Notebook from Day 4 of the Republican National Convention

Boehner says Cruz is “Lucifer”

Former House Speaker John Boehner says, “Lucifer is back.”

That comment from the West Chester Twp. Republican, reported on Twitter by his spokesman, was a reference to Ted Cruz, the Texas senator and former GOP presidential candidate who has incensed Republican delegates for speaking to the convention but refusing to endorse nominee Donald Trump.

Boehner’s remark harks back to a comment he made in April, when he told an audience at Stanford University that he considered Cruz, “Lucifer in the flesh.”

Protesters

Donald Trump says the Cleveland police are doing “an incredible job.”

On Thursday there were a few issues, but no major incidents. Police had to separate protest groups at Public Square as Bikers for Trump, anarchists and other groups ended up there together.

So far, there have been fewer than 30 arrests during the convention. In addition to about 500 Cleveland police on duty, there are thousands of officers in Cleveland from around the country including Dayton and the Xenia post of the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Portman, Turner react to Trump comments about NATO

Two Ohio Republican lawmakers shied away from outright decrying Republican nominee Donald Trump’s comments questioning whether the United States should automatically defend NATO allies if they are attacked.

Trump was quoted in the New York Times Thursday as saying that he would first look at NATO countries’ contributions to the alliance before defending them, instead saying the United States has to “fix our own mess” before lecturing other countries on what to do.

Rep. Mike Turner, the president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly – a group of lawmakers that advise NATO – said he believed Trump’s comments were “misrepresented.”

“He says absolutely we’ll be there and we guarantee that to our allies,” Turner said of Trump. “He certainly says they need to live up to their obligations. I just returned from the NATO summit and that’s what all the world leaders are saying to each other – that the bill has to stop being sent to the United States, that they need to live up to their obligations and that that is a minimum standard that is expected for participation in NATO.”

Sen. Rob Portman, meanwhile, called NATO “arguably the most important alliance we’ve ever had.”

“I would say his point that we would like our NATO partners to contribute more to NATO and their own defense is absolutely accurate,” he said.

Ohioans among speakers planed for Democratic convention

A list of speakers for the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia has been released.

Among Ohioans speaking at the convention are U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and Dayton-native Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, who represents the Columbus area.

The 2016 Democratic National Convention begins Monday in Pennsylvania. We have a team going to Philly and will have coverage all week starting Monday.

- Anthony Shoemaker, Amelia Robinson and Jessica Wehrman contributed to this report.

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