The First Lady began her speech by stating her and family will never forget those who took “a chance on the businessman who never worked in politics”. Here are the highlights from day two of the Republican National Convention.
Rev. Norma Urrabazo, Leighanne Ball, Vice President of the Navajo Nation Myron Lizer, activist Jon Ponder, former FBI Special Agent Richard Beasley, Sen. Rand Paul, lobsterman Jason Joyce, CEO of Four Cubs Farm Cris Peterson, White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, business owner John Peterson, Cissie Graham Lynch, Mayor Robert Vlaisavljevich, Founder and CEO of And Then There Were None Abby Johnson, Nicholas Sandman, Pam Bondi, Tiffany Trump, Gov. Kim Reynolds, Officer Ryan Holets, Lieutenant Gov. of Florida Jeanette Núñez, Eric Trump, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and First Lady Melania Trump spoke on August 25, day two of the Republican National Convention.
First Lady Melania Trump was the only speaker who had an audience, speaking from the newly renovated Rose Garden.
During his speech, Vice President of the Navajo Nation Myron Lizer stated “our people have never been invited into the American dream” and explained that the Navajo Nation has always battled lawmakers who were “part of a broken system that ignored [them] until President Trump took office”.
Lizer praised Trump for the $8 billion in CARES Act funding, noting that the Navajo Nation previously led the U.S. in per capita COVID-19 cases due to “health disparities that previous administrations failed to improve.”
The Vice President went on to list other contributions that the President made to the lives of Native Americans such as a proclamation recognizing missing and murdered American Indians and Alaskan Natives and began Operation Lady Justice to address the problem. Lizer ended his speech stating, “Mr. President, we look forward to hosting you very soon”.
Activist Jon Ponder told his story during the convention, explaining that he received his first felony at the age of 16 and was a part of a bank robbery at the age of 38 with the possibility of receiving a 23 year sentence. He said that he asked God to jump into the judge’s robe, promising that whether he was sentenced 15 years or 50 years he would invest the rest of his life to serve God.
In tears, Ponder went on to say that the judge unexpectedly gave him a lesser sentence and that while he was in his jail cell, he heard God whisper to him, “my son, I honored what you asked me to do. Never forget the promise that you made to me”.
Jon Ponder started Hope For Prisoners, a nonprofit organization that helps men, women, and young adults to reenter the workforce and society. The activist remembered Trump’s appearance at the graduation ceremony for prisoners, and the way that the President “went out of his way to shake the hand of every one of those 29 graduates”.
The video transitioned to President Trump retelling Jon’s story. Ponder made additional remarks with regard to his transformation in prison, calling the United States “a nation of second chances”. Former FBI agent Richard Beasley joined the activist, who arrested Ponder for robbery years ago. Since the arrest, the two are now close friends. In tears, Jon’s wife joined them while the President pardoned him.
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky recalled his initial thoughts of Donald Trump, stating that he was surprised by how “down to earth he was”. Paul noted that Trump funded his medical mission trips, performing charity eye surgeries in Guatemala and Haiti.
The Kentucky Senator explained his relationship with Trump in politics, saying that he does not always agree with the President but that their “occasional policy differences are far outweighed by [their] significant agreements”. Sen. Paul created a stark contrast between Trump and Biden, noting the desire for Trump to “bring our heroes home” while Biden “supported the war in Serbia, Syria, Libya… will continue to spill our blood and treasure”.
Lobsterman Jason Joyce began his speech by admitting that he did not support Trump in 2016 because he doubted that the President would truly commit to his campaign promises. The lobsterman now supports the President, as he explained that Trump listens to working people. “As long as Trump is president, fishing families like mine will have a voice,” Joyce said.
White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, who helped craft the economic plan for the Trump campaign, claimed that “the economy was rebuilt in three years” and despite the challenge of a “once in one hundred years pandemic”, presidential leadership “came swiftly”. He slammed Biden while praising Trump with regard to the economy, asking the audience, “do you want economic health, prosperity, opportunity, and optimism? Or do you want to turn back to the dark days of stagnation, recession, and pessimism?”
