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RNC unfolds amid new unrest

By HENG WEILI in New York | China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-08-27 11:21

US President Donald Trump delivers remarks at Basler Flight Service in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, US, Aug 17, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

While President Donald Trump was one day away from making his acceptance speech as the Republican candidate for a second time, events in Wisconsin following the shooting of a black man by police and the violent aftermath once again raised the issue of "law and order" amid ongoing racial justice protests.

Trump weighed in on events in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where three people were shot, two fatally, on Tuesday, the third night of unrest there. A 17-year-old was arrested on homicide charges.

Civil disturbances have rocked the Midwestern city since Sunday, when police shot Jacob Blake, 29, multiple times in the back at close range.

Trump posted on Twitter that he was sending federal law enforcement and the National Guard, with the agreement of Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers.

"We will NOT stand for looting, arson, violence, and lawlessness on American streets," Trump wrote Wednesday.

The convention presentations featured tributes to the suffragist movement and the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution on Aug 26, 1920, which gave women the right to vote. A video mentioned Trump's pardon 100 years later of the voting rights leader Susan B. Anthony, who was politically persecuted for her role in the voting rights struggle.

US President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, US Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence hold their hands over their hearts as they listen to singer Trace Atkins sing the US National Anthem after Pence's acceptance speech as the 2020 Republican vice presidential nominee during an event of the 2020 Republican National Convention held at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland, US, August 26, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

Trump has made an effort to appeal to suburban women voters, and has been criticized by Democrats, whom Trump said would make the suburbs unsafe.

Also speaking were White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who told a personal story of her elective mastectomy surgery because of a high incidence of breast cancer in her family.

Karen Pence, wife of Vice-President Mike Pence, praised the contributions of military spouses.

Mike Pence was set to make an economic pitch in support of Trump on the third day of the Republican National Convention.

Pence was renominated as Trump's running mate after sporadic speculation he would be dropped from the ticket.

The former Indiana governor and congressman, a conservative Christian, served as a key bridge between Trump and evangelical voters. Pence spoke from Baltimore's Fort McHenry, the inspiration for the US national anthem The Star-Spangled Banner, a national monument.

Pence is in charge of the White House Coronavirus Task Force amid a pandemic that has killed more than 177,000 people in the United States and put tens of millions of Americans out of work.

Democratic House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Pence had "pulled his punch" in confronting the virus and became "a figure in the background" after being appointed to lead the task force.

"They were slow in anticipation and, not only that, reacting to what was happening out there in terms of the spread of the virus," Pelosi said in a video news briefing on Wednesday.

Jack Brewer, a black former NFL player who described himself as a lifelong Democrat, made perhaps the most fiery speech of the night in defense of Trump.

"I know what racism looks like. I've seen it firsthand," Brewer said, who discussed "fighting with skinheads" in Texas in self-defense. "I'm fed up with the way he's portrayed in the media, who refuse to acknowledge what he's actually done for the black community."

Other speakers Wednesday were US senators Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Joni Ernst of Iowa, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, and Kellyanne Conway, who announced earlier this week that she would be stepping down as a White House adviser.

"President Trump helped me shatter a barrier in the world of politics by empowering me to manage his [2016] campaign to its successful conclusion," Conway said.

The issue of policing in the US, dramatically thrust into the national spotlight after the May 25 killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis and the shooting of Blake, has been a sensitive issue at the convention, as Trump has stressed his support for law enforcement.

Lou Holtz, retired University of Notre Dame football coach and TV commentator, said: "President Trump always finds a way to get something done. If you want to do something bad enough, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse, and excuses are a lot easier to find than solutions. He says what he means, he means what he says."

Holtz also praised Trump's stance against abortion, as have other speakers throughout the convention, and criticized Catholic politicians who support it.

And perhaps foretelling a close election, the TV ratings for the second night of both conventions were basically the same.

An estimated 19.4 million people watched the second night of the Republican National Convention on Tuesday, according to Nielsen, while 19.2 million viewers watched the second night of the Democratic convention last week.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll taken Aug 19-25 showed that Trump's opponent, Democrat Joe Biden, had not seen a bounce in popular support from his party's convention last week but maintains a 7-percentage-point lead over Trump nationally.

The Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee's oversight subcommittee announced an investigation into whether Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's appearance at the RNC on Tuesday, in a video from Jerusalem, breached regulations or the 1939 Hatch Act, which limits political activities by federal employees.

Reuters contributed to this story.

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