Party convention to laud Trump as protesters rally against him

President to speak at Republican event on all 4 days; 2024 hopefuls also among speakers

Among the speakers are (anti-clockwise from top left) Ms Ivanka Trump; Vice-President Mike Pence;St Louis couple Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who drew guns in front of Black Lives Matter protesters; and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (in red, with
Among the speakers are (anti-clockwise from top left) Ms Ivanka Trump; Vice-President Mike Pence;St Louis couple Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who drew guns in front of Black Lives Matter protesters; and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (in red, with Senator John Thune and President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump).PHOTOS: REUTERS, EPA-EFE, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

WASHINGTON • This week's Republican National Convention will be a four-day celebration of President Donald Trump, featuring a younger generation that may be hoping for a shot at the White House in 2024, as well as a St Louis couple who brandished guns at anti-racism protesters.

Protesters opposing Mr Trump took to the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina - where the convention is held - for a third straight night on Sunday, ahead of Mr Trump's nomination yesterday for a second term.

Here is a look at speakers featured in a mix of live and virtual programming of the convention that started yesterday.

TRUMP AND FAMILY

The theme of the nominating convention will be "Honouring the Great American Story", and will culminate in a live acceptance speech by Mr Trump on Thursday night (Friday morning Singapore time) from the South Lawn of the White House.

The President, who trails Democratic nominee Joe Biden in opinion polls ahead of the Nov 3 election, will be the central focus and will speak each night, according to campaign sources, including at one event where he will honour doctors, nurses and other workers on the front line of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Trump's children, including Ms Ivanka Trump, Mr Donald Trump Jr and Mr Eric Trump, will also get prominent speaking roles.

Some government ethics experts have expressed concern over the use of federal properties as stages for partisan political speeches, but a law prohibiting the use of federal funds for campaign appearances excludes the president and vice-president.

In 1940, Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt accepted his party's nomination from the White House via radio.

Republicans are looking to strike a more optimistic vision for the country, seeking a contrast with what they saw as the Democrats' more ominous perspective laid out at their convention last week.

Yesterday, the convention theme was the "Land of Promise", today's is "Land of Opportunity", tomorrow will be focused on the "Land of Heroes" and events will conclude on Thursday with the "Land of Greatness".

The President, who trails Democratic nominee Joe Biden in opinion polls ahead of the Nov 3 election, will be the central focus and will speak each night... Yesterday, the convention theme was the "Land of Promise", today's is "Land of Opportunity," tomorrow will be focused on the "Land of Heroes" and events will conclude on Thursday with the "Land of Greatness".

'TRUMP CHANGED MY LIFE'

Mr Trump has been criticised for his response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 170,000 Americans and triggered a severe economic downturn, as well as his reaction to nationwide protests over racial injustice and police brutality against black Americans.

To counter that criticism, the convention will feature everyday Americans who will say that Mr Trump changed their lives in positive ways, according to a member of Mr Trump's campaign.

The speakers will also sound the alarm over the dangers of a Biden victory in November.

Among them will be St Louis couple Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who drew guns in front of Black Lives Matter protesters who marched through their gated community in June.

They were charged with felony weapons offences, which Mr Trump has called a "disgrace".

2024 HOPEFULS

The convention will also feature Republicans considered prospective 2024 presidential hopefuls.

Vice-President Mike Pence will be the main speaker tomorrow.

Other speakers include Ms Nikki Haley, Mr Trump's former ambassador to the United Nations; South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem; Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; and Mr Donald Trump Jr, who some party members want to see continue the Trump legacy.

The Trump campaign also gave speaking roles to members of the Senate and House of Representatives facing tough re-election battles, including Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Representative Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, who defected from the Democratic Party.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 25, 2020, with the headline 'Party convention to laud Trump as protesters rally against him'. Subscribe