PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Scott Pelley, Anchor and Managing Editor of the CBS Evening News, said he believes Donald Trump is actively trying to distance himself from established Republican leadership during the party’s convention in Cleveland.
Pelley told Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that even as Republic leaders attempt to publicly embrace their candidate for President, Trump continues to rebuff them.
“I was watching to see if the elected leadership of the Republican party, in their speeches, would mention Donald Trump’s name and they did. They all did. They all said Donald Trump is our guy. It did not go unnoticed to me that you had the top three elected leaders of the Republican party, the Speaker of the House, the Leader of the Senate, the Leader of the majority in the House, all of them were relegated to speaking positions before prime time went on the air. They were all disposed of in 35 minutes. Then, when the networks went on the air, it was Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump’s employees. I think that said, louder than anything we’ve seen, that this is not the Republican National Convention we are watching, it is Trump National Convention.”
He thinks Trump wants to drive the point home that he is now in charge of the show.
“He is putting enormous distance between himself and the party. We were told all day that he was going to appear by video in order to introduce Mitch McConnell, the Leader of the Senate. Well he appeared on video, made a sort of acceptance speech in miniature and then did not introduce Mitch McConnell. That was left to an announcer. That was not a mistake.”
Regarding the address before the full convention to formally accept the nomination, Pelley says that, again, Trump will do it his way.
“I think they’re going to write a speech and I think he’s going to ad-lib off that teleprompter just as much as he wants to. There is nothing about this convention, so far, that indicates that Donald Trump is going to toe the line of the Republican party and be the candidate they want him to be. What he’s done so far works for him and I think he’s going to keep doing it.”