. And then that got canceled. And now I just got some information just the other day that we're going to have a big gathering at an outdoor movie theater here in Columbus, Ohio.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh. So you will be able at least to gather, in some sense, with your other delegates?

STANLEY: Yes, ma'am. And it will be in our car, so that will kind of help, you know, with the whole social distancing and stuff like that.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: How do you think that's going to feel?

STANLEY: Very weird. I mean, it's not...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Very weird is, like, a thing.

STANLEY: ...That is a real - that is real life right now.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: What do you think the GOP message will be?

STANLEY: That's the one thing I give Democrats - that they have one message, and they all say the whole message. You know, with the Republican Party right now, I'm really disappointed in how we've put things together because we have RINOs that are going for the Democrats, and you have another part of the Republican Party, you know, going through the whole Russia incident, and then you have people like myself who - I'm all about the economy.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You mentioned RINOs there - Republicans in name only. At the Democratic convention, there were a number of prominent Republicans who spoke - Colin Powell - former Secretary of State - John Kasich - former governor of Ohio. Are you worried that a certain part of the party - the more moderate part won't come out to vote or will vote for Joe Biden? I mean, Vermont's Republican governor, Phil Scott, said he won't vote for Trump.

STANLEY: I am not concerned about people not coming out to vote. The issues that's happening right now that's tearing this country apart - we have Democrat, liberals - whoever they are - running around Democrat cities destroying cities, and you don't have Democrat leaders coming out and condemning the violence. And, yes, there are peaceful protests...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: There have been Democratic leaders, of course, who have condemned...

STANLEY: ...I have not - I have yet to see them.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Many have indeed.

STANLEY: I would love to see that - because I haven't seen that, ma'am. I'm sorry.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: But I have to ask you, you know, at the Democratic convention, we saw all the former living Democratic U.S. presidents speak - former President Bush will, again, not speak at this GOP convention. Doesn't that show a party divided?

STANLEY: No, it doesn't. In my personal opinion, Bush Sr., Bill Clinton, Bush Jr. and President Barack Obama are all the same people. They...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Really?

STANLEY: Because we have lost our way. It's about small government, fiscal responsibility. That hasn't existed in 20, 30 years. And so when you talk about Republican presidents, and you look at some of the things that they did and some of their policies, they weren't very Republican in their approach to how they ran the country.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Why are you a delegate? If you feel that there are a lot of issues with the GOP at the moment - you are concerned that the party has lost its way - why are you a delegate right now?

STANLEY: Because I believe what Trump is doing when he's trying to bring back sound money, sound finance - and that's why I am a delegate and that's why I want Trump to win again because if he can continue that and he can have some success, you, me - we're going to all have success. That is why I stick by what he's doing.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: This is a moment when so many people in this country are facing hardship with the pandemic because of the economy. Are you satisfied with the vision of the country that your convention will present?

STANLEY: All I know is that Donald Trump's going to talk about workers. I hope that he hits a little bit more on the social issues because, of course, you have to bring that side of the political world in. As far as lessening taxes, lessening regulations, bringing jobs and helping the American worker, I am absolutely happy with that message, and I believe that will be the message that you'll hear, mostly.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Dimitrious Stanley is a Republican delegate from Ohio. Thank you very much.

STANLEY: Thank you, ma'am. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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