Editor’s Note: Ted Cruz suspended his campaign late Tuesday (5/3) after Donald Trump won the Indiana primary. Trump is now the presumptive Republican nominee.

BURLINGAME, Calif. (Diya TV) —The vitriol outside of the California state GOP convention at Burlingame’s Hyatt Regency hotel nearly matched the jabs levied during the campaign itself.


All three GOP candidates came to the Bay Area for the state convention, but all eyes were on the party’s frontrunner, Donald Trump. Protestors showed up in droves at the convention and blocked the hotel entrance, forcing the presidential hopeful to take an unconventional entrance to his stump speech.

“Oh boy, I felt like I was crossing the border,” Trump said jokingly to the assembled crowd.

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump was forced to use an unorthodox entrance for his stump speech at the California State GOP Convention.
Republican frontrunner Donald Trump was forced to use an unorthodox entrance for his stump speech at the California State GOP Convention.

During his speech, Trump did not delve into the specifics on his policies, nor did he attempt to make nice with his opponents.

“The politicians are very smart, you’d be amazed,” he said. “But a lot of people ask me, ‘how come they do these things?’ and it’s largely because of the donors and the special interests, and I’m self-funding my campaign. So that’s a big, big difference. Nobody’s going to tell me what to do.”

For some members of the GOP, listening to Trump’s words has been refreshing. Penelope Koutoulas, a lifelong member of the Republican Party, said Trump’s efforts have sought to bring together scores of other Republicans who have felt abandoned for years.

“I have been a Republican for a long time,” she said. “But when I heard Trump speak…he’s really unifying everybody. Democrats, independents, unregistered folks and even Republicans who’ve maybe lost interest in the party.”

Newly elected Republican National Committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon said she intends to back the party’s nominee, despite rumors there is an effort within the GOP to broker a different candidate at the national convention in July. She looks at this as an important opportunity to rally the party’s base.

“We’re hoping that we’ll be able to convert Democrat and independent voters over to our side with the right candidate,” said Dhillon.

Ohio governor John Kasich
Ohio governor John Kasich

Once Trump’s appearance at the convention ended, the entire landscape and atmosphere of the event took a different turn. Ohio governor John Kasich positioned himself to those in attendance as a moderate alternative, and made the case that Trump would be blown away in a general election against Hillary Clinton, and that he’s the only GOP candidate that defeat the likely Democratic nominee.

“The reason why I can do better in the general [election], is because I haven’t practiced the politics of negativity,” Kasich said. “The independent voters, the blue collar conservative democrats, those are people I can win.”

Texas Senator Ted Cruz and his newly announced running mate Carly Fiorina held court on day two of the state convention.

While in second place, time is running out on Cruz, who brands himself as the only true conservative in this election. Thus, California will be his final chance to preclude Trump from locking down the nomination.

Cruz believes, “it will be California that makes the decisive decision sending us to a contested convention.”

For party insiders, the competition has brought renewed interest in the GOP, even bringing left-leaning Indian-Americans into the fold. Former Republican Silicon Valley Congressional candidate Vanila Singh believes “California has been a very quiet state and that has probably led to a complacency here. So getting energized, having a voice in it will hopefully bring people out of the woodworks and take part in the process.”

Once the primary battles are sorted out, Democrats and Republicans will finalize their nominee in July. But there’s no telling what will happen between now and then.