Unlike as was the case with the Democrats, the 42nd quadrennial Republican National Convention began- on Monday 24 August 2020- with an at least "rump" in-person event (only 336 of the 2,550 delegates actually in attendance, however, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic) inside the Charlotte [North Carolina] Convention Center, where the full Convention would have otherwise been held (in contrast, only local politicians and Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez and Committee Secretary Jason Rae [who introduced that Party's virtual Roll Call] were seen as actually in Milwaukee, the Democrats' host city, during what was otherwise an entirely virtual event the week before). This "rump" gathering would constitute, and function as, the Morning "business" Session of this year's Republican National Convention.
At 9:36 AM Eastern Time US [1336 GMT], Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel (a niece of Senator Mitt Romney of Utah) gaveled the Convention to order, after which Vermont delegate Jay Shepard- as "a Catholic Donald Trump Republican"- gave the Invocation, and singer and actress Mary Millben sang the National Anthem. Peter Goldberg, a delegate from Alaska, led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Ms. McDaniel then greeted the delegates (effectively standing in for those from their own delegations who would not be in attendance), after which she outlined how Rule 37(e)- the rule adopted by the Republican National Committee's executive committee back in June to deal with the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 response in North Carolina that, thereby, allowed this "rump" gathering to even function- would serve as at least the Temporary Rules for this special circumstance; she also made clear that Rule 37(e) would only be in force for this particular Convention and would not, in any way, be binding on the Republican Convention held in 2024. (Normally, the Rules adopted by the preceding Convention four years earlier are merely Temporary Rules for the next Convention, unless that next Convention itself makes them Permanent Rules [as a body meeting under rules of Parliamentary Procedure ever has the authority to change its own rules for itself]; in addition, this next Convention adopts Temporary Rules for the next Convention after that-- Rule 37(e) simply rolls everything over [for the most part, anything intended by the 2016 GOP Convention to apply in 2020- Platform, Rules, and the like- now just passes over to 2024]).
Next, Convention Secretary Vicki Drummond began the reading of the Call of this 2020 Republican Convention but, after she had read aloud the initial portions of the Call, a motion was made- and further seconded- that further reading of the Call be suspended (although the entire Call would be placed into the Convention Journal), a motion that was adopted viva voce (that is: voice vote). Then, Ms. McDaniel announced that the aforementioned Rule 37(e) will, in fact, serve as the Permanent Rules for the ensuing proceedings (a Ruling from the Chair that engendered no objection).
A resolution was then offered- and seconded- that a Committee on Credentials (members of which were listed therein) be appointed (as credentials authorizing the current delegates in 2020 was something that could not possibly be passed over to 2024 by Rule 37(e), obviously); it, too, was approved viva voce, after which Doyle Webb, Republican National Committee General Counsel and Chair of the Credentials Committee took to the dais. Webb asked only the members of the Committee to stand (other delegates in the hall would remain "at ease"), at which point Credentials Committee members made, and seconded, a motion to adopt the Temporary Roll of Delegates to this Convention as the Permanent Roll; adopted viva voce, the Credentials Committee then adjourned its impromptu meeting. Next, the entire Convention was asked, by motion (duly seconded), to adopt the resultant Credentials report, which was also done viva voce. A Ruling from the Chair (Ms. McDaniel again) was made that allowed for the staff to make "technical changes" to this Permanent Roll "as needed": without objection, so ordered.
There was then a motion made to adopt the list of Convention Officers operating under Rule 37(e)- a list which included, most notably, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell [R-Kentucky] and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy [R-California]; this motion was seconded, before also being adopted viva voce, after which now-Permanent Chair McCarthy took the dais, noting how the Republicans had reduced the Democratic majority in the lower house of Congress by two by getting a Democrat to become a Republican (Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey) and replacing a Democrat (Katie Hill) with a Republican (Mike Garcia) in California by Special Election and that these were signs of things to come.
A motion was made to make a technical change to the Rules passed over to 2024 from the 2016 Convention- thereby completing what was required by operation of Rule 37(e)- and seconded; it passed viva voce. Then a motion was made to make each person already elected in each jurisdiction (State or Territory) to the Republican National Committee the new Republican National Committee beginning operation at the conclusion of this 2020 Republican Convention; it, too, was seconded and approved viva voce. Finally, there was a motion made that the Convention Secretary oversee the publication of a full and complete record of this Convention (what will be the aforementioned Convention Journal)-- it also was seconded and approved viva voce
Now it was time for the formal nomination of a Republican Party candidate for Vice President of the United States. Convention Chair McCarthy stated the rules for nominating candidates (at least a plurality in each of 5 delegations for a potential nominee) and that, further, if only one candidate for Vice President so qualifies, nomination by Acclamation is in order, with no calling of the Roll; and, in fact, only one candidate so qualified, incumbent Vice President Mike Pence. With that, former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (who had unsuccessfully challenged President Trump for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination) formally nominated Pence for re-nomination as Vice President; he was about to deliver a full nomination speech thereafter, but was interrupted just as he was about to start (though we would find out why later), instead giving way to two seconds by delegates, one male and one female, from Pence's home State of Indiana. With that, McCarthy officially declared Vice President Pence renominated for his current post by Acclamation.
After this, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel retook to the podium, inviting Republicans, and Independents and what she called "discerning Democrats" to join in support of the Trump/Pence ticket in 2020. She opined that the Democratic Convention the week before had been "hard to watch... it was depressing: doom and gloom, night after night... a masterpiece in fiction on Donald Trump's record"; she further claimed that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris made up "the most extreme, socialist, far-left ticket" ever and that, in contrast, "there is only one person who empathizes with ordinary Americans, and has actually been fighting for them" and this was Donald Trump. She went on to say that the Republican Convention, once it got into the Prime Time evening sessions during the ensuing week, would feature "everyday, hard-working Americans, not Hollywood celebrities".
After Ms. McDaniel had completed her remarks, she then declared- at 10:23 AM Eastern Time US [1423 GMT]- the Convention in recess until the Call of the Chair.
When the Convention resumed at 10:54 AM Eastern Time US [1454 GMT], with Ms. McDaniel again in the Chair, it was time for the formal nomination of a Republican Party candidate for President of the United States. Ms. McDaniel explained the rules for nominating presidential candidates and noted that there was only one candidate for nomination so qualified, President Donald J. Trump. North Carolina delegate (and Chair of his State's Republican Party) Michael Whatley nominated President Trump (using the mantra "Promise made, Promise kept" as he recited a litany of the Trump Administration's accomplishments); Florida delegate (and state Party chair) Joe Gruters seconded, calling Trump the "economic Heavyweight Champion of the World".
Ms. McDaniel returned to recite the rules of the ensuing Roll Call of the States re: Presidential Nomination, noting especially that "the official vote is that announced by the Convention Secretary" (something that has ever been true of all National Party Conventions, I might add). She also noted that, while the delegations would be called in alphabetical order, Florida (now President Trump's home State) alone would be permitted to be called out of such alphabetical order. Convention Secretary Vicki Drummond now returned to the stage to conduct the Roll Call (interestingly, after calling out the name of a delegation and noting to how many votes they were entitled, she also indicated the number of delegates bound [in the present case, to President Trump] via the earlier Primaries or Caucus/Convention system in each jurisdiction [something I do not, at least right off the top of my head, recall having been done at any other Convention-- Republican or Democrat]).
The results of this Roll Call follow immediately below:
|District of Columbia||19||19|
|Nevada puts Donald Trump "over the top" with 1,284 votes. 1,275 votes are necessary to nominate.|
The above Roll Call did not proceed uninterrupted, however: immediately after Nebraska had cast its votes for President Trump, he was only one delegation shy of officially claiming the presidential nomination (1,276 votes were necessary to nominate, and Nebraska had brought Trump's total up to 1,259), Ms. McDaniel came back on stage to order suspension of the Roll Call so that Scott Walker could finally deliver his nomination speech for Vice President Pence (who, of course, had already been formally nominated). The reason for this became clear when, after Walker had finished his remarks, Mike Pence himself had appeared on stage (Ms. McDaniel had hinted, just before calling the half-hour recess earlier, that there might well be "special guests" appearing-- but, whether this particular interruption had been purposely timed for when Trump himself was still just short of being put "over the top", or merely because the Vice President was- unlike earlier- now finally available, I did not know).
