South Carolina’s lieutenant governor was given the honor Tuesday of seconding the formal nomination of Donald Trump as the Republican Party’s candidate in November’s presidential election.
Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster was the last speaker before state delegations began voting for the nomination. He followed US Rep. Chris Collins, R-NY, in seconding after US Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-AL, nominated the New York businessman.
“They tell me that I was the first elected official to endorse Donald Trump in the country,” McMaster said in his roughly six-minute speech. “And it was lonely for a while. But no more.”
AUDIO: McMaster “seconds” Trump nomination (5:50)
McMaster, who had helped lead South Carolina’s GOP during its transition from minority party into the state’s dominant political machine, appeared to enjoy the opportunity of a national audience. He referenced a quote about the Pearl Harbor attack attributed to a Japanese admiral that the attack only served to “awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” He even paraphrased the anti-Vietnam war band Buffalo Springfield’s song “For What It’s Worth,” to note “There’s something happening here. What it is precisely clear.”
The lieutenant governor had said Monday he was likely given the chance to speak because he had backed Trump early on in a critical early primary state.
He also accused the Obama Administration of abandoning its confidence in the Constitution and country and claimed the “world had lost confidence in us.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, that is about to change,” he said, to applause. “It’s about to change because finally, after eight years of incompetence, arrogance, and disrespect for the rule of law, the American people have had enough! I’ve had enough, you’ve had enough, we’ve all had enough. And it’s time to act and we’re going to act.”
Prior to his election as lieutenant governor in 2014, McMaster served as South Carolina’s attorney general from 2003 until 2010. He was the SCGOP’s chairman from 1993 until 2000 and US Attorney for the state in President Ronald Reagan’s first term.