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Trump accepts Republican Party’s re-nomination as presidential candidate

Facing a moment fraught with national crises, US President Donald Trump accepted his party’s renomination on a massive White House South Lawn stage Thursday night, breaking with tradition by using the executive mansion as a political backdrop and defying pandemic guidelines to address a tightly packed, largely maskless crowd.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Published on: August 28, 2020 8:48 IST
Donald Trump
Image Source : AP

President Donald Trump speaks from the South Lawn of the White House on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Facing a moment fraught with national crises, US President Donald Trump accepted his party’s renomination on a massive White House South Lawn stage Thursday night, breaking with tradition by using the executive mansion as a political backdrop and defying pandemic guidelines to address a tightly packed, largely maskless crowd.

As troubles churned outside the gates, Trump painted an optimistic vision of America’s future, including an eventual triumph over the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 175,000 people, left millions unemployed and rewritten the rules of society. But that brighter horizon can only be secured, Trump asserted, if he defeats Joe Biden, against whom he unleashed blistering attacks meant to erase the Democrat’s lead in the polls.

“We have spent the last four years reversing the damage Joe Biden inflicted over the last 47 years,” Trump said. “At no time before have voters faced a clearer choice between two parties, two visions, two philosophies or two agendas.”

Presenting himself as the last barrier protecting an American way of life under siege from radical forces, Trump declared the Democratic agenda as “the most extreme set of proposals ever put forward by a major party nominee.”

As his speech brought the scaled-back Republican National Convention to a close, Trump risked inflaming a divided nation reeling from a series of calamities, including the pandemic, a major hurricane that slammed into the Gulf Coast and nights of racial unrest and violence after Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot by a white Wisconsin police officer. 

He was introduced by his daughter Ivanka, an influential White House adviser, who portrayed the famously bombastic Trump as someone who empathizes with those who have suffered through the pandemic.

“I’ve been with my father and seen the pain in his eyes when he receives updates on the lives that have been stolen by this plague,” she said.

The president spoke from a setting that was both familiar and controversial. Despite tradition and regulation to not use the White House for purely political events,a huge stage was set up outside the executive mansion, dwarfing the trappings for some of the most important moments of past presidencies. The speaker’s stand was flanked by dozens of American flags and two big video screens.

Trying to run as an insurgent as well as incumbent, Trump rarely includes calls for unity, even in a time of national uncertainty. He has repeatedly, if not always effectively, tried to portray Biden — who is considered a moderate Democrat — as a tool of the radical left, fringe forces he has claimed don’t love their country.

The Republicans claim that the violence that has erupted in Kenosha and some other American cities is to be blamed on Democratic governors and mayors. Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday said that Americans wouldn’t be safe in “Joe Biden’s America.”

That drew a stern rebuke from his predecessor in the post.

“The problem we have right now is that we are in Donald Trump’s America,” said Biden on MSNBC. “He views this as a political benefit to him, he is rooting for more violence not less. He is pouring gasoline on the fire.”

Both parties are watching with uncertainty the developments in Wisconsin and cities across the nation with Republicans leaning hard on support for law and order — with no words offered for Black victims of police violence — while falsely claiming that Biden has not condemned the lawlessness. Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney and New York City’s former mayor, declared that Democrats’ “silence was so deafening that it reveals an acceptance of this violence because they will accept anything they hope will defeat President Donald Trump.”

Though some of the speakers, unlike on previous nights, offered notes of sympathy to the families of Black men killed by police, Giuliani also took aim at the Black Lives Matter movement, suggesting that it, along with ANTIFA, was part of the extremist voices pushing Biden to “execute their pro-criminal, anti-police policies” and had “hijacked the protests into vicious, brutal riots.”

(With AP inputs)

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