Vice President Pence thanked the assembled, but also made it most clear this was but a courtesy call, that his official Acceptance would still not be coming until Wednesday evening. After the Vice President had left the stage, I fully expected the next State, Nevada, to then yield to Florida (which had been purposely skipped over in the otherwise alphabetical Roll Call of delegations so far), so that what was now the President's home State could put him "over the top". But, instead, Nevada went ahead and formally cast its own vote, putting Trump over the "magic" 1276 instead and, to my own surprise, the Roll Call thereafter kept going apace-- that is, until South Dakota had cast its vote, after which Ms. McDaniel again came to the dais to abruptly call on Florida now cast its votes for the President. The reason for this being the moment for Florida to so cast its vote only became apparent when, right after the Sunshine State has done so, President Trump himself appeared on stage.
To the chants of "Four more years!", the President greeted the assembled, telling them he had "an obligation" to come to Charlotte, after which he ended up speaking extemporaneously for the better part of an hour or so. After President Trump had finished up his remarks, he was joined onstage for a time by his running mate Vice President Pence: they then strode off the stage together to the strains of the Village People's YMCA, after which Convention Secretary Vicki Drummond took to the dais to resume the Roll Call to its completion. Ms. McDaniel then came out to announce the final total: all 2,550 votes for President Trump, after which she officially declared President Trump and Vice President Pence the 2020 Republican Party national ticket.
Now Permanent Chair Kevin McCarthy returned to the dais, remarking that a key difference between the Democratic Convention the week before and this Republican Convention was that "our nominees show up" (a reference to both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris having stayed in Delaware during their Party's Convention instead of being in that event's ostensible host city of Milwaukee). McCarthy then entertained a motion for adjournment of this Morning Session of the Convention, which was duly seconded and approved viva voce. McCarthy thereafter declared- with one of the biggest gavels I have ever seen wielded, by the way- the "rump" Convention in Charlotte adjourned at 1:53 PM Eastern Time US [1753 GMT].
That same evening- still on Monday 24 August 2020- the locus of activity moved from Charlotte (ostensibly the Convention's host city) to the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC, from where most of the speakers (when they weren't speaking virtually from home, or some other remote location) would be speaking to an empty space. In this regard, what would take place- from this point on- more resembled what the Democrats had done the week before. The program over these next four nights, however, had been rebranded, as the opening video montage identified it as 'TRUMP 2020: the RNC Convention' (the 'C' in 'RNC' standing for 'Committee', else it'd be a redundancy): the overall theme of these four evenings was to be 'Honoring the Great American Story', while the specific theme of this particular evening was intended to be America as a 'Land of Promise'.
First, at the 8:30 PM Eastern Time US [0030 GMT, 25 Aug] start, a remote Invocation was given, from alongside New York Harbor, by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, followed by a decorated veteran leading the Pledge of Allegiance, and the first speaker of the evening from DC was Charlie Kirk, founder and president of Turning Point USA, dedicated- as he said- to "preserving America as we know it" against "losing everything we love". Trump, he declared, was "the bodyguard of Western Civilization" who "put his life of luxury on the line" protecting the country from "the vengeful mob", one made up of "deceitful, vengeful activists". Considering the ensuing General Election to be "the most critical since 1860" (when Abraham Lincoln was first elected President on the eve of the Civil War), he opined that supporters of the Grand Old Party would "build monuments to heroes, and not burn down our cities".
He was followed by Rebecca Friedrichs, a schoolteacher who founded For Kids and Country who opined that teachers' unions "have rewritten our History" and that, thereby, "unions are subverting our Republic". She complained that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris "and their comrades" would keep minority children in "corrupt, dangerous, low-performing schools". The next speaker was Tanya Weinreis, owner of Mountain Mudd Espresso in Billings, Montana, whose business was adversely affected by shutdowns forced upon it by government response to the COVID-19 outbreak; she expressed concern over "the terrifying prospect of Joe Biden coming after everything we've built".
The next speaker, also from the Mellon Auditorium, was Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz who quipped that he was "speaking to you from an auditorium emptier than Joe Biden's daily schedule". "We see the choice clearly", he went on: "strength or weakness; energy or confusion; success or failure". "We must fight to save America now, or we may lose her forever", Gaetz opined. "'Settle for Biden': that's the hashtag promoted by AOC and the Socialists; the 'Woketopians' will settle for Biden because he will be an extra in a movie written, produced and directed by others. It's a horror film, really: they will disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home, and invite MS-13 to live next door... nightmares are becoming real".
This was followed by Kim Klasick, running for Congress again (after having lost a Special Election earlier this year to once, and now again, Congressman Kweisi Mfume of Maryland)- speaking remotely from Baltimore. "The days of [African-Americans] blindly supporting Democrats is coming to an end", she declared. "Joe Biden thinks we can't think for ourselves", she opined. "We want a chance to get ahead, not just get by". She was followed by Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel who- after noting that the Democrats' first night moderator Eva Longoria had "played a housewife on TV, I'm a real housewife"- repeated much of what she had said earlier in Charlotte more or less verbatim.
A video followed which contained rapid-fire snippets of ordinary Republicans announcing their respective States or Territories in alphabetical order (something of an equivalent to what the Democrats had done during their Roll Call of the States a week earlier), most while showing off TRUMP/PENCE 2020 signs, or other campaign paraphernalia, of course. Then came another video entitled 'PROMISES & HOPE: narrated by the American People', the recurring theme within which was 'PROMISES KEPT'.
Amy Ford, a Registered Nurse from Williamson, West Virginia (who also volunteered in both New York and Texas during respective COVID-19 peaks in both States), was the next speaker and she opined that "Donald Trump's quick action and strong leadership saved thousands of lives". A video recounting the events of the COVID-19 pandemic then followed, with the narrator claiming that "Democrats, the Media, and the World Health Organization got everything wrong" while, with President Trump continuing in office, America "will emerge safer, stronger, and greater than ever".
Dr. G.E. Ghali, a surgeon at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (and a survivor of a bout with COVID-19), was the next speaker. He said he had taken both Remdesivir and Plasma treatments (the plasma being from other COVID-19 survivors who had developed resistance against the virus), arguing that fast-tracking such treatments (instead of waiting for the usual scientific 'vetting' of same) saved him. "President Trump truly moved mountains", he said, "and saved lives". This was followed by a video- from the White House itself- showing President Trump interacting with health-care workers, first responders, and other essential workers: in this case, a postal worker, a steel-hauling trucker, a custodian in a Post Office, two Registered Nurses, a Police Officer, and a Deputy Sheriff.
Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio was the next speaker- remotely from home. "The Republican Party is the pro-America Party", he claimed, "President Trump is the pro-America candidate. This election is about who can preserve the values, principles, and institutions that make America great". "Look at what's happening in American cities- cities all run by Democrats: crime, violence, and mob rule", he said. "Democrats won't let you go to church, but they'll let you protest; Democrats won't let you go to work, but they'll let you riot; Democrats won't let you go to school, but they'll let you go loot". He opined that President Trump "has taken on the Swamp-- all of the Swamp: the Democrats, the Press, and the Never-Trumpers- and, when you take on the Swamp, the Swamp fights back; they tried the Russia hoax, the Mueller Investigation, and the fake Impeachment". The Congressman ended his remarks by citing an example of Trump's empathy during the aftermath of a tragedy in his own family.
The next speaker was former college, and professional, Football star Herschel Walker (who had played for the New Jersey Generals when Donald Trump owned that United States Football League franchise back in the mid-1980s). Of Racism, he stated "I know it when I see it, and it isn't Donald Trump... Donald Trump leaves it all on the field... If you love America, Donald Trump is your President".
After his remarks, Natalie Harp- a Bone Cancer survivor- spoke from the Mellon Auditorium: identifying herself as "a formerly forgotten American from California". Saying she was still alive because of President Trump, she stated that "the Democrats love to talk about Health Care being a Human Right, but a Right to what?... to them, it's a right to marijuana, opioids, and the right to die with dignity- a politically correct way of saying 'assisted suicide'... they didn't give me the right to try experimental treatments, Mr. President; you did-- and, without you, I'd have died waiting for them to be approved". She claimed that, had the Democrats been in power come the COVID-19 crisis, "millions would have died, millions more would have been infected, there'd be no record levels of testing, no right to try treatments, no fast track for a vaccine, no 'Operation Warp Speed' to deliver it". "In Socialized Medicine", she declaimed, "you don't beat the odds, you become the odds".