Student Nicholas Sandman, who went viral for confronting protesters at a March For Life rally, told his side of the story. Sandman explained that when he wore a Make America Great Again hat, he was unaware that “putting on that red hat would unleash hate from the left and make myself the target for… cable news networks nationwide”.
Nick Sandman reflected on what he deems a life-changing event, and explained his realization of being “cancelled”, dubbing it as a title earned when going against the left. The student went on to say, “I look forward to the day that the media returns to providing balanced, responsible, and accountable news coverage. I know President Trump hopes for that too.” He ended his speech with putting on a MAGA hat and stating, “let’s make America great again”.
The President’s daughter Tiffany Trump began her speech relating to younger generations in their struggle with school during the pandemic as a recent law school graduate.“Our generation is unified in facing the future in uncertain times… as a recent graduate I can relate to so many of you who may be looking for a job. My father built a thriving economy once and believe me, he will do it again” she said.
Trump went on to say, “I urge each and everyone of you to transcend political boundaries. This is a fight for freedom versus oppression, for opportunity versus stagnation”. The President’s daughter criticized media, tech giants, and government officials for pushing biased views, claiming that only one viewpoint is promoted to the public while other perspectives remain “hidden”.
The President’s son Eric Trump praised what he calls a movement by his father that was initially laughed at, but then won in 2016. “My father ran [for president] not because he needed the job, but because he knew hard working people across this country were being left behind,” he stated.
Trump said that his father fights for the “invisible men and women” and the “silent majority”. The President’s son went on to repeat throughout his speech, “my father will fight for you”. In ending his speech, Trump spoke directly to his father, stating, “I’m damn proud to be on the frontlines of this fight… I’m proud to watch you give them hell, never stop. Continue to be unapologetic. Keep fighting for what is right… Dad, let’s make uncle Robert very proud this week. Let’s go get another four years. I love you very much.”
Attorney General Daniel Cameron slammed Joe Biden during his speech, referring to his own identity as a Black man. Cameron said that as he thinks of his ancestors, he also thinks of Biden saying “if you aren’t voting for me, you ain’t Black… whoo says there isn’t diversity of thought in the Black community. Mr.Vice President, look at me. I am Black. We are not all the same sir. I am not in chains. My mind is my own and you can’t tell me how to vote because of the color of my skin”. The Kentucky Attorney General claimed that no one thinks Joe Biden is exciting and went on to criticize his “failed” record as a politician.
The First Lady began her speech by stating her and family will never forget those who took “a chance on the businessman who never worked in politics”. Melania Trump then acknowledged the raging coronavirus pandemic, extending her sympathies and prayers for those affected. “Donald will not rest until he has done all he can to take care of everyone impacted by this terrible pandemic,” she said.
In remembering the passage of the 19th Amendment, she stated, “we must make sure women are heard and the American dream continues to thrive”. She reflected on her childhood in Slovenia and her impression of the U.S. as a place where she could follow her dream to pursue a career in the fashion industry. Trump thanked her parents for everything they did, getting her to be where she is today.
Melania Trump later called on Americans to “focus on our future while still learning from our past”. The First Lady pushed for unity, stating, “we must remember that today we are all one community composed of many races, religions, and ethnicities.” In response to the ongoing fight for racial justice in the United States, she called on people to cooperate to American ideals. “I also ask people to stop the violence and looting being done in the name of justice and never make assumptions based on the color of a person’s skin,” she went on to say.
The First Lady explained that her next four years in the White House would focus on expanding on what she already started during her first term, with a focus on addiction and the foster care system. She then praised her husband for his perseverance and commitment to welcoming all kinds of perspectives. “He’s what is best for our country… whether you like it or not, you always know what he’s thinking. That is because he is an authentic person who loves this country and its people,” she said.
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