CHARLOTTE | Officially invested by the Republican Party, Donald Trump launched on Monday 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.
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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 in a long disjointed speech, with a willingly provocative tone, 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 has also been re-nominated by his party as a running mate.
“America needs four more years from Donald Trump in the White House,” he said in a brief speech.
“I heard last week that democracy was at stake,” he said, referring to an expression used several times by Democrats at their convention. “But we all know the economy is at stake, law and order are at stake.”
This Republican convention will first of all be a family affair for the American president.
Beyond his wife Melania, his four adult children will be among the speakers who will speak at the podium: Donald Jr, Eric, Tiffany, Ivanka.
To achieve this, he is counting on a “very optimistic and cheerful” convention, according to his campaign team.
But the first words of the American president in Charlotte, evoking the possible “death of the American dream” if the Democrats won, from the outset set a darker tone.
The objective is also to defend his record, at a time when he is being abused for his management of the COVID-19 pandemic and when his trump card, the good health of the economy, is no longer an asset.
In particular, the intervention of Tanya Weinreis, manager of a cafe in Montana, who received a federal loan in the spring to deal with the consequences of the pandemic on her activity, is planned.
The convention also ensured the presence of several African-American speakers, in an attempt to rally part of the black electorate which is generally hostile to it, including Tim Scott, the only black Republican senator.
But the 45e president of history is also expected on his program for the next four years.
Asked about this theme Sunday night on Fox News, he was, once again, very evasive.
If he were re-elected, what would he do differently? “I would reinforce what I have already done and do new things,” he simply replied.
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.