President Donald Trump criticised his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, as “weak” and drew sharp divisions between what Republicans envision for the United States and what he said Democrats advocate, as he rounded up his party’s national convention and staked his claim for a second term in office.
“Our opponents believe America is a depraved nation. We want our sons and daughters to know the truth; America is the most exceptional nation in the history of the world,” Trump said in remarks to a live audience at the White House.
In the midst of a pandemic that is still ravaging the US, Trump defied public health guidelines to assemble an audience of 2,000 guests who largely did not maintain physical distancing or wear masks at an event staged on the South Lawn of the White House.
To their applause, Trump claimed his signature accomplishments in four years; building the wall on the southwest US border, ending undocumented immigration, lowering medicine prices, renegotiating trade deals, cutting taxes and creating jobs.
Trump asserted success in combating the coronavirus and he attacked Biden in hyperbolic terms for his plans to raise taxes, switch the US to clean energy, reform US immigration laws, and tackle the coronavirus.
“Joe Biden’s plan is not a solution to the virus. It is a surrender to the virus,” Trump said.
Biden is “a Trojan horse for socialism” who would “demolish the suburbs” and “confiscate your guns”, Trump claimed.
Biden “promised to end national security travel bans from Jihadist nations”, Trump said, a reference to his own controversial ban on travel to the US from a number of predominately Muslim countries.
Biden would abolish cash bail “releasing 400,000 criminals” into US neighbourhoods, and pave the way for the “radical left” to “defund police departments”, he said. The claim is a distortion of Biden’s latest proposal to reform the US bail system, which discriminates against poor people by holding them in jail.
In a 70-minute speech, Trump directed his most bombastic rhetoric at condemning the civil unrest and racial protests embroiling the country. “There is violence and danger in the streets,” Trump said.
“If the Democrat Party wants to stand with anarchists, agitators, rioters, looters and flag burners, that is up to them. But I, as your president, will not be a part of it. The Republican Party will remain the voice of the patriotic heroes who keep America safe and salute the American flag.”The latest civil unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin and elsewhere in the US was a key focus of Republican speakers on Thursday. They argued vehemently that riots in US cities run by Democrats foreshadow a lawless future for the nation if Trump is not re-elected.