Tags: 2020 Elections | Donald Trump | kimberly guilfoyle | republican | national | convention | rnc

Kimberly Guilfoyle: 'We Build Things Up, We Don't Burn Them Down'

(C-SPAN)

By    |   Monday, 24 August 2020 10:19 PM

Rejecting the attacks on American cities, capitalism, and conservatism, President Donald Trump campaign official Kimberly Guilfoyle delivered an impassioned address Monday at the Republican National Convention.

"In President Trump's America, we light things up, we don't dim them down," she said in one of the boldest deliveries in either party's convention to date. "We build things up, we don't burn them down. We kneel in prayer and we stand for our flag."

She called out the civil unrest exploding in American cities, something the Joe Biden Democratic National Convention was criticized by the Trump campaign for overlooking last week.

"Rioters must not be allowed to destroy our cities," she said. "Human sex and drug traffickers should not be allowed to cross our border. The same socialist policies which destroyed places like Cuba and Venezuela must not take root in our cities and our schools."

She pointed to Democrat-run cities and states in painting a dark portrait of the Biden-Harris America.

"If you want to see the socialist Biden-Harris future for our country, just take a look at California," she continued. "It is a place of immense wealth, immeasurable innovation, and the Democrats turned it into a land of discarded heroin needles in parks, riots in streets, and blackouts in homes."

Then she turned to forceful delivery on a brighter future with four more years of Trump's administration, using Biden's own "soul of America" campaign slogan.

"This election is a battle for the soul of America," she said. "Your choice is clear. Do you support the cancel culture, the cosmopolitan elites of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Joe Biden who blame America first?

"Do you think America is to blame? Or do you believe in American greatness? Believe in yourself, in President Trump, in individual and personal responsibility?

"They want to destroy this country, and everything that we have fought for and hold dear. They want to steal your liberty, your freedom. They want to control what you see, and think, and believe – so that they can control how you live.

"They want to enslave you to the weak dependent liberal victim ideology to the point where you will not recognize this country or yourself."

While other Republicans predicted a national "horror movie" should Trump lose in November, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley tried to welcome new voters to the party to help broaden Trump's appeal beyond his hard-core base.

"I was a brown girl in a black and white world," Haley said, noting she faced discrimination but rejecting the idea "America is a racist country."

She also gave a nod to the Black Lives Matter movement, saying "of course we know that every single Black life is valuable."

Scrambling to find a message that sticks, Trump's team tried out multiple themes and tactics over the course of the night: There were humanizing stories about the president along with the optimistic message about America's future with him at the helm — and plenty of dire talk about the threat posed by a Biden presidency.

Scott, the Republican Party's only Black senator, leveled the kind of personal attack against Biden that Trump and his white allies could not.

"Joe Biden said if a Black man didn't vote for him, he wasn't truly Black. Joe Biden said Black people are a monolithic community," Scott charged.

He acknowledged that African Americans have sometimes been victimized by police brutality, but later said: "The truth is, our nation's arc always bends back toward fairness. We are not fully where we want to be . . . but thank God we are not where we used to be."

Yet efforts to strike an optimistic tone were frequently overshadowed by warnings that Biden would destroy America, allowing communities to be overrun by violence.

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida likened the prospect of Biden's election to a horror movie.

"They'll disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home, and invite MS-13 to live next door," Gaetz declared.

The GOP convention marks a crucial moment for Trump, a first-term Republican president tasked with reshaping a campaign he is losing by all accounts, at least for now.

A deep sense of pessimism has settled over the electorate 10 weeks before Election Day. Just 23% of Americans think the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence both were renominated early in the day. Then Trump, who was not scheduled to deliver his main address until later in the week, made multiple public appearances throughout the first day of the four-day convention. And while the evening programming was carefully scripted, Trump was not.

