George Stephanopoulos: What You Need to Know About RNC Day 3

George Stephanopoulos looks at the top story lines to watch for tonight.

ByMorgan Winsor
July 20, 2016, 11:09 AM

— -- There’s a lot to look forward to on Day Three of the Republican National Convention, with big political names scheduled to speak. ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos looks at the top story lines to watch for tonight.

Mounting Accusations of Recycled Lines

One night after Melania Trump delivered lines nearly identical to ones in a 2008 speech by Michelle Obama, Donald Trump Jr. appeared to recycle lines written months earlier by his convention-night speechwriter.

“Our schools used to be an elevator to the middle class. Now they are stalled on the ground floor,” Donald Trump Jr. said Tuesday night in Cleveland, delivering one of the more prominent speeches of the day at the convention. “They are like Soviet-era department stores that are run for the benefit of the clerks and not the customers.”

That Soviet-department-store comparison closely matched one from George Mason University law professor Frank Buckley. Buckley and Donald Trump Sr.’s campaign told ABC News that Buckley worked as a writer on Donald Trump Jr.’s address.

The Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who has flatly denied that Melania Trump’s speech was plagiarized, told Stephanopoulos on ABC News’ “Good Morning America” that such accusations shouldn’t be an issue from now on.

“I think they finally figured out how to get one of those [software] programs that’s going to prevent that,” Stephanopoulos said.

Eric Trump Takes the Stage

Donald Trump Sr.’s 32-year-old son from his first marriage, Eric Trump, will address the audience at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland for the first time tonight. In an interview on “GMA” this morning, Eric Trump promised that his speech will be in his own words and will come from his heart.

“Zero,” he said when asked whether any writers helped compose his address in support of his father. “I wrote every single word of my speech myself.”

Eric Trump did not comment on his stepmother’s speech, which has been the source of much controversy. He did say that his address will “focus on the why” of his father’s campaign, why Donald Trump would forgo his success in New York City for the rigor of the campaign trail.

“I really focus on the why because I think it’s such an important question,” Eric Trump said on “GMA.” “Here’s a guy who is kind of in the apex of his career. He does not need to be doing this.”

He added, “My father cares deeply about this country. This country has given him everything.”

Mike Pence’s Big Night

It’s the first time much of the nation will see Mike Pence since Donald Trump formally introduced the Republican Indiana governor as his running mate Saturday before the convention. Trump said that one of his main reasons for choosing Pence was to promote “party unity.”

“I have to be honest. So many people have said ‘party unity,’ because I’m an outsider,” Trump said during his announcement.

The Trump takeover of the Republican Party was formalized Tuesday night, amid some folded arms on the floor of a convention that has lacked unity and energy. Bringing the party together in support of a Trump presidency is something Pence must tackle as tonight’s headline speaker.

“Of course, he’s got a big job to speak to the country,” Stephanopoulos said. “But also to really do more to unite this hall behind Donald Trump. It’s been kind of flat.”

Trump Policies

So far, Hillary Clinton has dominated the topics discussed by the cavalcade of speakers from various backgrounds who have made their way to the stage at the Republican National Convention. An ABC News review of transcripts found almost 200 references to Clinton in the first two days of speeches at the convention.

There has been no talk of Trump’s more controversial proposals, such as his plan to build a wall between the United States and Mexico, which he said Mexico would pay for, and to temporarily bar foreign Muslims from entering the country. The candidate and other Republicans have not indicated whether anyone will address those topics at the convention.

“Nothing about that wall on the border paid for by Mexico, nothing from the podium about the Muslim ban, nothing about scrapping trade agreements and having 35 percent tariffs with China,” Stephanopoulos said. “Those issues have really been tamped down. We haven’t heard about it at all.”

ABC News’ Chris Good, Meridith McGraw, Katie Kindelan and Adam Kelsey contributed to this report.

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