Vice President Mike Pence called for the violence in Kenosha to stop in accepting his nomination for a second term at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, stressing law and order and not mentioning the police shooting a Black man, Jacob Blake, multiple times in the back that sparked the unrest.
Turning to Kenosha and other cities, Pence said, “We’ve seen violence and chaos in the streets of our major cities. President Donald Trump and I will always support the right of Americans to peaceful protest, but rioting and looting is not peaceful protest, tearing down statues is not free speech.
“Those who do so will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Last week, Joe Biden didn’t say one word about the violence and chaos engulfing cities across this country. So let me be clear: The violence must stop — whether in Minneapolis, Portland or Kenosha.
“Too many heroes have died defending our freedom to see Americans strike each other down. We will have law and order on the streets of this country for every American of every race and creed and color.”
Taking a very pro-police position, Pence said, “The hard truth is ... you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America. Under President Trump, we will stand with those who stand on the Thin Blue Line, and we’re not going to defund the police — not now, not ever.”
Before Pence spoke, the unfolding tragedy in Kenosha could not shake Republican National Convention planners from their script on Wednesday.
The third convention night kicked off with South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem criticizing Democratic-led cities as being “overrun by violent mobs,” remarkably tone deaf given people took to the streets in Kenosha in the wake of the police shooting of Blake.
“It took 244 years to build this great nation — flaws and all — but we stand to lose it in a tiny fraction of that time if we continue down the path taken by the Democrats and their radical supporters,” Noem said.
“From Seattle and Portland to Washington and New York, Democrat-run cities across this country are being overrun by violent mobs. The violence is rampant. There’s looting, chaos, destruction and murder. People that can afford to flee have fled. But the people that can’t — good, hard-working Americans — are left to fend for themselves.”
With law and order a major Trump campaign theme, Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. — also ignoring Kenosha — praised “heroes of our law enforcement and armed services. Leftists try to turn them into villains. They want to ‘cancel’ them. But I’m here to tell you that these heroes can’t be canceled.
“… I see law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every single day to keep our communities safe, in spite of the hatred thrown at them.”
Trump continues to downplay the reality of police brutality in his quest for a second term.
In tweets in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting and unrest in Kenosha, Trump on Wednesday was especially void of nuance in referencing the Wisconsin governor.
We will NOT stand for looting, arson, violence, and lawlessness on American streets. My team just got off the phone with Governor Evers who agreed to accept federal assistance (Portland should do the same!)...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2020
“We will NOT stand for looting, arson, violence, and lawlessness on American streets. My team just got off the phone with Governor Evers who agreed to accept federal assistance (Portland should do the same!) ... TODAY, I will be sending federal law enforcement and the National Guard to Kenosha, WI to restore LAW and ORDER!”
The Noem and Blackburn speeches may have been prerecorded.
Here are other convention takeaways:
How many times do I have to tell you?
Many, many, when it comes to a central Republican National Convention message, that Joe Biden and all Democrats are radical. Repetition is key, and there’s been plenty from GOP convention speakers.
Here are “radical” examples:
Trump, speaking after his nomination, speculated on Supreme Court nominations that a President Biden would make. “He would appoint — it’s not him, he has no choice. The radical left will demand he appoint super radical left, wild, crazy justices.”
Sean Parnell, a GOP Pennsylvania House candidate: Trump has “advanced freedom despite savage political attacks to overcome the agenda of the radical left.”
Jason Joyce, a Maine lobster fisherman: If Biden wins, he will “impose radical changes that hurt our coastal communities.”
John Peterson, an owner of a metal fabrication business: Biden is a “washed-up career politician who will be nothing but a puppet of the radical left.”
Cissie Graham Lynch, granddaughter of the late Rev. Billy Graham: “The radical left’s God is government power.”
Bob Vlaisaljevich, mayor of Eveleth, Minnesota: The radical environmental movement has dragged the Democratic Party so far to the left they can no longer claim to be advocates of the working man.” And Biden is “too sleepy to stand up to the radical left.”
Eric Trump: “In the view of the radical Democrats, America is the source of the world’s problems.”
And speaking of problems, you can’t blame the Democrats for this ...
Republican convention planners yanked Mary Ann Mendoza from the Tuesday lineup when the Daily Beast posted a story about anti-Semitic tweets she promoted. She was dropped at the very last minute, after the Trump campaign already released her embargoed remarks.
Mendoza’s son was killed in 2014 — with the driver causing it an illegal immigrant with a criminal record drunk and high on meth.
Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks said in a statement, “We are deeply troubled by Mendoza’s tweets and comments that trafficked in vicious anti-Semitic messages. While we mourn the horrible loss of her son, her views clearly disqualify her from addressing the Convention.
“We are pleased that Convention officials took prompt action to make sure the Convention reflects who we are and our values as a party.”