By David Wenner pennlive.com
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The final night of the Republican National Convention wrapped with a fiery 70-minute speech from the President about why he should get four more years.
President Donald Trump stuck to a script while formally accepting the Republican nomination for president on Thursday night.
It was a long, detailed script, with Trump offering a far-reaching list of promises kept. All the while, he painted a dark picture of “anarchy and mayhem” he said would follow election of his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden.
“This election will decide whether we save the American dream, or whether we allow a socialist agenda to demolish our cherished destiny,” Tump told an audience of 1,500 on the White House lawn. The audience was seated closely together and few wore face masks.
“How can the Democrats lead our country when they spend so much time tearing down our country? … They see a wicked nation that must be punished for its sins,” he said.
Trump said he has enacted record tax and regulation cuts, made American energy independent, thrown out bad trade details and negotiated good ones. He said he has stood up to China, deported tens of thousands of criminal illegal aliens and rooted out terrorist leaders in the Middle East.
He said he has taken on Big Pharma to lower drug prices, erected long expanses of border wall and, before the pandemic, created record-high levels of employment for Blacks, Hispanics and Asian Americans.
“I have done more for the African American community than any president since Abraham Lincoln. I have done more for the Black community in three years than Joe Biden has done in 47 years. And when I’m re-elected the best is yet to come,” Trump said.
He promised a coronavirus vaccine soon, possibly before the end of the year, and pledged the United States will plant the first flag on Mars, touting it as an effort that will unite the country. He flashed anger and cited unsubstantiated grievances, such as the claim Democrats spied on him during his 2016 campaign.
Jim Lee, president of Harrisburg-based Susquehanna Polling and Research, gave Trump an “above average score.”
He gives the president strong grades for the contrast he drew between himself and Biden and giving a convincing account of “promises made and promises kept.”
However, Lee believes Trump was “a little weak” in showing what the next four years of his administration would look like. He also believes Trump “missed opportunities” in not talking more about racial injustice and in not offering more detailed plans for health care.
“That was a mistake. When the Democrats get voters to talk about healthcare, they win,” he said.
Still, Lee stressed the speech, and the remainder of the campaign, isn’t about swaying undecided voters. There are few undecided voters, said Lee, who is involved in regular polling about the election. The key to winning Pennsylvania, he said, is driving turnout, and to that end, Trump did a good job of “connecting the dots” and making a case to turn out on his behalf. “I think he did a pretty good job and he’ll be given good scores for his performance,” Lee said.
Dan Wyrick of Cumberland County was satisfied by the vision Trump laid out for a second term, saying he heard solid plans for things like supporting law enforcement, further reducing taxes and creating more incentives toward keeping jobs in the United States.
He also heard a long list of items and accomplishments he believes matter to Pennsylvanians and will win him the state: Tump’s focuses on “law and order”; lowering prescription drug prices; and supporting oil and fossil production and related jobs. “Those are things I think are important to Pennsylvanians,” he said.
Wyrick, 61, who works in sales of commercial heating and air conditioning systems, believes there is a strong, quiet majority of Pennsylvanians who plan to vote Trump, and he wouldn’t be surprised to see a “landslide.”
Jim Gerlach, 65, the former Republican U.S. Congressman from suburban Philadelphia, said speakers who preceded Trump were “very effective” in highlighting what Gerlach considers the pivotal choices: economic growth versus socialism; law and order versus rioting and looting; and conservative values versus a career politician in Biden.
He believes the speakers made strong cases for Trump in each of those. All night, speakers including a veteran New York City police officer and union official painted Biden and Democrats as undermining police and favoring a criminal justice system that protects rather than punishes criminals. They referred repeatedly to the ongoing protests in major cities and accused Democrats of preventing police from protecting innocent citizens and business owners.
Biden responded on Thursday, pinning the blame on Trump and a failure to address social injustice. “The violence we’re witnessing is happening under Donald Trump. Not me. It’s getting worse, and we know why,” a campaign statement said. He also responded to claims he is accepting of violent protest.
“I have made it clear. There is no place for violence, looting, or burning. None. Zero,” Biden said. “All it does it hurt the communities reeling from injustice – and it destroys the businesses that serve them – many of them run by people of color who for the first time in their lives have begun to build wealth for their family.”
However, Gerlach, 65, known as a moderate in Congress, believes the ongoing riots and talk of defunding police have created great “angst” that will impact many voters’ choices. He doubts many voters will blame the president for riots, especially in cities that have long been controlled by Democrats.
“There are a lot of law and order voters out there … they cut across all party affiliations. They are concerned about safety and security and they will vote in this election,” said Gerlach, adding that whoever can provide the best assurance of safety and comfort will get their vote.
Even with that, Gerlach views the election as up in the air, and believes it will come down to which candidate can sway independents to their vision. The night was heavy on speakers who warned Democrats and Biden will weaken the country’s military posture, impose excessive taxes, and who portrayed Biden as a “Trojan horse” for socialism.
Speakers ranged from Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to Dana White, who is president of Ultimate Fighting Championships, to former New York City Rudy Giuliani to Ivanka Trump, the president’s oldest daughter.
Speakers said Trump built the strongest economy in history prior to the pandemic, he has relentlessly and successfully pursued terrorists, has invested billions in fighting the opioid crisis and fought for opportunity for entrepreneurs and minorities.
One of the longest, most vivid segments involved Ann Dorn, whose husband David, a retired police captain, was fatally shot while providing security at a pawn shop in St. Louis during rioting in June. Dorn, who chronicled her husband’s last night in painful detail, said too many young people don’t understand that life is precious, and can’t be restored by a video game reset.
Patrick Lynch, a New York City police office and union official, said Democrats “want no policing” and a criminal justice system that helps rather than punishes criminals. He said Democrats have delivered “the message that criminals have the right to resist arrest … the criminals have heard that message and they are taking full advantage.”
Convention speakers on Thursday night also railed against the news media, saying Trump has received more unfair and negative coverage than any president in history. However, Dr. Ben Carson, the retired brain surgeon and Trump cabinet member, said Trump “does not submit to political correctness or its enforcer, the media.”