Looking Back at Republican, Democratic Conventions for Insight Ahead

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There are 99 days until the November election, and with the Republican and Democratic national conventions in the rearview mirror, the candidates have hit the road campaigning.

But one story from the 2016 DNC in Philadelphia continues to dominate the headlines, after a father went from relative anonymity to challenging Donald Trump.

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“You have sacrificed nothing, and no one,” said Khizr Khan at the DNC last week.

In turn, the Republican nominee has gone on the offensive against the Muslim parents of an Army captain who was awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart after he was killed in Iraq in 2004. 

“If you look at his wife, she was standing there, she had nothing to say,” Trump said, referring to Khan's wife, in an interview with ABC. “She probably–maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me. But plenty of people have written that.”

Springfield reporter Amanda Vinicky said Khan's speech came as a surprise in the middle of what she describes as a "rock star convention" that included pop star speakers like Demi Lovato and Katy Perry. 

"It was in such stark contrast to the rest of the speeches," Vinicky said. "It stuck out because it was a different message. That statement was truly disarming to Donald Trump."

While Hillary Clinton did not respond to RNC speaker Patricia Smith, whose son was killed at the Benghazi embassy in Libya, Trump's response has led to persisent headlines.

"Donald Trump took the bait on this and that's why this story is going on three days later," said Paris Schutz, Chicago Tonight political reporter. 

Despite the backlash, however, WBEZ city politics reporter Lauren Chooljian says the remarks ultimately may not play a major role in the race for the White House.

"There are people so passionate about Donald Trump that sometimes it doesn't matter what he says because at the core they think that it is the media's fault for cutting him up into sound bites and not portraying him for who he really is," Chooljian said.

Vinicky, Schutz and Chooljian are joined by WBEZ state political reporter Tony Arnold as they share they reflect on the last two weeks of political conventions. 

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Related stories:

Democratic National Convention

Full coverage: See all of our stories, photos, interviews and reports from the DNC in Philadelphia.

Republican National Convention

Full coverage: See all of our stories, photos, interviews and reports from the RNC in Cleveland.

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