- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 23, 2020

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said the Republican National Convention will focus on how President Trump’s policies are benefiting real people and highlight the president’s term as one of action compared to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s tenure.

Mr. Meadows said Mr. Trump will promote law enforcement, as the White House blames local Democrats for protests that have turned violent in some cities, and make the case that he has far outpaced Mr. Biden in productivity.

“This president accomplished more in his first 100 days than Joe Biden did in the last 40 years,” Mr. Meadows told “Fox News Sunday.”

He said Mr. Biden’s well-received speech to the virtual Democratic National Convention last week won’t cut it, because what people are “looking for is action.”

Republicans will start their convention Monday with a nominating vote in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a week of speeches by Mr. Trump, members of his family and key congressional supporters from various sites, including the White House.

While the president will give his formal acceptance speech Thursday, he is expected to appear each night.

Jason Miller, a Trump campaign senior adviser, said the convention will focus on the “American story” and an “uplifting message” after a “grievance fest” from Democrats.

“There’s going to be some breakout stars, some people that you would not expect to be supporters of the president, and it’s going to tell a very beautiful story,” Mr. Miller told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The opening night will highlight the “Land of Promise,” aiming to show how Trump helped renew the American dream.

Featured speakers include South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, who will deliver the coveted closing speech of the televised prime-time block; former Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley; presidential son Donald Trump Jr.; staunch congressional defenders Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Jim Jordan of Ohio; and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.

Tanya Weinreis, a Montana coffee shop owner who received federal loans to pay her employees during the coronavirus crisis, also will speak, as will Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was among those killed in the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Tuesday’s theme is “Land of Opportunity,” which is expected to cast Mr. Biden’s plans as “socialist” and “radical left.” Speakers will highlight the president’s actions on trade, abortion and the nation’s opioid crisis. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will address Trump’s foreign policy record, an unusual foray into domestic politics by the nation’s top diplomat, and Trump children Eric and Tiffany Trump also will speak.

Another speaker will be Nicholas Sandmann, who as a student at a Catholic high school in Kentucky gained national attention last year for his interaction with an American Indian man during demonstrations in Washington. Media commentary in the aftermath of the viral video from the interaction depicted the students as racially insensitive. Mr. Sandmann and the American Indian man, Nathan Phillips, later said they were both trying to defuse tensions among conflicting groups that converged at the Lincoln Memorial.

First lady Melania Trump will deliver the marquee address of the night from a newly renovated White House Rose Garden.

On Wednesday, themed “Land of Heroes,” will feature a raft of conservative personalities including South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York and presidential daughter-in-law Lara Trump.

Clarence Henderson, a civil rights figure from the 1960s, is also on deck to address the “true meaning of peaceful protest,” planners said, as Mr. Trump plans to highlight police officers amid a nationwide call for police reform after the May death of George Floyd in police custody.

Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to deliver the keynote Wednesday from Baltimore’s Fort McHenry, which inspired “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 1814, to highlight Mr. Trump’s opposition to professional athletes who protest against racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem.

Speakers on the final night, themed “Land of Greatness,” will include Alice Johnson, the criminal justice advocate whose sentence on drug crimes was commuted by Mr. Trump at the urging of celebrity Kim Kardashian West; Carl and Marsha Mueller, the parents of human rights activist Kayla Mueller, who died while being held by the Islamic State in Syria; and evangelist Rev. Franklin Graham.

Mr. Trump’s personal attorney, former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, whose attempts to dig up dirt in Ukraine on Mr. Biden’s family were at the center of the president’s impeachment last year, also will address the final night of the convention. Republican congressional leaders Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California and Democrat-turned-Republican Rep. Jefferson Van Drew of New Jersey are to deliver remarks, as will Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White.

Mr. Trump will close out the convention during an unprecedented address from the White House South Lawn, followed by a planned fireworks display from the National Mall. He and Ivanka Trump, his elder daughter and senior adviser who is set to introduce him, will speak from an elaborate stage in front of the Executive Mansion. The move has drawn criticism from Democrats and ethics groups, who argue that Mr. Trump is violating the spirit, if not the letter, of federal law by using the White House grounds to stage his convention.

⦁ This article is based in part on wire service reports.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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