Political Insider

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Growing up Trump: ‘As comfortable in a D-10 Caterpillar as we are in our own cars’

CLEVELAND – The parade of the Trump family continued at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday, shortly after the patriarch, billionaire Donald Trump, secured his party’s nomination for president.

Two siblings, Donald Trump Jr. and Tiffany Trump, were featured in prime-time spots, one day after Melania Trump, wife of the nominee, also addressed the delegation. On Tuesday, no mention was made by family members of accusations that Melania Trump’s speech contained paragraphs lifted from a 2008 address made by Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention.

As he did Monday, Donald Trump briefly addressed delegates – this time by video rather than in person. He is to formally accept his party’s nomination on Thursday.

The address by Donald Trump Jr. occurred not long after the son, as part of the New York delegation, formally put his father over the top in the delegate count – beyond the 1,237 votes needed to secure the nomination.

Given the content of the speech, which included several attacks on Democrats and Hillary Clinton, it’s clear that the Trump campaign is eyeing the son as a formidable surrogate in the coming general election campaign.

Like Melania Trump, Donald Trump Jr. testified to his father’s persistence:

 “When people told him it was impossible for a boy from Queens to go to Manhattan and take on developers in the big city, rather than give up, he changed the skyline of New York.”

But Trump Jr. also gave a blue-collar cast to his father:

“He didn’t hide out behind some desk in some executive suite, he spent his career with regular Americans. He hung out with guys on construction sites – pouring concrete and hanging Sheetrock. He listened to them, and he valued their opinions as much and often more than the guys from Harvard and Wharton, locked away in offices away from the real work.”

Donald Trump Jr. extended that blue-collar legacy to the upbringing he and his siblings experienced in the company of Trump employees:

“We didn’t learn from MBAs. We learned from people who had doctorates in common sense….It’s why we’re the only children of billionaires as comfortable in a D-10 Caterpillar as we are in our own cars.”

Yeah, that’s this:

Tiffany Trump, who is 22 and graduated from college a few months ago, called her father a "natural-born encourager." Her best quote:

“If you do what you love, hold nothing back, and never let fear of failure get in the way, then you’ve pretty much figured out the Trump formula.”

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About the Author

Jim Galloway is a three-decade veteran of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who writes the Political Insider blog and column.