President Donald Trump has criticized his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, for being “weak” and has drawn sharp divisions between what Republicans see for the United States and what he said Democrats advocate, while he rounded up his party’s national convention and demanded a second term. in the office.
“Our opponents think America is a depraved nation. We want our sons and daughters to know the truth; America is the most outstanding nation in the history of the world, ”Trump said in a speech to a live audience at the White House.
Amid a pandemic still ravaging the United States, Trump defied public health guidelines to muster an audience of 2,000 guests who typically did not maintain physical distance or wear masks at an event held on the south lawn of the White House.
To their applause, Trump claimed responsibility for his iconic achievements in four years; building the wall on the southwestern border of the United States, ending illegal immigration, lowering drug prices, renegotiating trade deals, cutting taxes and creating jobs.
Trump has claimed success in fighting the coronavirus and has attacked Biden in hyperbolic terms for his plans to raise taxes, switch the US to clean energy, reform US immigration laws and fight against the coronavirus.
“Joe Biden’s plan is not a solution to the virus. It’s surrender to the virus, ”Trump said.
Biden is “a Trojan horse of socialism” who “would demolish the suburbs” and “confiscate your weapons,” Trump said.
Biden “has promised to end travel bans for the national security of jihadist nations,” Trump said, referring to his own controversial travel ban to the United States from a number of predominantly Muslim countries.
Biden would abolish the cash bond “freeing 400,000 criminals” in American neighborhoods, and pave the way for the “radical left” to “dismantle the police department,” he said. This claim is a distortion of Biden’s latest proposal to reform America’s bail system, which discriminates against the poor by keeping them in jail.
In a 70-minute speech, Trump ddirected his most explosive rhetoric to condemn the civil unrest and racial protests which have confused the country. “There is violence and danger on the streets,” Trump said.
“If the Democratic Party wants to stand alongside the anarchists, agitators, rioters, looters and flag burners, it is up to them to decide. But I, as president, will not be part of it. The Republican Party will remain the voice of the patriotic heroes who protect America and salute the American flag. “
The latest civil unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin and elsewhere in the United States was the focus of concern for Republican speakers on Thursday. They vehemently argued that the riots in Democratic-led American cities foreshadowed a lawless future for the nation if Trump was not re-elected.
Keith Whittington, a professor of politics at Princeton University, said Trump was trying to shift blame for the pandemic and protests on others, a difficult political task but one that could yield gains as his re-election campaign grows. running over the next 10 weeks. .
“The Trump administration is tied to some of the policy responses to the economy and the pandemic in such a way that it can’t very easily walk away from it and say it’s someone else’s fault Whittington said.
But, “in the context of the riots in the cities, he has a little more credibility in being able to say that other government officials have primary responsibility for this, they haven’t done a good enough job” Whittington told Al Jazeera.
Not a racist
Several Republican speakers in Thursday’s largely virtual convention program defended Trump’s hostile approach to the Black Lives Matter protests.
“President Trump does not interfere in identity politics,” said Ben Carson, Trump’s housing and urban development secretary.
“He wants everyone to be successful and believes in the saying ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’. Many on the other side like to incite division by claiming that President Trump is a racist, ”Carson said.
“They couldn’t be more wrong. ”
Ann Dorn, the widow of Dave Dorn, a retired St. Louis police officer and security guard who was killed by looters during protests in June, paid heartfelt tribute to her late husband.
“Looters were ransacking the store. They shot and killed Dave in cold blood and televised the execution and his last moments on earth live, ”Dorn recalls.
“How did we get to this point where so many young people are so callous and indifferent to human life? It’s not a video game where you can commit mayhem and then reset, ”she says.
“The Democrats have moved away from us,” said Patrick Lynch, president of the New York Police Benevolent Association.
“You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America. You can be four years older as President Trump. Or you can’t have security, no justice, no peace. ”
Former New York mayor and Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani have warned Democrats will do to the nation what they have already done in New York if Biden is elected.
“Murders, shootings and violent crime are increasing at percentages never seen in the past,” Giuliani said.
In front of the White House grounds on Thursday evening, the demonstrators gathered on “Black Lives Matter plaza” near Lafayette Park. Air horns could be heard briefly in the background of Trump’s speech.
Protesters unfurled a flag that read “Trump lies all the time” and clashed with a small group of Trump supporters before being separated by police, according to reports.
Many had traveled to Washington, DC, to participate in the “March on Washington” scheduled for Friday for racial justice; an event which should attract thousands.
Earlier today, Biden criticized Trump’s rhetorical attacks on protesters and said Trump was encouraging racial divisions in the United States to aid his re-election campaign. Biden blamed the unrest on Trump, the incumbent.
“He sees this as a political advantage for him. He’s advocating more violence, ”Biden said on MSNBC, a liberal-leaning newscast.
“He encourages that. It doesn’t decrease it at all. It’s his America now, ”Biden said.
In a speech Thursday, hours before Trump’s speech, Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris offered a scathing critique of Trump’s performance in office.
Trump has shown “a reckless disregard for the welfare of the American people” by failing to contain the COVID-19 epidemic, Harris said.
“Donald Trump froze. He was scared. He was mean and vindictive, ”she said of the president’s swift response to the outbreak in the United States.
The final night of the Republican convention was capped off by a series of fireworks announcing “Trump 2020” above the Washington Monument on the National Mall, the long grassy park that stretches from the US Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial .
Opera singer Christopher Macchio sang Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen and Ave Maria by Franz Schubert bFrom the balcony of the White House residence, Trump and his family gathered on the stage in front of the audience, giving the evening a classic finish.