Against the backdrop of the White House, President Donald Trump gave a 70-minute acceptance speech for a second term Thursday night (Aug. 27) before a partisan crowd of nearly 1,500 on the south lawn of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The speech was the conclusion of the four-day Republican National Convention.
Trump’s speech was a review of most themes brought forward during the week from a variety of RNC speakers. It also resembled a Trump rally speech with the commander-in-chief reciting his accomplishments on the economy, tax cuts, the coronavirus, military strength, border control, religious liberty, the second amendment, and law-and-order.
Trump couched the choice between himself and Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden as the most important election in our lifetime.
“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,” Trump said of the Democrats. “Your vote will decide whether we protect law-abiding Americans, or whether we give free reign to violent anarchists, agitators, and criminals who threaten our citizens.”
Trump trained a portion of his comments on Biden, saying his Democratic challenger was a “Trojan horse for socialism.”
“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,” he said. “Joe Biden is not a savior of America’s soul.”
Other speakers on the final night of the convention included Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., had a primetime speaking slot and used it to offer a defense of Trump’s international diplomacy, while criticizing Biden’s foreign policy credentials.
“Joe Biden said the Chinese Communists aren’t even our competitors, aren’t ‘bad folks’ — just months before they unleashed this plague on the world,” Cotton said. “President Trump is clear-eyed about the Chinese threat, and he’s making China pay.”
Cotton said that Biden’s past decisions have led America into unnecessary wars and lost U.S. lives.
“Too many of our fellow Americans are already honored at the hallowed grounds of Arlington. But if we want peace, we must be strong. Weakness is provocative. President Trump’s strength has kept us out of war,” Cotton said.
“Joe Biden won’t stand up for America. Donald Trump will,” he continued. “So, this November, let’s stand with the president and vote to keep America great.”
Talk Business & Politics summarized highlights from the Democratic National Convention last week and has reported on the Republican National Convention this week. Each night, a prominent party official or candidate has been asked for commentary and feedback on the evening’s events.
U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Little Rock, reacted to the night’s events and the final day of the GOP convention. Hill faces Democratic Sen. Joyce Elliott of Little Rock in the 2020 general election.
TB&P: What was your reaction to the President’s speech on Thursday night? Did he touch on issues you think are most important? Did you have a problem with it being delivered from the White House lawn?
Rep. French Hill: President Trump accepted the nomination for a second term with a speech that highlighted his promises made in 2016 and celebrated his promises kept. The President and the Republican Party’s domestic policies have directly helped American families by lowering the tax burden, raising real pay, creating more jobs, improving our bilateral trade deals, and lowering energy costs by increasing our energy independence.
On the international front, the President strongly outlined his much-needed changes to our foreign policy. The Trump presidency has resulted in, among other things, the defeat of ISIS, the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the moving of our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, as well as new Middle East initiatives that are helping to stabilize the region. Likewise, the President rejected the failed, poorly-designed Iran nuclear deal and protected America’s interests. President Trump also underscored his rebuilding of our armed forces, including long overdue pay raises for our men and women in uniform.
Particularly encouraging, the president emphasized his personal commitment to greater opportunity for all Americans. Among his initiatives are new workforce education, creation of opportunity zones, and the First Step Act, to help formerly incarcerated Americans rejoin society. The President’s speech was a successful highlight reel of the accomplishments on both domestic and international fronts.
TB&P: Sen. Cotton had a prime-time speech in the lineup. Were his comments in line with your thinking?
Rep. Hill: My friend, our junior Senator, Tom Cotton, told Americans that under President Trump’s foreign policy leadership that they “are safer.” I agree.
President Trump took office and immediately took action rebuilding our demoralized and misdirected military. Our troops got a pay raise and a new positive sense of direction. Senator Cotton outlined the end of Obama-Biden appeasement of ISIS and Iran and their ambivalence toward our strongest ally in the Middle East, Israel.
Importantly, President Trump is resetting relations with China in the face of their outright refusal to play by the rules and truly join the family of nations. And, he is leading that reset among our allies in Europe and Asia. Together, with our diplomatic, financial, and military strategies, America and her allied nations will counter the Chinese Communist Party’s provocation and encourage Chinese global responsibility.
TB&P: Sum up your overview of the RNC this week. We’re in the COVID-19 age so things were different than a full-blown in-person convention. Was this week effective?
Rep. Hill: The pandemic has challenged both national political parties. The Democrats and Republicans both innovated and attempted new ways to bring their message to the American people. Martha and I watched both weeks.
Unlike the dark Democratic convention, the President discussed fighting COVID-19 head-on and noted our success in fighting the virus through partnership across the nation and in the unprecedented leadership in developing treatments and launching “Operation Warpspeed” for a vaccine.
The Republican National Committee delivered a terrific week which highlighted President Trump’s “Promises Made and Promises Kept” with Americans from all walks of life pointing out his many accomplished goals from 2016. Among those accomplishments are the best economy in five decades, improved border security, rebuilding the military, insisting on accountability for care and service for our beloved veterans, slashing unnecessary regulatory red tape, and trade deals that actually benefit the American people.
In my view, the policies of the Republican Party will lead to a successful rebuilding of our economy back to its strength of January, restore our way of life and renew the American Dream for all Americans.