With the first two tumultuous days of the Republican National Convention over Oklahoma's veteran senator Jim Inhofe weighed in Wednesday morning from Cleveland.
“This is a level of enthusiasm that I don't believe I've seen before and it's very exciting,” Inhofe said.
As a 22-year veteran of the Senate, Inhofe said he’s been to every Republican convention since the year Richard Nixon was elected President. He is also one of three Oklahoma federal legislators out of the state’s total of seven. Senator James Lankford (R) and Rep. Tom Cole (R) are also attending the convention alongside Governor Mary Fallin who spoke to delegates on Tuesday, and is slated to speak again Thursday night.
Inhofe is widely considered the Senate’s most conservative member. But even he had his reservations about the party's brash nominee Donald Trump, at one point Inhofe was quoted saying Trump’s early popularity was “baffling.” However, he has changed his mind, saying what Trump has done to the GOP is undeniable.
“If you had asked me when there were 17 Republicans in the race about Trump's chances were next to zero,” the Senator said via satellite from a pre-set platform inside Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena. “I think that the closer we got to the end more and more people were getting involved in the Republican Party that I hadn't seen before. If there's going to be a change, there's going to have to be a major change.”
Inhofe also rebuffed critics who pointed out the most used words so far in the convention were Hillary and Clinton argued the GOP was rallying around a common enemy instead of a unifying candidate.
“In this country, you have to show there are reasons to vote against someone as well as voting for an alternative and I think they'll continue to talk about this until November.”
The senator also praised the Trump children who have spoken and will be speaking in the days to come.
He said he was also happy with an image of Trump's compassion that speakers have tried to display this year.