The next speaker was Democratic Georgia State Representative Vernon Jones (former De Kalb County [GA] Chief Executive, who had run unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate back in 2008), who explained why he was supporting President Trump's re-election. "The Democratic Party does not want Black people to leave their mental plantation", he said, but "we are free people with free minds". He went on to claim that "the Democratic Party has become infected with a pandemic of Intolerance, Bigotry, Socialism, anti-Law Enforcement Bias, and a dangerous tolerance for others who attack people, destroy their property, and terrorize our own communities". He was followed by Andrew Pollock whose daughter, Meadow, was killed in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in February 2018, who called the President "a good man, and a good leader" who "cuts through the BS".
Mark and Patty McCloskey- who gained much notoriety from their having brandished weapons at protestors in front of their home in St. Louis two months before- were next to speak remotely from their own home: "What you saw happen to us". Mrs. McCloskey claimed, "could just as easily happen to you who are watching from quiet neighborhoods around our country". "It seems as if the Democrats no longer view the government's job as protecting honest citizens from criminals", Mr. McCloskey added, "but, rather, protecting criminals from honest citizens. Not a single person in the out of control mob you saw outside our house was charged with a crime-- but, you know who was? We were: they've actually charged us with felonies for daring to defend our home"."The Marxist liberal activist leading the mob to our neighborhood", he went on, "won the Democrat nomination to hold a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives- in the city of St. Louis, that is the same as winning the General Election; that Marxist revolutionary is now going to be the Congresswoman from the 1st District of Missouri"- the preceding a reference to Cori Bush. "These radicals are not content with marching in the streets, they want to walk the halls of Congress; they want to take over, they want power".
"This is Joe Biden's Party", Mr. McCloskey then stated, "these are the people who are going to be in charge of your future and the future of your children". "They're not satisfied with spreading the chaos and violence into our communities", Mrs. McCloskey opined, "they want to abolish the suburbs altogether by ending single-family home zoning... these are the policies that are coming to a neighborhood near you. Make no mistake, no matter where you live, your family will not be safe in the radical Democrats' America". "At this moment in History", Mr. McCloskey added, "if you stand up for yourself, and the values this country was founded on, the mob- spurred on by their allies in the Media- will try to destroy you".
The next speaker was Kimberly Guilfoyle (currently Donald Trump, Jr.'s companion ["girlfriend" still seems, at least to me, just a tad too juvenile to apply to adults beyond a certain age], as well as ex-wife of current California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom), now a campaign official with Trump/Pence 2020 and, thereby, "a proud supporter of President Trump... as Commander in Chief, he always puts America first. President Trump is the Law and Order President".
"Biden, Harris, and the rest of the Socialists will fundamentally change this Nation", she declaimed. "They will defund, dismantle, and destroy America's Law Enforcement: when you are in trouble, and need Police, don't count on the Democrats!" "The same Socialist policies which destroyed places like Cuba, and Venezuela should not take root in our cities and our schools", she went on. "If you want to see the Biden-Harris Socialist future for our country, just take a look at California... the Democrats turned it into a land of discarded heroin needles in parks, riots in streets, and blackouts in homes. In President Trump's America, we light things up, we don't dim them down; we build things up, we don't burn them down; we kneel in prayer, and we stand for our flag".
"They want to destroy this country", she opined, "and everything we have fought for, and hold dear: they want to steal your liberty, your freedom; they want to control what you see and think and believe, so that they can control how you live". "America", she passionately shouted, "it's all on the line! President Trump believes in you; he emancipates and lifts you up to live your American dream... don't let the Democrats take you for granted; don't let them step on you- don't let them destroy your lives, your families, and your future; don't let them kill future generations because they told you, and brainwashed you, and fed you lies that you weren't good enough... Ladies and gentlemen, leaders and fighters for freedom and liberty and the American Dream, the best is yet to come!"
Congressman Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the House Minority Whip, was next, arguing that "the Democrats are the Party that wants to burn down the foundations of our country to the ground". For his part, Sean Parnell, a candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania, who opined that "the Party of Harry Truman became the party of hedge-fund managers, Hollywood celebrities, tech moguls, and university professors, all bloated with contempt for Middle America"; in contrast, President Trump has "fiercely defended the besieged 1st and 2nd Amendments, and that is just the start". "If you're a traditional Democrat who's become disillusioned with how radical your Party has become, then stand with us-- you are most welcome: America needs all her patriots to rush to her defense", he went on. "In our tent, you are free... join the chorus of patriot voices that will preserve this exceptional Union".
After a repeat of a video montage that had been shown earlier (the same one that had opened the evening: this time for television stations and networks now joining the broadcast at 10 PM Eastern Time US [0200 GMT, 25 Aug]), a video about the Trump Administration gaining the release of what were described as "American Hostages Wrongfully Detained by Foreign Government" was shown before we again saw President Trump, inside the White House, joined by six of those who had been so rescued.
The next speaker was Maximo Alvarez, a businessman (owner of Sunshine Gasoline Distribution) in Florida. "My family has fled from Totalitarianism, from Communism, more than once", he said. "First my dad from Spain"- the Franco regime, obviously-- "then from Cuba" [the Castro regime]. He suggested that "the other guy running for President"- Joe Biden- "is mostly concerned about Power: yes, yes, power for them- but not for the benefit of all Americans... I have seen people like this before, I have seen movements like this before, I have seem ideas like this before... we cannot let them take over our country."
" 'Trust the Socialist state more than your family and your community'?... they sound familiar", Alvarez went on. "When Fidel Castro was asked if he was a Communist, he said he was a Roman Catholic: he knew he had to hide the truth... when I hear their promises, I hear echoes of a former life I never wanted to hear again: I see shadows". "Right now, it is up to us to decide our fate, and to choose Freedom versus Oppression", he opined. "President Trump, he's fighting the forces of anarchy and Communism... and what about his opponent and the rest of the D.C. Swamp? I have no doubt they will hand the country over to those dangerous forces-- you and I will decide".
A video now followed, one over which the narrator intoned: "The Radical Left has taken over the Democratic Party and Joe Biden is marching in lock step with them... in Joe Biden's America, the Radical Left gets anything they want, and you get to pay for it". After which, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley (also a former Governor of South Carolina) spoke: she said, quoting then-U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick at the 1984 Republican Convention, "Democrats always blame America first", before she opined that her "words are just as true today". In contrast, she said, "Donald Trump has always put America first". "Joe Biden is good for Iran and ISIS", she claimed, "great for Communist China, and he's a godsend to everyone who wants America to apologize, abstain, and abandon our values". "A Biden-Harris Administration would be much, much worse", she went on. "Last time, Joe's boss was Obama; this time, it will be Pelosi, Sanders, and 'the Squad': their vision for America is Socialism... Joe Biden and the Socialist Left would be a disaster for our country".
Next came Donald Trump, Jr., the President's eldest son: "Courtesy of the Chinese Communist Party, the virus struck", he said. In response, the Democrats "put Political Correctness ahead of the safety and security of the American People"; in contrast, his son opined, President Trump "rallied the mighty American Private Sector to tackle this new challenge". "If you think about it, Joe Biden's entire economic platform seems designed to crush the working man and woman... Biden has promised to take that money out of your pocket, and keep it in the Swamp: that makes sense, though, considering Joe Biden is basically the 'Loch Ness Monster' of the Swamp-- for the past half century, he's been lurking around in there".
"This time, the other Party is attacking the very principles on which the Nation was founded", he continued. "Freedom of Thought, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, the Rule of Law... our Founders believed there was nothing more important than protecting our God-given right to think for ourselves: now, the Left-- they're trying to cancel all those Founders... Joe Biden and the radical Left are now coming for our Freedom of Speech: they're trying to bully us into submission-- if they get their way, it will no longer be the Silent Majority, it will be the Silenced Majority... People of Faith are under attack: you're not allowed to go to church, but mass chaos in the streets gets a pass. It's almost like this election is shaping up to be Church, Work and School versus Rioting, Looting, and Vandalism- or, in the words of Biden and the Democrats 'Peaceful Protesting' "- this last said with his hands doing air quotes.
