US President Donald Trump will speak live at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in North Carolina next week, scotching rumours that he would deliver a speech from the White House.
Trump’s daughter-in-law and advisor Lara Trump told NBC the president would appear at all four nights of the RNC in Charlotte, North Carolina.
She promised a very different affair from this week’s Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “Their entire convention was about bashing Donald Trump, and it was a dark, dismal and really depressing vision of America,” she said.
“We want people at the end of our four days to be reminded that America continues to be the greatest, most exceptional nation in the world,” Lara Trump added. “I think you are going to be surprised by some of the things we do.”
Voice of America White House bureau chief Steve Herman tweeted official confirmation that the President would travel to the convention on Monday.
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) August 22, 2020
Social distancing restrictiions imposed by NC Governor Roy Cooper in response to Covid-19 will mean attendance at the Andrew W Mellon Auditorium will be limited.
Plans to move part of the convention to Jacksonville, Florida were abandoned last month after cases of the deadly virus surged there.
Holding live rallies even amid the pandemic appears part of Trump’s strategy, now that his Democratic rival Joe Biden cancelled all events ostensibly over public health concerns.
On Thursday Trump tried to upstage Biden’s formal acceptance speech at the DNC with a rally at a business outside the Democrat’s home town of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
He said former vice-president “abandoned Pennsylvania” and spent “last half-century selling out our country.”
North Carolina is less of a swing state than Wisconsin, site of this year’s Democratic National Convention. Voters marginally backed Trump in 2016 and Democratic winner Barack Obama in 2008, but favoured Mitt Romney over Obama in 2012.