Republican candidate for U.S. Senate and Severna Park resident Dan Bongino took a few moments to talk with Patch about his experience at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
His favorite speaker
"I may be a little biased, but I thought Mia Love, who’s a personal friend and running for the House in Utah was an exceptional standout," Bongino said. "She gave an outstanding speech. She was just fantastic, and I think a lot of other people agreed."
Love, 36, is a Mormon and the Mayor of Saratoga Springs, UT. She spoke on Tuesday about her parents immigration and the American Dream, according to The Huffington Post. Love also is running in Utah's 4th Congressional District against six-term incumbent Democrat Rep. Jim Matheson.
The strangest thing
"I’ve never been frisked by some of my own friends before," Bongino said describing his entrance into the Republican National Convention. The former secret service agent said he couldn't walk more than five feet without running into a colleague.
"It was very strange," Bongino said. "But you know you realize how suffocating security can be. To go down there and have to go through the security and feel it; you realize why people get upset."
On Gov. Chris Christie
Bongino was invited by the Utah delegation to attend a luncheon where New Jersey's Republican Gov. Chris Christie spoke on the morning after his big convention speech.
"He practices an aggressive style of politics that I prefer," Bongino said. "I think if you realty want to get your ideas out there, you have to throw punches rather than take them."
He said Christie, like so many other convention goers, focused his speech on the human side of Mitt Romney. Bongino said Christie described how Romney came to his New Jersey home early on in the campaign to ask for the governor's support.
"He talked about how [Romney] had interacted with his kids and how you can’t fake that," Bongino said. "Even someone like myself, who has been a secret service agent for 12 years, doesn't always get to see that human side of a political figure."
Why he skipped the parties
"It wasn’t a party for us. We weren’t there to do a lot of schmoozing," Bongino said. "I know some people go there for that, but we worked about 16 hours each day."
Bongino said he did more than 60 interviews during his four-day trip to Tampa, and some nights he and his team were so tired they left the convention before the headline speakers.
"We were really exhausted," Bongino said. "I think everybody was just ready to wrap it up."
"There’s a very palpable, excited feeling among the Republican base that didn’t show in the primary," Bongino said.
He recognized the phrase "palpable excitement" sounded like a talking point from the RNC, but he said it's genuinely how he felt leaving Tampa. He said he's excited about the Romney-Ryan ticket, and ready to move forward into the final stretch of his campaign.