"What happened to George Floyd is a disgrace and, if you know a police officer, you know they agree with that, too" but "when we dial '911', we don't want it going to voicemail", he stated. "Defunding the Police is not an option: everything starts with safety and security-- you can't have anything else without it". "Imagine", he went on, "the life you want to have- one with a great job, a beautiful home, a perfect family: you can have it; imagine the country you want to live in- one with true, equal opportunity, where hard work pays off, and justice is served with compassion and without partiality: you can have it; imagine a world where the evils of Communism and radical Islamic Terrorism are not given a chance to spread, where heroes are celebrated and the good guys win: you can have it-- that is the life, that is the country, that is the world that Donald Trump and the Republican Party are after- and, yes, you can have it!"
After a video featuring sisters Catalina and Madeline Lauf (the former had lost a Republican Primary for Congress in Illinois earlier this year) talking about their beekeeper father and mother from Guatemala came the featured speaker of the night, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott: "2020 has tested our Nation in ways we haven't seen in decades", he noted. Democrats "want the issue more than the solution", he opined. "Our side is working on policy", he claimed, "while Joe Biden's Democrats are trying to transform what it means to be an American... they will turn our country into a Socialist utopia"
As the clock reached 10:55 PM Eastern Time [0255 GMT, 25 Aug], this first evening of 'Trump 2020: the RNC Convention' came to an end with a shot of the White House at night looking at it from the south.
The second evening of 'Trump 2020: the RNC Convention' was intended to be dedicated to America as 'Land of Opportunity' and, as was the case the night before, began- on Tuesday 25 August 2020 at 8:30 PM Eastern Time US [0030 GMT, 26 Aug]- with a (different) video montage leading into a virtual Invocation offered by Rev. Norma Urrabazo of the International Church of Las Vegas, followed by Leighanne Ball leading a remote Pledge of Allegiance. A video featuring Myron Lizer, Vice-President of the Navajo Nation, speaking from Shiprock, New Mexico followed. A video featuring the work of ex-convict Jon Ponder, founder of the re-entry program Hope for Prisoners, followed, after which we were taken to the White House where President Trump spoke, with both Ponder and the FBI agent who had once arrested him (but has since befriended him)- Richard Beasley- at his side, after which both Ponder and Beasley made brief remarks before the President gave Ponder a presidential pardon.
After this, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky spoke at the Mellon Auditorium: calling President Trump "down-to earth", "just a normal guy", he stated that "President Trump gets things done". Meanwhile, fearing that Joe Biden "will choose war again" and "continue to spill our blood and treasure", while "President Trump will bring our heroes home", he also implored that "those of you who want to stand up to the Socialists poisoning our schools and burning our cities, join me in supporting President Trump". A video followed showing what it described as real people working every day, after which Jason Joyce, a lobsterman from Swan's Island, Maine spoke: he opined that President Trump has "followed through on his promises", especially supporting "stakeholder input" in off-coast fisheries; in contrast, he claimed, Joe Biden "will be controlled by the environmental extremists". He was followed by Cris Peterson of Four Cubs Farm in Grantsburg, Wisconsin who noted that "Donald Trump became President in the middle of the 'Great Depression' for dairy farmers in Wisconsin" and "as a businessman, President Trump understands Farming is a complicated, capital-intensive, and risky business".
A video on what the people in it felt were overbearing governmental regulations followed, after which National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow spoke remotely from his home: under President Trump, "the economy was rebuilt in three years", he claimed. "Everyone was better off: a rising tide lifted all boats". As for the pandemic: "It was awful... hardship and heartbreak were everywhere, but presidential leadership came swiftly and effectively... to successfully fight the COVID virus... Right now, our economic health is coming back... Americans are going back to work: there's a housing boom, an auto boom, a manufacturing boom, a consumer spending boom-- stocks are in record territory: a V-shaped recovery is pointing to better than 20 percent growth in the second half of this year... In economic terms, this is no time for a 4 trillion dollar tax hike... I say: stay with it!". He was followed by John Peterson, a sheet-metal company owner from Wausau, Wisconsin: "President Trump is rebuilding and our economy is ready to rise again", he said. "We cannot endure a Biden-induced recession", calling Joe Biden "a washed-up career politician: nothing but a puppet of the radical Left Democrats".
The next speaker was Cissie Graham Lynch, granddaughter of the late evangelist Billy Graham: "Our Founders did not envision a quiet Faith", she opined. "These Founders are under attack" She noted that President Trump was "the first President to talk about Religious Freedom at the United Nations" "The Left tried to silence us", she claimed. "The radical Left's 'God' is government power". Mayor Robert Vlaisavljevich of Eveleth, Minnesota- a Democrat- next spoke remotely: "The radical environmental movement has brought the Democrats so far to the left that it no longer represents the average working man", he said. "Biden is too weak, too scared, too sleepy to stand up to the radical Left".
Abby Johnson, founder of And Then There Were None (a former clinic director at Planned Parenthood who is now a Right to Life activist), spoke next and noted that Planned Parenthood gives out an award named for its founder Margaret Sanger "a racist who believed in eugenics. Her goal", Johnson opined, "was to eradicate the minority population"; she claimed that "every year" the organization "celebrates its racist roots by presenting the Margaret Sanger Award... This election is a choice between two anti-Life radicals and the most pro-Life President we have ever had". A video followed of the 2019 March for Life in Washington DC that led to an interaction between high school student Nick Sandmann and a counter-protestor who berated him while at the Lincoln Memorial, after which Sandmann himself spoke remotely, introducing himself as "the teenager who was defamed by the media". "The full war-machine of the Mainstream Media revved up into attack mode", he said. "The truth was not important: advancing their anti-Christian, anti-conservative, anti-Donald Trump narrative was all that mattered... I learned that what was happening to me had a name: it was called being 'canceled'- as in annulled, as in revoked, as in made void. 'Cancelled' is what is happening in this country to people who refuse to be silenced by the far Left... No one in this country has been a bigger victim of unfair media coverage than President Donald Trump".
The next speaker was former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi: Citing the theme of the evening, she opined that "For Joe Biden, it's been the land of opportunism, not opportunity". She recited a litany of allegations against, in particular, Joe Biden's son Hunter in relation to the latter's former business connections- while his father was serving as Vice President- with a Ukrainian gas company and (allegedly) Chinese banks. "Why should there be one standard for the elite political class", she asked, "and another set of rules for the rest of us". In contrast, President Trump, she opined, "is a tough, no-nonsense outside who can't be bought or intimidated; he wouldn't even take a paycheck from the American People".
A video followed about President Trump and his hiring of many women for many key positions at the White House, within his campaigns (the 2016 one, as well as that of this year), and in the Republican Party itself, after which his younger daughter Tiffany Trump spoke: "My father built a thriving economy once", she said, "and, believe me, he can do it again... this is a fight for Freedom versus Oppression, for Opportunity versus Stagnation: a fight to keep America true to America... My father does not run away from challenges, even in the face of outright hatred, because fighting for America is something he will sacrifice anything for". Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa next spoke- remotely from Des Moines: when the recent derecho came through her State "Someone else had our back", she said, "our President... he showed up; now you might not know that, because the national media didn't report it". A video followed, one featuring Vice President Pence at Abraham Lincoln's boyhood home in Pence's home State of Indiana which featured 6 people talking about various issues of importance to them, among these School Choice and 'Right to Try' experimental medical treatments. This was followed by police officer Ryan Holets of Albuquerque, New Mexico, who opined that President Trump "doesn't just talk about problems, but stops and helps".
The next speaker was Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez: "Fellow Americans, the fabric of our Nation is in peril", she claimed, "Daily, the radical Left systematically chisels away at the Freedoms we cherish: they peddle dangerous ideologies, cower to global Progressives, and normalize Socialism to dismantle our Constitution... Americans have a choice: we can go down a dark road of Chaos and Government Control, or we can choose a path of Freedom and Opportunity... Let us join our President in his vow that America will never be a Socialist country". After her remarks, we were back to the White House and the strains of Hail to the Chief as President Trump strode into the room to take part in a Naturalization Ceremony during which acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf administered the Oath of Allegiance to 5 people, after which President Trump spoke and introduced each of the immigrants-become citizens individually.
