Illinois Republican chair: Booing Cruz was a sign of unity

  • Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider led the state's delegation to the GOP convention. Of the crowd booing Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, he said, "I thought it created unity more than disunity."

      Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider led the state's delegation to the GOP convention. Of the crowd booing Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, he said, "I thought it created unity more than disunity." Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 7/21/2016 7:45 PM

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider of Bartlett arrived at the party's convention this week preaching unity among delegates and GOP voters who might have lingering uncertainty about nominee Donald Trump.

So what did he make of delegates booing Trump rival Texas Sen. Ted Cruz Wednesday night? Wasn't that a cause for concern when it comes to this unity message?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Actually, I thought it created unity more than disunity," he said.

Cruz was cheered at first, but as he left the convention stage without endorsing Trump, boos erupted.

"I was on the floor, and I saw ... Cruz supporters booing as well," Schneider said. "He made a pledge to support the nominee of the party. When you make a pledge, you live up to your pledge, or your word isn't worth anything."

Schneider said Cruz still could endorse Trump later.

A break coming

This convention is the first for Schneider, a Cook County commissioner and golf course owner.

He praised the party's staff for coordinating the events and said it's unclear what they'll have planned next week during Democrats' turn in the spotlight.

"We're going to need to rest up," Schneider said.

"Most people are not going to bed until between 2:30 or 4 o'clock in the morning and then they're up for a breakfast at 8," he said. "They're going to need a vacation for a few days from this convention, and then we expect them to get right to work."

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Revoked credentials

Schneider and other party leaders Wednesday revoked the convention credentials of Trump delegate Lori Gayne of Chicago, who posted a racial slur on Facebook.

"We are an inclusive party, and we don't tolerate that," Schneider said.

A Colbert cameo

Former Cook County Republican Party Chairman Aaron Del Mar played "Trump or False" with late-night comedian Stephen Colbert.
Former Cook County Republican Party Chairman Aaron Del Mar played "Trump or False" with late-night comedian Stephen Colbert. -

Former Cook County Republican Party Chairman Aaron Del Mar of Palatine was featured briefly Wednesday in a clip from late-night comedian Stephen Colbert.

Colbert was playing a game with convention delegates called "Trump or False." He read off quotes and asked them if the quotes were said by Trump.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The quote put to Del Mar: "It doesn't really matter what the media write as long as you've got a young and beautiful piece ..."

We cut out that last part.

Del Mar's response: "I don't think he said that."

Wrong.

Del Mar was told later the quote was from a 1991 article in Esquire.

"I was in sixth grade in 1991," Del Mar said Thursday. "So maybe it was a little unfair."

Del Mar said it was taped at a Monday gathering of delegates and that he hopes people see his participation as being done in good fun.

He ran as a delegate candidate for Ohio Gov. John Kasich. He didn't win but was later chosen by party leaders to attend the convention.

Kirk asks Duckworth to delete tweet

Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk's campaign is calling for his Senate opponent, Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth, to remove or revise an "entirely false" tweet.

The post from Duckworth says Kirk "called for the mass arrest of 18,000 African-Americans."

In 2013, Kirk said: "My top priority is to arrest the Gangster Disciple gang, which is 18,000 people. I would like to do a mass pickup of them and put them all in the Thomson Correctional Facility."

His campaign points to a PolitiFact analysis showing that Kirk said later the idea isn't practical and didn't specifically reference African-Americans.

"After multiple news outlets have called her attacks false, disingenuous and even a 'cheap shot,' Duckworth has doubled-down on her false attacks and lies," campaign manager Kevin Artl said in a statement, suggesting that leaving the tweet up accounts for the doubling down.

Duckworth's campaign spokesman Matt McGrath pointed to 2010 revelations of Kirk misstatments of his military record and said "we're mourning the death of irony today."

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