"The only way they can take this election away from us is if this is a rigged election," Trump told hundreds of Republican delegates gathered in North Carolina, raising anew his unsupported concerns about Americans' expected reliance on mail voting during the pandemic. Experts say mail voting has proven remarkably secure.

Trump and a parade of fellow Republicans distorted Trump rival Joe Biden's agenda through the evening, falsely accusing the Democrat of proposing to defund police, ban oil fracking, take over health care, open borders and raise taxes on most Americans. They tried to assign positions of the Democratic left to a middle-of-the-road candidate who explicitly rejected many of the party's most liberal positions through the primaries. Trump set the tone with unsupported claims about voting fraud and falsehoods about his own record in office.

The Republican convention comes as more than 177,000 Americans have been killed by the pandemic and millions more have been infected. Coronavirus-related job losses also reach into the millions

Trump and his supporters on Monday night touted his response to the pandemic while standing alongside front-line workers in the White House, although he glossed over the mounting death toll, the most in the world, and his administration's struggle to control the disease.

Organizers also repeatedly sought to cast Trump as an empathetic figure, borrowing a page from the Democrats' convention playbook a week ago that effectively highlighted Biden's personal connection to voters.

The evening program highlighted the tension within Trump's Republican Party. His harsh attacks against Democrats who are trying to expand mail voting and demonstrators protesting deaths in police custody, for example, often delight his die-hard loyalists. Yet the party pointed to a somewhat more diverse convention lineup with a more inclusive message designed to expand Trump's political coalition beyond his white, working-class base.

One of several African Americans on the schedule, former football star Herschel Walker, defended the president against those who call him a racist.

"It hurts my soul to hear the terrible names that people call Donald," Walker said. "The worst one is ‘racist.' I take it as a personal insult that people would think I would have a 37-year friendship with a racist."

Polling shows that Black Americans continue to be overwhelmingly negative in their assessments of the president's performance, with his approval hovering around 1 in 10 over the course of his presidency, according to Gallup polling.

The program also featured Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple arrested after pointing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters marching past their home.

"Democrats no longer view the government's job as protecting honest citizens from criminals, but rather protecting criminals from honest citizens," the McCloskeys said in remarks that broke from the optimistic vision for America organizers promised.

They added: "Make no mistake: No matter where you live, your family will not be safe in the radical Democrats' America."

Those cheering Trump's leadership on the pandemic included a coronavirus patient, a small business owner from Montana and a nurse practitioner from Virginia.

"As a healthcare professional, I can tell you without hesitation, Donald Trump's quick action and leadership saved thousands of lives during COVID-19," Amy Ford, a registered nurse who was deployed to New York and Texas to fight the coronavirus.

Some of the planned remarks for the evening program were prerecorded, while others were to be delivered live from a Washington auditorium.

The fact that the Republicans gathered at all stood in contrast to the Democrats, who held an all-virtual convention last week. The Democratic programming included a well-received roll call video montage featuring diverse officials from across the nation. The Republicans spoke from the ballroom in Charlotte and were overwhelmingly white.

The president has sought to minimize the toll of the coronavirus pandemic and he barely addressed it on Monday, but its impact was plainly evident at the Charlotte Convention Center, where just 336 delegates gathered instead of the thousands once expected to converge on this city for a week-long extravaganza. Attendees sat at well-spaced tables at first and masks were mandatory, though many were seen flouting the regulation.

Mecklenburg County Health Director Gibbie Harris said she had "shared concern about the lack of mask wearing and social distancing in the room" with RNC staff and had "been assured that they are working hard to address these issues."

Democrats were content to let Trump's unfiltered message drive the day.

While he campaigned aggressively across the country throughout last week's Democratic convention, Biden made no public appearance on Monday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Rejecting the attacks on American cities, capitalism, and conservatism, Trump campaign official Kimberly Guilfoyle delivered an impassioned address Monday at the Republican National Convention.
kimberly guilfoyle, republican, national, convention, rnc, campaign
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2020-19-24
Monday, 24 August 2020 10:19 PM
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