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Former Kalamazoo Republican party chair: "In reality it's a divided party"

Jul 22, 2016

Though he's attended in the past, former Kalamazoo County Republican chair Dave Worthams did not attend this year's Republican National Convention. 

But he did watch Donald Trump's Thursday night acceptance speech from home, and told us he didn't really like everything he saw. 

“Some of that is just my dislike of Donald’s speaking style, but I felt like I was being screamed at for 75 minutes," Worthams said.

The speech is being described as "dark," and some of Trump's critics have said the speech was inciting fear by describing a distorted view of America.

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"I think [those descriptions] hit upon what has been working for Trump throughout the entire primary system," he said. "His approach to this has been, things are bad, ... things are getting worse, we have to make a change. And I get some of that, but it's really over the top."

"When push comes to shove, if you get elected to office, you have to make decisions to make the country move forward, you have to govern."

"You need to do some of that to set up the reason why you need to have a change, but you also have to include, 'why are you the change?' I’m just not hearing that," Worthams said.

Trump did deviate slightly from his party's platform in his statement about supporting and protecting the LGBTQ community, which Worthams told us was a highlight of the speech.

"I've never really given the platform much credence," he told us. "Great, we've got this piece of paper up there that says this is what we believe in, but when push comes to shove, if you get elected to office, you have to make decisions to make the country move forward, you have to govern, and sometimes that means you're only going to get 60% of what you want as opposed to the entire platform."

"In this case, I think Donald did two things," Worthams said. "One, he expressed what he really believes about LGBT folks, and I think that was probably the one highlight in the speech that I recall. But I think the other thing was that he, just like many other Republican elected officials, will say, 'yes, it's nice to have the platform, but this is what we're actually going to do, and this is how we're actually going to govern and try to move forward.'"

In our conversation above, Worthams talked more about the RNC, the state of the Republican party and what he expects to see in next week's Democratic National Convention.

GUEST

Dave Worthams is the former Kalamazoo County Republican chair. He now serves on the Board of County Road Commissioners of the County of Kalamazoo