A rising generation of Republican stars, who were undermined on the opening night of the GOP’s scaled-back convention by speakers issuing dark warnings about the country’s future and distorting the president’s record, offered an optimistic view of U.S. President Donald Trump’s leadership. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley tried to cast the GOP as welcoming to Americans of color. This is despite the party’s overwhelmingly white leadership and voting base as Trump faces pressure to expand his appeal beyond his loyal supporters.
On Monday, Haley stated that she was a brown girl in a black and white world and that she faced discrimination but rejecting the idea that “America is a racist country.” She also acknowledged the Black Lives Matter movement by saying, “of course we know that every single Black life is valuable.” The prime-time convention proceedings mainly focused on dire talk about Joe Biden. Speakers worryingly cautioned that electing Biden would result in violence in American cities spilling into the suburbs, a frequent Trump campaign message with racist undertones.
Trump’s team attempted many themes and tactics throughout the night while scrambling to find a message that sticks. They attempted to characterize Biden as a vessel for socialists and far-left Democrats despite his moderate record featured optimism from those who could represent the GOP’s future. Trump and fellow Republicans falsely accused Biden of proposing to defund police, open borders, ban oil fracking, take over health care, and raise taxes on most Americans. They also assigned positions of the Democratic left to a middle-of-the-road candidate who explicitly rejected many of the party’s most liberal positions through the primaries.
With Election Day just ten weeks away, the opening night of the four-day convention indicated the increasing urgency driving Trump’s push to reshape a presidential contest that he is losing. On Tuesday next week, the first lady Melania Trump will deliver remarks from the White House. This week, Biden and his running mate are keeping a relatively low profile. Trump’s convention acknowledged that he must expand his coalition beyond his dominant white base. According to Gallup polling, Black Americans continue to be overwhelmingly negative in their assessments of the president’s performance.
The former football star Herschel Walker, who was one of several African Americans on Monday night’s schedule, refuted claims that Trump was a racist. Walker stated his soul was hurt to hear the terrible names that people call Donald, the worst being `racist.’ He indicated that he took it as a personal insult that people would think he would have a 37-year friendship with a racist. However, that stress clashed with Trump’s instinct to energize his die-hard loyalists. For example, Trump featured in Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple charged with felonies for pointing guns at what prosecutors deemed non-violent Black Lives Matter protesters marching past their home. McCloskey said that they were charged with felonies for daring to defend their home.
And Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida stated that Democrats would “disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home, and invite MS-13 to live next door.” While the coronavirus death toll surpasses 177,000 and job losses resulting from the pandemic also reach millions, Trump’s political future may depend on his ability to convince voters that America is on the right track. According to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, it is only 23% of Americans who think the country is heading in the right direction. Besides, as he was standing alongside front-line workers in the White House, Trump and his supporters touted his response to the pandemic. However, he glossed over his administration’s struggle to control the disease and the most mounting death toll in the world.
By borrowing a page from the Democrats’ convention playbook a week ago that effectively highlighted Biden’s personal connection to voters, organizers also repeatedly sought to cast Trump as an empathetic figure. A small business owner from Montana, a coronavirus patient, and a nurse practitioner from Virginia were among those cheering Trump’s leadership on the pandemic. Amy Ford, a registered nurse who was deployed to New York and Texas to fight the coronavirus, stated that as a healthcare professional, she could say without hesitation, Donald Trump’s quick action and leadership saved thousands of lives during COVID-19. Trump warned delegates that “the only way they can take this election away from us is if this is a rigged the election.”