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President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention in the US.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention in the US.
Image: Evan Vucci

Trump says Biden is destroyer of American 'greatness' as he accepts Republican nomination

The US president spoke for 70 minutes at an event held at the White House.
Aug 28th 2020, 7:05 AM 17,368 67

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP tore into his election challenger Joe Biden as a threat to the “American dream” in a bruising speech Thursday, accepting the Republican nomination for a second term.

The US president spoke at a grandiose event staged at the White House – the first time a president has ever held a party convention at the executive mansion – and followed up with a vast fireworks display on the National Mall.

In his 70-minute address, Trump named Biden dozens of times in an attempt to define the veteran centrist former vice president, who leads in polls ahead of the November election, as a radical leftist.

“No one will be safe in Biden’s America,” he said.

“This election will decide whether we save the American dream,” Trump said, rejecting Biden’s main campaign slogan about saving America’s soul.

“He’s the destroyer of America’s jobs and given the chance, he’ll be the destroyer of American greatness.”

The relentless verbal assault contrasted with Biden’s own acceptance speech at the Democratic nomination last week which delivered caustic critiques of the Trump presidency, but avoided mentioning his name.

election-2020-rnc Fireworks light up the sky amid protests after Trump delivered his acceptance speech to the 2020 Republican National Convention. Source: Carolyn Kaster

Trampling over etiquette 

Trump spoke from the White House’s South Lawn, which was transformed into a flashy event center for the final night of the Republican convention.

“If the left gains power, they will demolish the suburbs, confiscate your guns,” he said, branding Biden as a man with a history of “betrayals” and “blunders.”

Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak said the party had hit the right buttons at its four-day convention. “Trump significantly broadened his coalition this week. He will get a considerable polling bump,” he tweeted.

But Biden mocked Trump’s apocalyptic warnings.

“When Donald Trump says tonight you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America, look around and ask yourself: How safe do you feel in Donald Trump’s America?” Biden tweeted.

Law and order? 

The hardline message comes as the country reels in shock at the videotaped shooting by a police officer of a Black man during an attempted arrest in front of his children – and at the sometimes violent protests erupting afterward.

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Days of demonstrations and rioting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, have transformed the small town into a national arena for America’s tensions over racial justice, police violence, and gun rights.

A teenaged vigilante – reportedly a Trump fan – allegedly killed two people and seriously wounded a third at a protest Tuesday night.

Democrats assert that police forces across the country are plagued by institutional racism. Trump is leading Republican pushback, banking on the idea that Americans will be angrier at scenes of rioting than at police abuses.

“If Biden is elected, along with the Democrats who are unwilling to speak out against this anarchy, then the crime wave will intensify and spread from cities and towns to suburbs and beyond,” Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor and current personal lawyer to Trump, said in his warm-up speech.

“When President Trump is re-elected the damage will stop,” he said.

In addition to soaring racial tensions, the United States is still dealing with high levels of Covid-19 cases.

But Trump emphasised what he said had been his administration’s constant success, predicting a vaccine would be available “this year.”

“Together we will crush the virus,” he said.

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