GOP nominee Donald Trump Friday applauded his volunteers and staff, along with his running mate Gov. Mike Pence and the people of Cleveland for an "incredible four days" with the Republican National Convention, while still taking time to lambaste former rival Ted Cruz for refusing to endorse his campaign.
"You know, we read two, three weeks ago, 'oh, this is going to be horrible, we're going to have riots, we're going to have problems,'" Trump said
. "Everything was a problem, a problem. This was probably one of the most peaceful, one of the most beautiful, one of the most love-filled conventions in the history of conventions."
In addition, he said, the party has come together, even though there were "a few people who weren't there, and it's okay."
Several key Republican leaders, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich and members of the Bush family, refused to attend the convention, and Trump pointed out that he "ran as an outsider" who now has Pence as his running mate.
"Now I have guys like Mike Pence, I mean, this wasn't supposed to happen," Trump said. "See now, if I don't win, I'm going to blame Mike, right?"
Cruz, who took the convention stage earlier this week to congratulate Trump but was booed for not endorsing him, was targeted particularly by Trump
, but for the most part, the nominee was full of praise for those involved in the convention.
He thanked everyone from the contractors, carpenters, and electricians who built "the most beautiful set I think I've ever seen," to his campaign chairs and politicians like Sen. Jeff Sessions, who initially backed Cruz but came around to support Trump.
"It was a huge upset because when Jeff came on, everybody thought he was going to just routinely be with Ted," Trump said. "And frankly, he's never endorsed anybody before, you know? He's not an endorser."
Trump also cheered for Republican National Convention Chairman Reince Priebus, with whom he'd had a rocky start but now calls his "superstar."
Trump pointed out that the convention was also financially successful, as on Thursday alone some $3.5 million came in from small donors, with the average donation just over $50.
"We're raising a tremendous amount of money from the small donors," said Trump. "To me, that's more important in a sense...these other people give you $50, but they vote by the millions."
But what matters now is beating Hillary Clinton, said Trump, and he predicted his campaign will attract many of her challenger Bernie Sanders' former backers.
"They didn't treat Bernie right," Trump said of the Democratic National Committee. "They didn't treat him right. I don't know Bernie, I don't know him, I never met him. But they didn't treat him right, honestly. And what happened, he ran a very, very good campaign, and Hillary's people just swamped him."
He also insisted he'd take Priebus over DNC Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz any day, "not for being nice or any of those things," but "in terms of competence."
Trump also thanked Cleveland's police chief and mayor for keeping the convention safe
Pence also offered his thanks to the volunteers and all involved with the campaign.
"Thank you so much for creating a place where we can celebrate the kind of leadership that America is embracing more and more every hour as we move toward the November election," he said. "I can just tell you, having spent time with this man and his family, having seen his ability to connect and speak for the American people, I say with absolute confidence if we work with all of our hearts for every day between now and election day, we will make Donald Trump the 45th president of the United States of America and we will make America great again."
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