Eric Trump, son of the President, now spoke: "For every movement, there is a counter-movement: for Radical Democrats, America is the source of the world's problems; as a result, they believe that the only way forward is to erase History and forget the past. They want to destroy the monuments of our forefathers, they want to disrespect our Flag, burn the Stars and Stripes that represent Patriotism and the American Dream; they want to disrespect our National Anthem by taking a knee... they do not want the Pledge of Allegiance in our schools; many of them don't want one Nation under God... this is the fight that we are in right now, and it is a fight that only my father can win". "Joe Biden is a politician who has been in government for 47 years", he claimed, "He is a career politician who has never signed the front of a check... the same politician who has been a total pushover for Communist China, and someone who would be a giant relief for terrorists". In contrast, "To every proud American who bleeds red, white and blue", he stated: "My father will continue to fight for you" His remarks were followed by a video entitled 'OPPORTUNITY: Narrated by the American People'
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron was the next speaker: "Republicans will never turn a blind eye to unjust acts", he declared, "but neither will we accept an all-out assault on Western Civilization... I also think about Joe Biden who says... 'There is no diversity of thought in the Black community'... my mind is my own, and you can't tell me how to vote because of the color of my skin. Joe Biden is a backwards thinker in a world craving forward-thinking leadership; there's no wisdom in his record or plan: just a trail of discredited ideas and offensive statements... he is captive to the radical Left, a movement committed to 'Cancel Culture' and the destruction of public discourse... and, if you fail to conform while exercising your God-given right to speak and think freely, they will cut you down. The politics of Identity, Cancellation, and Mob Rule are not acceptable to me... Joe Biden remains trapped by his own failed record, and by the radicals who dominate his Party. Let's be honest: no one is excited about Joe Biden"
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo then spoke from Jerusalem- "this very city of God", as he put it. "Indeed, the primary constitutional function of the national government", he said, "is insure that your family, and mine, are safe, and enjoy the freedom to live, to work, to learn, and to worship as they choose".
Finally, we were taken to the Rose Garden at the White House: Vice President Pence and his wife were seen coming along the colonnade alongside it, and taking a seat in the front row of an array of outdoor seating for invited guests. Then President Trump came out and took his seat in the front row closest to the aisle and next to the Vice President, before the featured speaker- First Lady Melania Trump- came out and mounted the podium:
"It seems like just yesterday that we were at our first Convention where my husband accepted the Republican nomination, and then became our 45th President of the United States", she began. "We were humbled by your support then, and we are still humbled today"
"I want to acknowledge the fact that, since March, our lives have changed drastically", the First Lady went on. "The invisible enemy, COVID-19, swept across our beautiful country, and impacted all of us... I know many people are anxious, and some feel helpless; I want you to know you are not alone... I want to extend my gratitude to all the health care professionals, front-line workers, and teachers who stepped up in this difficult time. Despite the risk to yourselves, and your own families, you put your country first... I have been moved by the way Americans have come together in such an unfamiliar, and often frightening, situation... it has been inspiring to see what the people of our great nation will do for one another, especially when we are at our most fragile".
"As First Lady", she said, "I have been fortunate to see the American Dream come true, over and over again: I have met many inspiring women, children, parents, and families... the past three and a half years have been unforgettable. There are no words to describe how honored, humbled, and fortunate I am to serve our Nation as your First Lady... it is my greatest honor to serve you".
She noted that she and the President are "inspired by the millions of Americans who wake up each day with the simple, yet courageous, goal of providing for their families, and keeping them safe. You are the backbone of this country: you are the people who continue to make the United States of America what it is, and who have the incredible responsibility of preparing our future generations to leave everything even better than they found it. Just as you are fighting for your families... the people in this Administration are here fighting for you. No matter the amount of negative, or false, media headlines or attacks from the other side, Donald Trump... will not, lose focus on you: he loves this country, and he knows how to get things done... The future of this country has always been important to him, and it is something I have always admired".
"It is a harsh reality", the First Lady noted, "that we are not proud about parts of our History. I encourage people to focus on our future while still learning from our past: we must remember that, today, we are all one community comprised of many races, religions, and ethnicities. Our diverse and storied History is what makes our country strong, and yet we still have so much to learn from one another. With that in mind, I'd like to call on the citizens of this country to take a moment, pause, and look at things from all perspectives: I urge people to come together in a civil manner, so we can work and live up to our standard American ideals. I also ask people to stop the violence, and the looting, in the name of Justice, and never make assumptions based on the color of a person's skin. Instead of tearing things down, let's reflect on our mistakes, be proud of our evolution, and look to our way forward. Every day, let us remember we are one Nation under God, and we need to cherish one another".
"As you have heard this evening", she went on, "I don't want to use this precious time attacking the other side because, as we saw last week that kind of talk only serves to divide the country. I'm here because we need my husband to be our President and Commander in Chief for four more years: he's what is best for our country further. We all know Donald Trump makes no secret about how he feels about things: total honesty is what we citizens deserve from our President- whether you like it or not, you always know what he's thinking, and that is because he's an authentic person who loves this country and its people, and wants to continue to make it better... he wants nothing more than to make this country prosper; he doesn't waste time playing politics".
"I know, just as you do", she concluded, "that Americans will go to the polls and vote on behalf of their families, our economy, our national security, and our children's future. To vote for those ideals is not a partisan vote-- it is a common sense vote, because those are goals and hopes that we all believe in... God bless you all, and your families; and God bless the United States of America".
After she had finished speaking, President Trump stood up and joined his wife: they embraced, and then they walked hand and hand along the colonnade while the audience applauded. At 11:08 PM Eastern Time US [0308 GMT, 26 Aug], the camera dollied back and we saw the Rose Garden from above as the audience began to leave their seats: with that, the second night of 'Trump 2020: the RNC Convention' came to an end.
The third night of 'Trump 2020: the RNC Convention' was to be about America as 'Land of Heroes' and began- on Wednesday 26 August 2020, at 8:30 PM Eastern Time US [0030 GMT, 27 Aug]- with another video montage, followed by the Invocation given by Rabbi Aryeh Spero, head of the Conference of Jewish Affairs, after which Joseph Deslauriers, a wounded veteran, recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
From the Mellon Auditorium, Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota was the evening's first speaker: "I believe America is an exceptional nation", she said, "founded on three principles: Equality, Freedom, and Opportunity; but, today, our founding principles are under attack... we must fight to protect these foundational rights from government interference and indifference. America is unique in the world: government's power, at all levels, is limited to the confines of our Constitution, which protects our God-given Liberties and civil Rights; we are not, and will not, be the subjects of an elite class of so-called experts. We, the People, are the government". She was followed by Scott Dane of the Associated Contract Loggers and Truckers "Joe Biden hasn't done anything for the Timber industry" "radical environmentalists were allowed to kill the forest".
The next speaker was Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee: as to " the heroes in Law Enforcement and the Armed Services", she opined. "Leftists try to turn them into villains: they want to 'cancel' them; but I'm here to tell you these heroes can't be 'canceled'... in spite of the hatred thrown at them", they "have a deep-seated desire to serve a cause greater than themselves... As hard as Democrats try, they can't 'cancel' our heroes- they can't contest their bravery- and they can't dismiss the powerful sense of service that lives deep in their souls: so, they try to defund them-- our military, our police, even ICE-- to take away their tools to keep us safe... if there are no heroes to inspire us, government can control us... if the Democrats had their way, they would keep you locked in your house until you become dependent on the government"
She was followed by Congressman Dan Crenshaw of Texas- speaking remotely from Houston: "Our enemies fear us", he said, "because Americans fight for Good and we know it, which gives us strength: when our heroes are trusted and equipped, then Freedom prevails". He was followed by retired Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg, the National Security advisor to Vice President Pence: "I saw only one agenda", he said, "and one guiding question when tough calls had to be made: is this decision right for America?... President Trump is no 'hawk': he wisely wields the sword when required, but believes in seeking peace, instead of perpetual conflict".
Tera Myers, a School Choice advocate from Mansfield, Ohio, was the next speaker: "One size does not fit all", she said. "President Trump did not dismiss my son... gave [her son] an equal seat at the table". This was followed by a video entitled 'Suffrage', narrated by the President's daughter-in law Lara Trump. Next came White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany: she opined that one of her responsibilities, as a new mother, is "protecting America's future, a future President Trump will fight for: where our neighborhoods are protected, where life is sacred, where God is cherished-- not taken out of our schools, removed from our Pledge, and erased from our History. I want my daughter to grow up in President Donald J. Trump's America".
