At GOP convention, Trump pounds on claim he can only lose if election is rigged, says up to five Supreme Court picks at stake

Really? Trump makes unrealistic prediction on how many Supreme Court picks the next president will have: “I will tell you that the next one could have two, three, four and even five.”

SHARE At GOP convention, Trump pounds on claim he can only lose if election is rigged, says up to five Supreme Court picks at stake
Republicans Hold Virtual 2020 National Convention

President Donald Trump speaks on the first day of the Republican National Convention at the Charlotte Convention Center on August 24, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The four-day RNC event is themed “Honoring the Great American Story.”

Photo by Jessica Koscielniak - Pool/Getty Images

President Donald Trump, in accepting the GOP presidential nomination on Monday sent me scrambling for an actuarial table when he predicted the next president could have the chance to fill up to five of the nine Supreme Court slots.

Trump spoke for almost an hour on Monday to about 300 delegates in Charlotte, N.C., after the roll call delivered the nomination to Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for a second term. The socially distanced people — some with mandated COVID-19 contact tracing tracking devices dangling around their necks with their convention credentials —chanted “four more years” and “USA USA.”

The convention is expected to hear from Trump on all four days. Trump said later in the day, “the forgotten men and women of the country” will be featured. The speakers include on various nights Ivanka, Donald Jr., Eric and Tiffany Trump.

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Opinion

The official Republican National Committee messaging for this convention week is to stress the upbeat and positive to contrast it with Joe Biden’s Democratic convention last week.

Indeed, at times, Biden’s convention was laced with bleakness. That’s because we are living through the pandemic-sparked health and economic meltdowns, the worst catastrophe in all of our lifetimes, overlapping with a new era of reckoning with racial injustice and police brutality.

Trump did not get the message, or perhaps figured it did not apply to him. Seconds, literally seconds into his Charlotte speech Trump accused, with no basis, the Democrats of trying to steal the 2020 election because of what is expected to be massive use of mail-in ballots with demand triggered in part, by the pandemic.

“We caught them doing some really bad things in 2016, let’s see what happens. We caught them doing some really bad things, and we have to be very careful because they’re trying to do it again,” Trump said.

On another front, Trump repeated a blatant lie, claiming only Republicans want to guarantee health insurance coverage of people with pre-existing conditions.

“We protected your pre-existing conditions. … And you don’t hear that, but we’ve very strongly protected your pre-existing conditions. … And we strongly protected, every Republican is sworn to protecting, your pre-existing conditions. It’s very important. You won’t hear that. You won’t hear that from the fake news,” Trump said.

That is not true. A centerpiece of former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act was forcing insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. The Trump Justice Department has been challenging and trying to strike down Obamacare in federal court for years.

Trump made a persuasive case to some voters in 2016 that even with his flaws, he would pick solid conservatives to the Supreme Court, and, in an effective play, made public a list of his potential picks.

In 2020, he’s using that pitch again, noting that he filled two vacancies – though one of them was stolen from Obama, when the GOP Senate refused to consider his nominee, the Lincolnwood-raised Merrick Garland, in 2016.

“I have had two in a relatively short period of time, but I will tell you that the next one could have two, three, four and even five, the next president,” said Trump.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 87; Stephen Breyer, 82; Clarence Thomas, 72; Samuel Alioto Jr., 70; John Roberts 65; Sonia Sotomayor, 66; Elena Kagan, 60; Brett Kavanaugh, 55 and Neil Gorsuch is 52.

The 2017 life expectancy projections from the U.S. Census Bureau do not suggest five vacancies anytime soon.

One of the multiple vanity grievances Trump detailed in his speech was over CNN and MSNBC not carrying the roll call live.

“Can you believe it?”

What was actually going on was that Trump was irritated that those cable networks — rather than going live with the roll call — were carrying the Democratic-controlled House Oversight Committee grilling ofPostmaster General Louis DeJoy over his management of the U.S. Postal Service, especially before the election, with heavy use of mailed ballots expected.

“But they didn’t show it. Instead they’re showing the scam, because they are trying to show the Post Office, so that when their whole mail-in thing fizzles, they’ll try blaming it on the Post Office. OK, so they show these hearings, that are very boring, actually.”

Worth noting: MSNBC and CNN ran Trump’s entire Charlotte speech live.

FOOTNOTE

A civil action filed Monday by the New York Attorney General revealed that Eric Trump was subpoenaed as part of its probe of the Trump Organization — which, the filing disclosed, included questions about the financing of the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago.

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