The Republican National Convention kicked off in Cleveland on Monday, and bold claims peppered the speeches delivered during the event’s primetime festivities.
The theme of the convention’s opening day was “Make America Safe Again,” a sentiment woven into the impassioned remarks delivered by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
“It’s time to Make America safe again,” he said. “I know we can change it because I did it by changing New York City from the crime capital of America to the safest large city in the United States. What I did for New York, Donald Trump will do for America!”
In spite of recent police shootings and racial tension nationwide, the numbers say America has never been safer. The violent crime rate sits at a record low since the FBI began tracking the data in 1995. According to the agency’s 2014 Uniform Crime Report (UCR) , the rate of violent crime nationwide went from 684.5 per 100,000 people in 1995 to 365.5 in 2014, a drop of nearly 47 percent.
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Giuliani also missed the mark regarding his claim that New York is the safest large city in America. According to FBI data on cities with a population of 1 million or more, that title is actually held by San Jose, which has a violent crime rate of 321 per 100,000 people. New York has a violent crime rate of 596 per 100,000 people. Large cities with lower rates include Phoenix, San Antonio, Los Angeles and San Diego, along with San Jose.
Another focus of the evening was the “Never Trump” movement, a group of grassroots protesters who demanded changes be made to the conservative party and convention rules. The group had amassed signatures supporting its cause from a majority of delegates in 11 states, though only seven states were required to force a revote.
But that vote didn’t happen, because the Trump campaign killed the last-minute revolt.
Chaos overtook the convention floor when Arkansas Congressman Steve Womack determined that a voice vote approved the rules package without any changes. When protesters demanded a roll call, Womack left the stage.
"We are now in uncharted territory," said Utah Sen. Mike Lee. "Someone owes us an explanation. I've never seen the chair abandoned like that. They vacated the stage entirely."
When Womack returned, he announced that some of the 11 states had withdrawn from the petition to hold a vote on party rules.
Though the party rules were not changed last night, the revolt is not over. After all, the protesters were really concerned with changing the rules for 2020. Essentially, conservatives want closed primaries, where only Republicans can vote in their elections. This improves the chances of a nominee like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
Nothing that happened Monday night prevented a future rule change from happening, though, since the party will meet to discuss changes every year leading up to the presidential election in 2020.