She was followed by Second Lady Karen Pence: "The Pences are a military family", she noted. "And one of my key initiatives is to elevate and encourage military spouses: these men and women... are the Home Front heroes... To all the military spouses: Thank you". Another video then led into an appearance by White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway: "A woman in a leadership role can still seem novel", she said. "Not so for President Trump: for decades, he has elevated women to senior positions in business, and in government... and insists we are on equal footing with the men"
Sister Deidre Byrne of Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, a physician and a retired U.S. Army colonel, followed: she opined that "the largest marginalized group in the world can be found here in the United States: they are the Unborn... as a physician, I can say- without hesitation- Life begins at Conception". "I'm not just pro-Life, I'm pro-Eternal Life", she said. "Donald Trump is the most pro-Life President that this Nation has ever had, defending Life at all stages... President Trump will stand up against Biden-Harris, who are the most anti-Life presidential ticket ever... Thank you, Mr. President: we are all praying for you"
The next speaker- remotely from Orlando, Florida- was Lou Holtz, former college and professional football coach: "There are people today", he opined, "like politicians, professors, protestors and, of course, President Trump's nay-sayers in the media who like to blame others for problems: they don't have pride in their country... they don't have pride in themselves-- that's wrong" President Trump, he opined, "says what he means, he means what he says, and he's done what he said he would do at every single turn... the Biden-Harris ticket is the most radically pro-Abortion campaign in History: they and other politicians are Catholic in name only, and have abandoned innocent lives; President Trump protects those lives". He was followed by Michael McHale, head of the National Association of Police Organizations: of President Trump, he said, "we value his support of aggressive Federal prosecution of those who attack our police officers... Unfortunately, chaos results when failed officials in cities... make the conscious decision not to support Law Enforcement... Joe Biden has turned his candidacy over to the far Left anti-Law Enforcement radicals"
Congressman Elise Stefanik of New York, as she herself said "the youngest Republican woman elected to Congress in History" "I am honored to support President Trump for re-election", she said, "because I know he is the only candidate who will stand up for hard-working families and protect the American Dream for future generations. Since his first day in office, President Trump has fought tirelessly for all Americans, despite the Democrats' baseless and illegal Impeachment sham, and the media's endless obsession with it... this attack was not just on the President: it was an attack on you, your voice and your vote... We understand that this election is a choice between the far Left democratic socialist agenda and protecting and preserving the American Dream". She was followed by North Carolina Congressional candidate Madison Cawthorn: he opined that "while the radical Left wants to dismantle, defund, and destroy, Republicans- under President Trump's leadership- want to rebuild, restore, and renew".
Jack Brewer, former professional football player, next spoke, saying he was "a lifelong Democrat, but I support President Trump" Racism, he claimed, "has no relation to President Trump". Chen Guangcheng, a blind Chinese dissident now in the United States, was the next speaker: "The CCP [Chinese Communist Party]", he said, "is the enemy of Humanity". He, in turn, was followed by Congressman Lee Zeldin of New York: "During a once-in a Century pandemic, an unforeseeable crisis sent to us from a faraway land", he claimed, "the President's effort for New York was phenomenal".
A video about Veterans and their support of President Trump followed, after which Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa appeared- remotely from Des Moines: speaking about the recent derecho that wreaked havoc across her State: "Most of the national media looked the other way", she claimed, "to them, Iowa is still just flyover country... when President Trump came to Cedar Rapids, the national media finally did, too... I can't recall an Administration more hostile to farmers than Obama-Biden, unless you count the Biden-Harris ticket: the Democratic Party of Joe Biden is pushing the so-called 'Green New Deal'... it would destroy the agriculture industry, not just here in Iowa, but across the country"... this election is a choice between two very different paths: Freedom, Opportunity, and Economic Growth under a Trump-Pence Administration or the Biden-Harris path, paved by liberal coastal elites and radical environmentalists"
She was followed by former professional football player Burgess Owens, Congressional candidate from Utah: "We live in a country where we are encouraged to dream big", he said, "where second chances are at the core of our American DNA: we don't hear that same message from Nancy Pelosi's Congress, career politicians, elitists, and even a former bartender want to believe it's impossible... for ordinary Americans". A video briefly introducing us to Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor was followed by the President's daughter-in law Lara Trump, speaking from D.C.: she stated that her middle school English teacher told her to "believe none of what you hear, half of what you read, and only what you're there to witness firsthand... President Trump is the Law and Order President, from the border to your backyard... Joe Biden will not do what it takes to maintain order, to keep our children safe in our neighborhoods and in our schools, to restore the American way of life".
The next speaker was Sam Vigil of Albuquerque New Mexico, whose wife was shot and killed in a carjacking involving at least one undocumented alien; he, in turn, was followed by Clarence Henderson- remotely from Greensboro, North Carolina where, 60 years ago, he was one of the participants in a famous lunch counter sit-in: "America isn't perfect", he said, "we're always improving: but the great thing about this country is that it's not where you come from, it's where you're going". He was followed by Ambassador Richard Grenell, former acting Director of National Intelligence: "After the end of the Cold War", he claimed, "Democrats and Republicans in Washington bought into the illusion that the whole world would start to resemble America, and so they started to pursue unlimited Globalization... they didn't ground any of it in the interests of the average American... that's what happened when Washington stopped being the capital of the United States, and started being the capital of the World... Donald Trump's Administration has always made clear that our priority is the American People's security". Nonetheless, he stated, "we will always stand with the people who fight for their God-given Freedoms. Don't be fooled: the Washington Establishment is trying to sell you on their candidate... that's the Democrats: between surveillance, classification, leaks and puppet candidates, they never want the American People to know who's actually calling the shots; but, with Donald Trump, you always know who's exactly in charge".
A video now added more information about Fort McHenry's relationship to the Star Spangled Banner (both the flag and the lyrics), which itself then began introducing the next, and featured speaker of the evening, Vice President Mike Pence:
"It's an honor to speak to you tonight from the hallowed grounds of Fort McHenry", he began, "the site of the very battle that inspired the words of our National Anthem... the heroes who held this fort took their stand for Life, Liberty, Freedom, and the American Flag, and those ideals have defined our Nation: but they were hardly ever mentioned at last week's Democratic National Convention; instead, Democrats spent four days attacking America... In these challenging times, our Country needs a President who believes in America, who believes in the boundless capacity of the American People, to meet any challenge, defeat any foe, and defend the freedoms we hold dear; America needs four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House. For the last four years, I've watched this President endure unrelenting attacks, but get up every day to fight to keep the promises that he made to the American People ", Pence continued. After this, he "humbly" accepted his renomination for Vice President.
"Over the past four years, I've had the privilege to work closely with our President", Pence stated. "I've seen him when the cameras are off... there's no doubt how President Trump sees America: he sees America for what it is- a nation that has done more good in this world than any other; a nation that deserves far more gratitude than grievance. And, if you want a President who falls silent when our Heritage is demeaned or insulted, he's not your man!"
As for President Trump, Pence said "I've learned a few things watching him... he does things in his own way, on his own terms; not much gets past him and when he has an opinion, he's liable to share it. He's certainly kept things interesting but, more importantly, President Donald Trump has kept his word to the American People. In a city known for talkers, President Trump is a doer."
"Four years ago, we inherited a military hollowed out by devastating budget cuts, an economy struggling to break out of the slowest recovery since the Great Depression... and we witnessed a steady assault on our most cherished values: Freedom of Religion and the Right of Life. That's when President Trump stepped in". "I was there when President Trump gave the order to take out the world's most dangerous terrorist", the Vice President told the assembled. "Iran's top general will never harm another American... History records that Joe Biden even opposed the operation that took down Osama bin Laden... We've stood up to our enemies, and we've stood with our allies... We made America great again"
As for COVID-19, Pence claimed that "before the first case of the coronavirus spread within the United States, the President took unprecedented action and suspended all travel from China... now, that action saved untold American lives, and I can tell you first hand, it bought us invaluable time to launch the greatest national mobilization since World War II... Last week, Joe Biden said that 'No miracle is coming': but what Joe doesn't seem to understand is that America is a nation of miracles... After all the sacrifice in this year like no other, and all the hardship, we're finding our way forward again... Thanks to the courage and compassion of the American People, we're slowing the spread, we're protecting the vulnerable, and we're saving lives, and we're opening up America again... and we're not just opening up America again, we're opening up America's schools."
