The news story below is how I remember it as well. It was the time when the Democrats’ dearest wish was that Trump become the nominee. So this is how it began.
LAS VEGAS – Political junkies and skeptics are still scratching their heads, wondering “How did this happen? How did Donald Trump take over the Republican Party?”
It may come as a surprise, but Trump’s luck began last July in Las Vegas. In the summer of 2015, Trump’s fledgling campaign was in trouble. After his unrehearsed remarks about Mexicans, his relationship with NBC ended, Macy’s failed to renew his contract, and Univision released unrelenting attacks on the Trump campaign. Poll numbers suffered in response, reflecting a campaign headed for certain demise.
Amid the chaos of campaigning that summer, Trump agreed to appear before several thousand wealthy investors and concerned citizens at a conference called FreedomFest, billed as, “the world’s largest gathering of free minds.” He spoke to a standing room only audience Saturday, July 11. Yes, it was 7-11 in Vegas. And it was Trump’s lucky day. His appearance attracted major media coverage including CNN, Fox News, ABC, NBC, MSNBC and the Daily Mail, among others. Trump’s poll numbers rose sharply right after his appearance at FreedomFest and he dominated the Primaries thereafter.
And if you would like to recall the moment, I live blogged his speech and Q&A which you can see here. It is dated July 12 since the blog is Australian and it was already the next day here. What Trump said includes everything that has since made him the Republican nominee, including “Make America Great Again”. A fantastic speech as well.