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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Montana Rep. Zinke Speaks At Republican National Convention

Rep. Ryan Zinke is rumored to be President-elect Trump's nominee for secretary of the Interior.
Ryan Zinke
Representative Ryan Zinke

Last night Montana’s lone Representative in the U.S. House, Ryan Zinke, gave the final speech during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Due to other speeches running long, Zinke held the podium spotlight at 11:30 p.m. Eastern time, well after his scheduled prime-time spot, and much of the crowd had left the arena.

On the evening the GOP themed “Make America Safe Again,” Zinke criticized the Obama administration for a lack of military leadership.

“Our world knows this president is weak,” Zinke said, “and his anointed successor, the architect of Benghazi, is no better.”

Zinke introduced himself at the convention as a former U.S. Navy Seal and Commander at Seal Team Six. He says those experiences taught him about leadership, and he sees quality leadership in the presumed Republican nominee.

“Donald J. Trump is not afraid to talk about radical Islamic terrorism,” he said, “and I guarantee you, if we go to war, we are going to go to war to win.”

The freshman congressman aimed many of his remarks at presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“Together Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton brought us ISIS and brought down Benghazi. I shudder to think how many times our flag will fly at half-mast if Hillary Clinton is in the Oval Office.”

Zinke said the country needs a president who will support U.S. troops and who is not afraid to talk about “radical Islamic terrorism”.

“It's time to rally the troops. It is time to rally around the candidate,” Zinke said. “It is time to rally around Donald Trump, who will make America safe again.”

Zinke’s speech comes as he fights to retain his seat as Montana’s lone representative in the U.S. House. He is being challenged by current Democratic Superintendent of Public Instruction, Denise Juneau.

Corin Cates-Carney manages MTPR’s daily and long-term news projects. After spending more than five years living and reporting across Western and Central Montana, he became news director in early 2020.
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