Elections

Whatcom’s lone RNC delegate ready to stump for Trump

GOP delegate Charlie Crabtree, right, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cleveland with Republican National Convention guests from left, Rika Kent, Jeff Kent and Eileen Sobjack.
GOP delegate Charlie Crabtree, right, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cleveland with Republican National Convention guests from left, Rika Kent, Jeff Kent and Eileen Sobjack. For The Bellingham Herald

Feeling “wonderfully tired” from a “wild, wonderful, exciting” week at the Republican National Convention, Whatcom County delegate Charlie Crabtree said he’s eager to get home and start stumping for GOP nominee Donald Trump.

“We are working to get out the vote with telephone banks. And I will be participating in that effort,” Crabtree said before adding a message to constituents: “Please turn out to vote,” Crabtree adds.

He plans to fly home to Bellingham Friday morning, his “Make America Great Again” hat heavy with state pins he’s collected in Cleveland.

What is Donald Trump’s selling point?

“I think he’s already done that, bringing that to the (convention) floor — his family. His family is one of his biggest assets. A good family and vice-presidential nominee out front.” Crabtree said, and goes on to compare the Trump family to the Kennedy family in individual strengths and personality. “The press has pretty much covered Donald everyday, so he’s gotten exposure and he needs to keep that up.”

Crabtree repeated a sentiment he’s hard often heard about Trump this week: “‘Donald Trump will take Washington D.C. by the scruff of the neck and shake the stupid out of it.’ And I think that is the type of campaign he’s been running,” Crabtree said. “He isn’t a Republican from the grassroots, but he’s a dang good candidate, for everybody.”

What does Trump need to work on?

Trump needs to be less abrasive in the way he does business, Crabtree said.

Why all the “smack talk” about Hillary Clinton?

“It happens, but this one particularly is an easy target for that type of campaigning,” Crabtree said. “She’s really done a lot of terrible things. She has done some things that have hurt our country, and will hurt as commander-in-chief, and that needs to come out again, and again.

“I’m very scared about her being commander in chief. It’s not necessarily unlike other conventions, but it is something that needs to come out. I don’t think they’ve done enough on the email scandal yet.”

How will Trump’s platform help Whatcom County?

“In Whatcom County, lately we’ve had a big challenge to our industrial base. They have been successful in blocking a port at Cherry Point. A Donald Trump administration will get people back to work. They understand that our resources are the very base of what puts people to work. They’re gonna get the base of our power infrastructure put back in place, instead of the war on coal, and the war on carbon, and the war on fossil fuels. That takes away the threat to jobs. That’s what Donald Trump can do for Whatcom county.”

What was being on the convention floor like?

“The floor experience was kind of, when there are president or vice-president candidates about, you can’t move out of your chair. That security issue was new to me.”

What did he think of Ted Cruz’s speech?

As a Ted Cruz supporter during the Washington state primary, Crabtree said he was really disappointed with what Cruz said in his speech Wednesday. Cruz told delegates to “stand and speak, and vote your conscience,” but refused to endorse Trump as the GOP nominee.

“Today they aren’t talking about Mike Pence and what he said, they are talking about a man who can’t keep his pledge,” Crabtree said.

It was his one chance to put himself anywhere he wanted to go in the Republican party, and Cruz blew it, Crabtree said.

How do you feel about Cleveland?

“This has been a great city. This one has been managed and handled, and I’ve felt comfortable.... It was a welcoming system here. Everyone was nice. Cleveland rocks, it really does.”

Alexandria Clarke is a journalist and a student at Case Western Reserve University. She reported on the Republican National Convention from Cleveland as part of a groundbreaking project allowing students to cover the event for local newspapers, TV stations and digital outlets. Follow her on Twitter: @ARClarke7.

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