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Conventions are about positive energy; RNC has been ‘lumpy,’ says ex-Reagan aide

Trump's evolving 'pro-growth message'

The Republican National Convention has at times lacked something that every political convention needs, a former aide to President Ronald Reagan said Wednesday.

That thing is positive energy.

"This is my 10th convention, and conventions are about positive energy. It's a little lumpy right now," BGR Group co-founder and Republican lobbyist Ed Rogers told "Squawk Alley" on the sidelines of the RNC in Cleveland.

"There's a lot of other images, messages, words, phrases coming out of this convention that aren't all about positive energy," he said, responding to a question about comments from Republicans at the convention.

Would-be GOP presidential nominee Ben Carson on Tuesday suggested that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's role model is Satan.

Also on Tuesday, New Jersey Gov. and former Trump rival Chris Christie led the crowd in chants of "Lock her up" and "Guilty" directed at Clinton, who was investigated by the FBI over her use of a private email server while secretary of state.

The State Department reopened its investigation into the issue after the FBI recommended that no criminal charges be brought against Clinton or anyone in her inner circle.

Delegates crowd the floor on the second day of the Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images

But Rogers said the overall tone had improved on Tuesday evening. The highlight, he said, was a speech by Donald Trump Jr., who he asserted showed poise and clear thinking.

That speech attracted allegations of plagiarism, though George Mason University law professor F.H. Buckley took to Twitter to defend Trump Jr., saying the speech resembled his writing because he himself worked on it. The campaign was already on the back foot after parts of Melania Trump's Monday night speech were shown to be strikingly similar to a 2008 address by Michelle Obama.

Republicans also need to hear a powerful and positive message from the elder Donald Trump, Rogers said.

"The message and issues, with any precision, hasn't been Trump's strong suit so far. But that's what the convention's for, so we'll see," he said.

Still, Trump has the wind at the back in a "change election" because he's perceived to be an agent of change, Rogers said. His running mate, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, is also "teed up nicely" to bring clarity and positive energy the party needs, he said.