President Donald Trump delivered a more than 70-minute acceptance speech on a jammed White House South Lawn, defending his handling of the pandemic and promised to lead the nation out of economic recession.
Using the White House reasons to deliver a campaign speech had already got Trump into trouble.
Then the glimpse of hundreds of people in his audience, seated shoulder to shoulder on the South Lawn, raised questions about the risk of spreading coronavirus.
But afterwards, as fireworks went off over the National Mall, his Democratic opponents Joe Biden and Kamala Harris made allegations against him of putting the country at risk.
These are the Republican voters and others’ reaction below:
“It met all my criteria I wanted in an acceptance speech. The base is going to feel really good about it – to go vote and to take five people to the polls with them. It did what it was supposed to do. [in terms of swaying voters] It’s up to the individual. Everybody has to do their own research.”
“The speech was for the Republican base that knows they’re gonna be voting for him. He hit what I and I’m sure others believe are key points. He hit those points that I think many people want to hear his thoughts and opinions on, then looped back to his accomplishments. It’s very important for me, as a Hispanic American [from Venezuela], to hear him talk about the differences between right and left.”
“I really like the fact that he spoke about Alice Johnson [a woman who spent 22 years in prison and had her sentence commuted by Trump] regarding the justice reform that’s affecting a lot of Americans. And he said America is the torch that lights the rest of the world I thought that was pretty accurate. Biden may have a plan but nobody really knows what that’s going to be – what that entails. [Trump] comes across as more organised about what needs to happen.”
“I agree this speech was for the base. My bar for his ability to stick with the script is very low, so he did well. I have a lot of problems with the lies. It was very repetitive and rambling. Here is the Republican Party, here are our beliefs and nobody else is right… I wanted to hear more, as a young voter, about being a united country, rather than right or left. There was not as much inclusivity about young people and the youth vote as I would have liked to hear.”
“A lot of what was said was not the whole truth, and a lot of fear-mongering. It created a narrative. The speech was powerful. The end of the speech was brilliant. But I have not been swayed by it. If I had to vote today, I would vote for Joe Biden only because I am really tired of hearing the president say things that are not the truth or not the whole truth. I would have to vote for anyone who tells the truth.”
Brooke voted for Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson in 2016 but assumes she will move to Trump this time. “Cancel culture… that’s what drew me to Trump, It doesn’t even feel like America anymore, it feels like we have to walk on egg shells. I wasn’t blown away [by his speech], but I didn’t see any yellow or red flags. I feel affirmed in my vote.”
Hurricanes, wildfires, a pandemic and urban riots. You might think Americans were having a bad week. President Donald Trump has a different opinion. Tonight, Trump was the first president since FDR to approve of his party’s nomination from the White House. While not unknown, it’s surely a new optic for the American voters. But, then again, in 2020, what isn’t?
President Donald Trump used his prime time spot to outline his strengths, capitalise on good economic news, and spoke with great honesty about the damage that Covid-19 has caused upon our nation. He compared his record of success in one word with Biden’s 47 years in Washington, and he did it effectively. But it is this author’s view that Trump was overshadowed by the incredibly emotional prior speeches by the widow of slain Captain David Dorn, the parents of Islamic State hostage Kayla Mueller and the face of Trump’s “First Step Act,” pardoned prisoner Alice Marie Johnson.
However, the night was clearly and emotional win, not just for the president, but for all Americans. A win tonight for Trump, but above all: a win for the Republican ticket nationwide. The year 2020 is a year of disorder. Well, year 2020, meet the man who was born to lead in this environment; and that man is not Joe Biden. That’s what we learned tonight.
In a ponderous, hour-long speech more akin to a State of the Union address than a nomination acceptance, President Donald Trump rotated between ticking through his record as president and circling around, like a prize fighter, to launch strikes on his Democratic rival, Joe Biden.
It was a blunderbuss of critics, of different levels of validity, in the hope that some will draw blood on trade, immigration, education, energy and foreign policy. But most of all, Trump sought to label Biden as in league with the protesters on the streets and the more left-wing members of the Democratic party.
The setting of the speech was awesome on the grounds of the White House and in view of the Washington monument.
The delivery from a president who prosper more on inspiring rallies than rhetorical set-pieces, however, usually landed with a crash.