"As we work to bring this economy back, we all have a role to play", the Vice President said, "we all have a choice to make... the choice is clear: to bring America all the way back, we need four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House... In the midst of this global pandemic, just as our Nation had begun to recover, we've seen violence and chaos in the streets of our major cities. President Trump and I will always support the right of Americans to peaceful protest, but rioting and looting is not peaceful protest; tearing down statues is not free speech, and those who do so will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the Law. Last week, Joe Biden didn't say one word about the violence and chaos engulfing cities across this country. So, let me be clear: the violence must stop... we will have Law and Order on the streets of this country for every American of every race, and creed, and color... Joe Biden would double down on the very policies that are leading to violence in America's cities: the hard truth is: you won't be safe in Joe Biden's America"
"My fellow Americans, we're passing through a time of testing, but soon we will come to a time for choosing", Pence went on. "Joe Biden has referred to himself as a 'transition candidate'... transition to what? But, last week, Democrats didn't talk much about their agenda: and, if I were them, I wouldn't either... At the root of their agenda is the belief that America is driven by envy, not aspiration... their agenda is based on government control; our agenda is based on Freedom.... President Trump has stood, without apology, for the sanctity of human life every day of this Administration; Joe Biden, he supports taxpayer funding of Abortion, right up to the moment of birth... the choice in this election have never been clearer, and the stakes have never been higher: last week, Joe Biden said 'Democracy's on the ballot', and the truth is our economic recovery is on the ballot, Law and Order are on the ballot, but so are things far more fundamental and foundational to our country... the choice in this election is whether America remains America"
"We stand at a crossroads, America", the Vice President opined. "President Trump has set our Nation on a path of Freedom and Opportunity; Joe Biden would set America on a path of Socialism and decline-- but we're not gonna let it happen!... Every day, President Trump has been fighting to protect the promise of America; every day, our President has been fighting to expand the reach of the American Dream; and, every day, President Trump has been fighting for you. And now it's our turn to fight for him"... Never forget that where the spirit of the Lord is, there is Freedom: that means, Freedom always wins... I leave here today more convinced than ever that we will do, in our time, as Americans have done throughout our long and storied past: we will defend our Freedom, and our way of life... and, with President Trump in the White House for four more years- and with God's help- we will make America great again-- again!"
Just after the Vice President had finished speaking, the strains of Hail to the Chief were heard, and President and Mrs. Trump strode out into the .... first President Trump joined Vice President Pence on stage to chants of "Four more years!", after which each was joined by their wives. Country singer Trace Adkins then came on stage to sing the National Anthem.
The President and First Lady, the Vice President and Second Lady, then came down to in front of the stage to interact with those standing all the front of the audience and spend some moments posing for photographs with them, before departing the scene at 11:22 PM Eastern Time US [0322 GMT, 27 Aug]: with that, the third night of 'Trump 2020: the RNC Convention' drew to a close.
The fourth and final evening of 'Trump 2020: the RNC Convention' began on Thursday 27 August 2020 at 8:30 PM Eastern Time US [0030 GMT, 28 Aug]; the theme of the evening was intended to be America as 'Land of Greatness'. Rev, Franklin Graham, son of the late evangelist Billy Graham, gave the Invocation, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by two children, a boy and a girl. This was followed by a video featuring House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (who had been Permanent Chair of the Convention back on Monday): "As Americans, we carve our own destiny", he said. "As Americans, we look forward- not backward... the choice before you could not be clearer: forward in Freedom, or backward in Socialism".
Ja'Ron Smith, Deputy Assistant to the President, was the first speaker from the Mellon Auditorium: "America's strength is America's people"; as for President Trump, "I have seen his true conscience". He was followed by a video of people who identified themselves as having been liberal Democrats (even 'democratic socialists'!) who now support President Trump's re-election, after which Congressman Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey (who, after having first been elected to Congress as a Democrat in 2018, had switched to the Republican Party the following year): he claimed that, as he moved from local to State, and on to Federal, elective office, he saw that "Democrats had become less accepting of American traditions, less believing in American exceptionalism, less supportive of traditional faith and family". He witnessed, he said, "members of 'the Squad' quickly take control of the Democratic Party just weeks after being elected: the Party had moved from liberal to radical... I voted 'no' on Impeachment, and it was an easy call... I've had enough with their radical, socialist agenda: do you really believe Joe Biden is ready, willing, and- most of all- able to do the same?... Joe Biden is being told what to do by the radicals running my former Party, the same radicals trying to install him as their puppet President".
A video led into an appearance by Stacia Brightmon, a graduate of the Military Apprenticeship Program: "President Trump believes in you", she opined. She was followed by Dan Scavino, White House Deputy Chief of Staff and Social Media Director: "The media can be a fog machine", he said, "creating a partisan mist around everything that's hard to see through. But, in 2016, you navigated through it all; you found your way through the Swamp, and you arrived safely on the other side with Donald J. Trump as your President... The President is not building his life; he's building yours... While they call it Chaos, President Trump calls it Change... He is truly a man of the People".
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky next appeared remotely from Louisville: "Today's Democrat Party doesn't want to improve life for Middle America", he claimed, "they'd prefer that all of us in flyover country keep quiet and let them decide how we should live our lives... They want to codify all this by making the Swamp itself- Washington, DC- America's 51st State; with two more liberal Senators, we cannot undo the damage they've done... like President Trump, we won't be bullied by a liberal Media intent on destroying America's institutions". He was followed by a video celebrating 'the American Athlete', one ending with the motto 'On to Victory'. Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, followed remotely from Las Vegas: President Trump "is one of the most loyal human beings I have ever met", he claimed, one who "has done everything he said he would do". "Freedom, Equality, and Opportunity", he concluded, "that's what it means to be an American".
Sean Reyes, Attorney General of Utah, was next- speaking from the Mellon Auditorium: "President Trump is a fierce warrior against Human Trafficking", he stated. He was followed by Debbie Flood, owner of the Meiron Corporation in Schofield, Wisconsin, who opined that "Joe Biden doesn't really know anything about Business and creating jobs". She was followed by a video of residents in New York City public housing.
The next speaker- remote from her home in St. Louis, Missouri- was Ann Dorn, herself a police officer and widow of retired St. Louis police captain David Dorn, who was killed when he responded to an alarm going off in a pawnshop for which he was providing security and was shot by looters. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson next spoke from Mellon Auditorium: "America is great when we behave greatly", he said. President Trump, he opined, "does not submit to Political Correctness or its enforcers, the Media".
Pat Lynch, head of the Police Benevolent Association of New York City, next spoke remotely from his home city: "The Democrats have walked away from us: they have walked away from police officers, and they have walked away from the innocent people they protect", he insisted. "The loudest voices have taken control... the violence and chaos we're seeing now isn't a side effect, it isn't an unintended consequence; it's actually the goal. The radical Left doesn't actually want better policing, they don't really care about making the Justice system fairer: what they want is no policing.... There is nobody who hates bad cops more than good cops, but that doesn't matter to the radical Left: to them, we're all just bad because we're all just blue... the message is: police officers are the enemy; the message is: criminals have the right to resist arrest... that is the message that is echoing through City Halls and Statehouses across our country: it's playing on a loop in the media" "It has never been harder to be a police officer in this country", he opined. "There's no other choice: you won't be safe in Joe Biden's America. We can have four more years of President Trump , or you can have no safety-- no justice-- and no peace".
The next speaker, from Mellon Auditorium, was former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani: During riots, he claimed, New York City's Mayor "has often prevented police from making arrests and, even when arrests are made, liberal 'progressive' [Giuliani made "air quotes" with his hands here] DAs released the rioters so as not to disrupt the rioting... Don't let Democrats do to America what they have done to New York. Again, the Democrats are urging you to vote for an obviously defective candidate: Biden has changed his principles so often, he no longer has any principles" "His Party's entire Left wing", he opined, are "just waiting to execute their anti-police, pro-criminal, Socialist policies... they had a President to beat, and a country to destroy... so Black Lives Matter and Antifa sprang into action and, in a flash, they hijacked the peaceful protests into vicious, brutal riots... these continuous riots in Democrat cities gives you a good view of the future under Biden". "It is clear", he went on, that "a vote for Biden and the Democrats creates the risk that you will bring this lawlessness to your city, to your town-- to your suburb!... Mr. President, make our Nation safe again!"
