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Pam Bondi cheers on “Lock her up” chant to Hillary Clinton in RNC speech

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Coming out to the stage by declaring her love for her native state, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi addressed the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night, where she said that a Donald Trump presidency would return the country to the rule of law that has been absent under the past eight years of the Barack Obama administration.

“November 8 is a day of reckoning for all those who have abused their power,” she began, referring to Election Day. “It’s the day when we the people will take back our government from Washington bureaucrats playing doctor with our health care, to a president who’s been playing fast and loose with our constitutional rights, and Russian Roulette with our borders.”

Bondi endorsed Trump on the eve of the Florida primary in March, and there is speculation that she could be picked for a Cabinet position if the New York City business mogul wins in November.

Since being elected in 2010, Bondi has joined with her fellow Republican attorneys general to sue the Obama administration on a number of fronts, from the Affordable Care Act, to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan to the president’s plan to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Shortly into her six-minute plus speech, Bondi then segued to perhaps the major theme of the first three nights of the RNC – bashing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

“She deserves no security clearance. How do you become president of the United States with no security clearance?” Bondi asked. Republicans have promulgated the notion that Clinton would have a difficult time getting a security clearance after FBI Director James Comey said that she was careless in her handling of national security documents. The Justice Department recently concluded their investigation into the former secretary of state’s handling of classified documents, which ended with Comey chastising her in a press conference, without filing any charges against her.

“This lawlessness must stop. Right here. Right now,” Bondi said, before acknowledging a chant amongst some of the delegates that has become a mantra at the Cleveland RNC.

“Lock her up? I love that,” she said, repeating the chant that erupted during Chris Christie’s speech on Tuesday night at the convention.

There is no question that there likely be changes with the makeup of the Supreme Court in the next four years. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 83. Anthony Kennedy will turn 80 by Election Day, and Stephen Breyer will be 78. Bondi said that Clinton will stack the next court with liberal justices.

“I know Donald, and I’m proud to know Donald. He will appoint conservative justices who will defend, rather than rewrite, our Constitution,” she said.

Bondi’s endorsement of Trump in March revived a storyline that she no doubt had been forgotten. That was the fact that she personally solicited a political contribution from Trump’s charitable foundation just three days after her office said it was “reviewing” fraud allegations against one of Donald Trump’s businesses in 2013. Bondi denied that the contribution had any bearing on her office’s decision not to open an investigation into Trump University, his for-profit-school.

The Clinton camp sent out a statement during Bondi’s address, entitled, “Scammed by Trump U? Don’t ask Florida AG Pam Bondi for help,” followed by links to negative stories about Trump U.

“If you believe it’s time for America to start acting like America again, there is only one choice in this election – Donald Trump,” Bondi concluded, to cheers from the audience.

Although Bondi was given a good time slot at 8:30 p.m., none of the three cable networks broadcasting the convention – Fox, MSNBC and CNN – covered Bondi’s speech live.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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