On the first night of the Republican National Convention, Democrats trolled President Trump and Republicans – calling the convention “chaotic” and blasting the president for his “failed leadership” during the coronavirus pandemic.
As Republican speakers Monday evening predicted a national “horror movie” should Trump lose to Biden in November’s general election, Democrats were busy pointing out the mounting death toll from the pandemic and calling on American’s to vote Trump out of office.
“Trump’s chaotic convention highlights the failed leadership of the GOP in the White House and the Senate,” the party tweeted out. “They oversaw a failed pandemic response and sat on their hands as families cried out for relief. We need to vote them out.”
Biden’s campaign posted an ad featuring prominent Republicans — many of whom spoke or will speak at the RNC – criticizing or mocking Trump during the 2016 election season. The ad features former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley saying that Trump “is everything I taught my children not to do in kindergarten.”
Haley, who served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Trump, spoke Monday evening at the Republican convention, where she praised the president’s foreign policy agenda and heavily criticized Biden as weak toward America’s adversaries.
The Biden campaign also hit Trump on the massive number of coronavirus cases in the U.S compared to the rest of the world.
“If you tuned into the Republican convention tonight looking for some indication from President Trump that he has a strategy to contain the coronavirus, you’re still waiting. Instead, what you heard tonight was a parade of dark and divisive fear-mongering designed to distract from the fact that Donald Trump does not have an affirmative case to make to the American people about why he should be re-elected,” said Biden for President deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield
She added: “The truth is that his failed leadership has needlessly cost over 177,000 Americans their lives, tens of millions of Americans their jobs, and left the United States the hardest hit country by the pandemic in the whole world. Yet six months into this crisis, he still doesn’t have what Joe Biden proposed months ago: a plan to get us out.”
As of Monday, there were over 5.7 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. with more than 177,000 deaths related to the virus. The next closest countries in the world were Brazil and India with 3.6 million and 3.1 million respectively, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
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.
A deep sense of pessimism has settled over the electorate 10 weeks before Election Day. Just 23 percent 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.
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.
Two of the three final speakers on the prime-time program were people of color: Haley, who is Indian-American, and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate.
However, 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. “Make no mistake: No matter where you live, your family will not be safe in the radical Democrats’ America."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.