Kiri is a digital journalist for bayofplentytimes.co.nz.

Bay MP Todd Muller part of US Donald Trump action

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Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller has been thrust into the thick of one of America's most controversial elections which he has likened to a political carnival.

Mr Muller is in the United States as part of the New Zealand delegation at the International Democratic Union annual get together. This year, the event coincides with the Republican National Convention held in Cleveland, Ohio.

He is joined by fellow National Party MP Jami-Lee Ross.

Mr Muller said he had never experienced anything quite like the convention, which entered its last day yesterday. Already this week the Republican Party made international headlines after its leaders and candidate hopefuls refused to endorse the party's presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Mr Muller said there were thousands of protesters, Trump supporters, media and secret service at the convention centre where the rallies were being held.

"This is such an incredible event of people, American people. There's people selling food, people selling Trump T-shirts, media everywhere," he said.

"I've just walked past the BBC live broadcast just to my left. To my right there's another group of people in a separate protest against Trump, in front of me there's a line of secret service people."

Mr Muller spoke to the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend while walking to the convention centre ahead of yesterday's events, where Trump finally addressed his fans and critics after a lead up of speakers during the week.

Mr Muller said he was privileged to be invited and hosted by the Republican Party and because he was an observer, did not hold a view on who he would prefer as a candidate.

"I have no view at all. We are here as observers, that's the important thing. I just look at this almost carnival of democracy in disbelief.

"It's absolutely extraordinary. I've never seen anything like this in New Zealand."

Mr Muller said the turmoil within the Republican Party was fascinating.

"Within the Republican Party there's this huge split between these very, very conservative members who hold a view that American needs to be quite separate from the world. They are here and they are here in great numbers. And then you have the other side who is historically more worldly in their view and they didn't win. Then over the top was Trump who was a complete outside contender but he got the numbers."

Mr Muller said while many in the party did not favour Trump, they hated Hilary Clinton more. "They're deeply passionate. It's like nothing I've ever seen in politics," Mr Muller said.

"There's huge division with the republican party. As an observer to this I find it quite intriguing. The only thing they are united on was the detestation for Hilary Clinton. They are incredibly against Hilary. It's very personal.''

Mr Muller said he was grateful for New Zealand politics, which involved people debating the issue instead of the person.

Next week Mr Muller will join the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

"I've been very, very privileged," he said.

"This is a once in a lifetime experience.'

- Bay of Plenty Times

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