CHARLOTTE | Officially invested by the Republican Party, Donald Trump on Monday launched his campaign for a second term by accusing the Democrats of wanting to “steal” the upcoming presidential election.
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Largely ahead in national polls, given beaten in many key states, the US president has promised, from Charlotte, North Carolina, another victory, after the surprise of 2016.
To galvanize his electoral base, he has been agitating for several weeks, without tangible elements to support, the specter of fraud related to postal voting which will occupy a more important place this year because of the coronavirus.
“The only way they can deprive us of victory is if the election is rigged (…) They are using COVID to steal the election,” he said during a long, rambling speech at the your willingly provocative, during which he praised his record.
Gathered in Charlotte, the 300 or so delegates of the “Grand Old Party” representing the 50 American states, unsurprisingly, named the former businessman as their candidate.
Anxious to mark the contrast with Joe Biden, whom he has given the mocking nickname of “sleeping Joe”, Mr. Trump made the trip to Charlotte on the first day of the Republican convention.
“I felt compelled to come to North Carolina,” he explained. “We did this out of respect for North Carolina and I think you will remember it on November 3,” he added, pointing out that his opponent had not traveled to Milwaukee, in the Wisconsin.
This high mass of the Republican Party, like its Democratic counterpart which has just ended, will be, with the exception of this first day, mostly virtual due to the pandemic.
“Four more years”
Vice President Mike Pence was also re-nominated by his party as the Vice Presidential candidate.
“America needs four more years from Donald Trump in the White House,” he said in a brief address, because “we all know the economy is at stake, the law and the ‘order are at stake’.
An opinion shared by the elected Republican Matt Gaetz who felt at the same convention that the time had come to “fight to save” the United States “or we will lose (the country) forever”.
This Republican convention, which will end on Thursday, will be first and foremost a family affair for the American president.
Besides his wife Melania, his four adult children are among the scheduled speakers.
His eldest son Donald Trump Jr. spoke from an auditorium in Washington on Monday in his father’s combative style, saying the November election would be a choice between “church, work and school” and ” riot, looting and vandalism ”.
Don Jr assured that the president had “made quick decisions” against the COVID-19 pandemic, but, like almost all convention attendees, did not mention the some 177,000 Americans killed by disease.
According to his campaign team, Donald Trump wants a “very optimistic and cheerful” convention.
But the first remarks of the American president in Charlotte, evoking the possible “death of the American dream” if the Democrats won, immediately gave a darker tone.
“Make no mistake: no matter where you live, your family will not be safe in the America of radical Democrats,” echoed Patricia McCloskey, guest of honor at the convention with her husband two months after targeted demonstrators protesting against racism and police brutality.
AFP / Daniel Shular photo via Eurovision
The goal for Donald Trump is also to defend his record, at a time when he is being abused for his management of the COVID-19 pandemic or his trump card, the good health of the economy, is no longer an asset.
The convention ensured the presence of several African-American speakers, to try to rally part of the black electorate which is generally hostile to it, including Tim Scott, the only black Republican senator.
From the Middle East, where he is traveling, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to discuss the diplomatic advances of the Trump administration, an unusual intervention for this type of event.
Thursday, during a speech in the gardens of the White House, the billionaire will officially accept, and for the second time, the nomination of his party.