Trump to blast Biden as ‘extreme’ in convention speech

President Donald Trump and first Lady Melania Trump stand on stage after Vice President Mike Pence spoke on the third day of the Republican National Convention at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump plans to tell voters that Democratic rival Joe Biden would pursue the “most extreme set of proposals ever put forward by a major party nominee” when he delivers his acceptance speech Thursday night at the Republican National Convention.

Trump has said that the Democrats’ message was too dark and pessimistic when they held their own scaled-back convention last week. “At no time before have voters faced a clearer choice between two parties, two visions, two philosophies or two agendas,” Trump is expected to say. “We have spent the last four years reversing the damage Joe Biden inflicted over the last 47 years.”

“The Republican Party goes forward united, determined and ready to welcome millions of Democrats, independents and anyone who believes in the greatness of America and the righteous heart of the American people,” the president will say, according to excerpts released in advance.

Trump will take the stage on the South Lawn — only the second president to deliver his convention acceptance speech from the White House — convinced that he’s on the verge of righting the ship of his campaign. 

The president’s chief advisers say that Trump has been bolstered by the convention and by crisper messaging on the ongoing pandemic.

“Look, the American people like the president’s platform,” said Jared Kushner, White House senior adviser during an event hosted by Politico. “They like his policies. They want, you know, a president who’s going to be bringing jobs back to America from overseas. They want law and order. They want somebody who can keep their community safe.

Trump’s speech comes one day after Vice President Mike Pence forcefully defended law enforcement as he addressed convention proceedings.

Pence argued that Democratic leaders are allowing lawlessness to prevail from coast to coast. He and others described cities wracked by violence, though protests in most locations have been largely peaceful.

“The American people know we don’t have to choose between supporting law enforcement and standing with African American neighbors to improve the quality of life in our cities and towns,” he said. He assailed Democratic presidential nominee Biden for saying there is an “implicit bias” against people of color and “systemic racism” in the U.S.

“The hard truth is … you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” Pence said. “Let me be clear: The violence must stop — whether in Minneapolis, Portland or Kenosha.”

Trump made an unannounced appearance to join Pence after his remarks for a performance of the anthem at Fort McHenry Wednesday night. The president, the vice president and their wives later greeted guests, some of whom were in walkers and stood for the National Anthem. 

The convention unfolded after three nights of protests in Kenosha prompted Trump to issue repeated calls for Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to increase the deployment of National Guard troops to help keep the peace. Trump also directed the Department of Justice to send FBI agents and U.S. marshals to the city as reinforcements, a day after a white 17-year-old who had been outspoken in support of police, was accused of killing two protesters and wounding another.

Many of the speakers Wednesday night reinforced Trump’s law-and-order message, warning that electing Biden would lead to violence in cities spilling into the suburbs.