A video followed which claimed that Joe Biden had sold out to China, complete with graphics reading 'Time is Running Out' 'They Have Chosen Their Candidate' and 'Joe Biden for China'. This was followed by Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas speaking: "Joe Biden would return us to a weaker past", he opined. "President Trump fights against Communism-- in our backyard, and around the world... China is rooting for Joe Biden... we need a President who stands up for America, not one who takes a knee". Carl and Marsha Mueller, whose daughter Kayla- a humanitarian aid worker- was tortured and killed by the Islamic State in Syria, spoke thereafter.
A video followed in which the President's support of President Trump's approach Criminal Justice Reform followed, after which Alice Johnson- a first time drug offender who was freed from a long sentence in prison, and is now an ordained minister- spoke from Mellon Auditorium. She was followed by a video recounting Donald Trump's life (briefly), his 2016 campaign and election, and the events of his Administration so far.
We were now taken to the South Lawn of the White House, where Ivanka Trump came forward to speak to an audience gathered thereon: describing herself as "the proud daughter of the People's President", she stated that her father is a "President who's fighting from dawn to Midnight... he knows what he believes, and he says what he means". "My father isn't deterred by defeatist thinkers", she said. "Washington has not changed Donald Trump; Donald Trump has changed Washington"; as for Joe Biden, she said, "America doesn't need another empty vessel who will do whatever the media and the fringe of his Party demands".
She then introduced the President and First Lady who stepped out together onto the White House's South Portico, after which they strode down the steps to the podium. After standing before the applauding audience, Mrs. Trump took her seat in the audience, and President Trump came forward to speak:
"I stand before you honored by your support", he said. Then, in reference to Hurricane 'Laurel'-which had slammed into the US Gulf Coast late the night before- and the Federal, State, and local response thereto, he stated that "we are one national family, and we will also care for, protect, and love one another", after which he "profoundly" accepted his renomination for President of the United States.
"Everything we have achieved is now in danger", the President insisted. "At no time before have voters faced a clearer choice between two Parties, two visions, two philosophies, or two agendas. This election will decide whether we save the American Dream, or whether we allow a Socialist agenda to demolish our cherished destiny"... your vote will decide whether we protect law-abiding Americans, or whether we give free rein to violent anarchists, and agitators, and criminals who threaten our citizens; and this election will decide whether we will defend the American way of life, or whether we allow a radical movement to completely dismantle and destroy it-- that won't happen!... Tonight, I ask you a simple question: how can the Democrat Party ask to lead our country when it spent so much time tearing down our country? In the Left's backward view, they don't see America as the most free, just, and exceptional nation on Earth; instead they see a wicked nation that must be punished for its sins. Our opponents say that redemption can only come through giving power to them... in America, we don't turn to government to restore our souls, we put our faith in Almighty God. Joe Biden is not a savior of America's soul; he is the destroyer of America's jobs and, if given the chance, he will be the destroyer of American greatness"
"From the moment I left my former life behind- and it was a good life!", Trump said. "I did what our political establishment never expected, and could never forgive: breaking the cardinal rule of Washington politics-- I kept my promise. Together we have ended the rule of the failed political class, and they are desperate to get their power back by any means necessary- you've seen that! They are angry at me because, instead of putting them first, I very simply said 'America first'... and, when I'm re-elected, the best is yet to come" [This last engendered a long series of chants of "Four more years! Four more years!"].
"Biden's record is a shameful rollcall of the most catastrophic betrayals and blunders in our lifetime", the President opined. "He has spent his entire career on the wrong side of History... China supports Joe Biden, and desperately wants him to win", he claimed. "I can tell you that upon very good information. China would own our country if Joe Biden got elected".
Turning to COVID-19, "the tragedy [China] caused all over the world", Trump claimed: "We launched the largest national mobilization since World War II, invoking the Defense Production Act. We produced the largest supply of ventilators: not a single American who has needed a ventilator has been denied a ventilator, which is a miracle... If we had listened to Joe, hundreds of thousands more Americans would have died; instead of following the science, Joe Biden wants to inflict a painful Shutdown on the entire country... Joe Biden's plan is not a solution to the virus but, rather, it's a surrender to the virus. My Administration has a very different approach: to save as many lives as possible, we are focusing on the science, the facts, and the data". "We are marshaling America's scientific genius to produce a safe vaccine in record time", the President promised. "We will have a safe and effective vaccine this year and, together, we will crush the virus"
"At the Democrat Convention, you barely heard a word about their agenda- but that's not because they don't have one: it's because their agenda is the most extreme set of proposals ever put forward by a Major Party nominee. Joe Biden may want to proclaim that he is an ally of the light but, when it comes to his agenda, Biden wants to keep us completely in the dark: he doesn't have a clue... Joe Biden's agenda is made in China; my agenda is made in the USA"
"Tonight we proudly declare that all children, born and unborn, have a God-given Right to Life", the President proclaimed. "During the Democrat Convention, the words 'under God' were removed from the Pledge of Allegiance: not once, but twice-- we will never do that. But the fact is: this is where they're coming from- like it or not, this is where they're coming from. If the Left gains power, they will demolish the suburbs, confiscate your guns, and appoint Justices who will take away your 2nd Amendment and other constitutional Freedoms. Biden is a Trojan Horse for Socialism... The most dangerous aspect of the Biden platform is the attack on Public Safety... they will make every city look like Democrat-run Portland, Oregon. No one will be safe in Biden's America: my Administration will always stand with the men and women of Law Enforcement... we have to give Law Enforcement- our police- back their power".
"The Republican Party will remain the voice of the patriotic heroes who keep America safe and salute the American flag", Trump insisted. "If the radical Left takes power, they will apply their disastrous policies to every city, town, and suburb in America. Just imagine if the so-called 'peaceful demonstrators in the streets' were in charge of every lever of power in the U.S. Government: just think of that! Liberal politicians claim to be concerned about the strength of American institutions, but who exactly is attacking them? Who is hiring the radical professors, judges and prosecutors?... In every case, the attacks on American institutions are being waged by [the] radical Left. Always remember: they are coming after me because I am fighting for you- that's what's happening-- and it's been going on since before I even got elected; and remember this: they spied on my campaign, and they got caught-- let's see now what happens".
"We must reclaim our independence from the Left's repressive mandates", he opined. "The goal of 'Cancel Culture' is to make decent Americans live in fear of being fired, expelled, shamed, humiliated, and driven from Society as we know it. The Far Left wants to cower you into saying what is false and scare you out of saying what you know to be true-- very sad: but, on November 3rd you can send them a very thundering message they will never forget... Joe Biden is weak: he takes his marching orders from liberal hypocrites who drive their cities into the ground while fleeing the scene of the wreckage... this November, we must turn the page forever on this failed political class: the fact is I'm here... I'll say it differently-- the fact is we're here, and they're not". "We will fully restore Patriotic Education to our schools, and always protect Free Speech on college campuses", he promised.
The President said he was proposing "the unifying national agenda that will bring our country together... there has never been such a difference between two Parties, or two individuals, in ideology, philosophy or vision than there is right now: our opponents believe America is a depraved Nation-- we want our sons and daughters to know the truth: America is the greatest, and most exceptional, nation in the History of the World... Americans have steel in their spines, grit in their souls and fire in their hearts: there is no one like us on Earth... Americans build their future: we don't tear down our past" "For America, nothing is impossible", he insisted. "Together we are unstoppable, together we are unbeatable; because together we are the proud citizens of the United States of America. And, on November 3rd, we will make America safer, we will make America stronger, we will make America prouder, and we will make America greater than ever before"
After he had finished speaking, there was a fireworks display seen in the direction of the Washington Monument, the Tidal Basin, and the Lincoln Memorial-- one which included fireworks that spelled out 'TRUMP' and '2020' while the President and his family (including his children and grandchildren) watched from the stage on which he had just delivered his speech. Then there was entertainment from singer Christopher Macchio on the balcony of the South Portico, after which the Trump Family retired to the White House at 11:52 PM Eastern Time US [0352 GMT, 28 Aug]. And, with that, the four nights of 'Trump 2020: the RNC Convention' came to an end.