Speaker lineup and themes for Republican convention.
WASHINGTON — Republicans will aim to recast the story of Donald Trump’s presidency when they hold their national convention this week, featuring speakers drawn from everyday life as well as cable news and the White House while drawing a stark contrast with Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
The four-day event is themed “Honoring the Great American Story,” according to four Trump campaign officials involved with the planning process but not authorized to discuss it by name. The convention will feature prominently a number of well-known Trump supporters but also those whom the GOP says are members of the “silent majority” of Americans who have been aided by Trump’s policies. Some have been “silenced” by a “cancel culture” pushed by Democrats, the campaign officials said.
Trump himself was expected to appear each night in the key 10 p.m. Eastern hour, planners said.
Planners insist they will put forward a more “positive” convention than Democrats’ roasting of Trump. Yet the president also appears intent on trying to seize on the nation’s cultural divides.
The officials outlined the campaign plans to The Associates Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss the emerging schedule.
The opening night Monday will highlight the “Land of Promise,” aiming to show how Trump helped renew the American dream. Featured speakers include South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, who will deliver the coveted closing speech of the televised prime-time block; former Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley; presidential son Donald Trump, Jr.; and staunch congressional defenders Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Jim Jordan of Ohio.
Tuesday’s theme is “Land of Opportunity,” which is expected to cast Biden’s plans as “socialist” and “radical left.” Speakers will highlight Trump’s actions on trade, abortion and the nation’s opioid crisis. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will address Trump’s foreign policy record, an unusual foray into domestic politics by the nation’s top diplomat, and Trump children Eric and Tiffany Trump will also speak.
Another speaker will be Nicholas Sandmann, who as a student at a Catholic high school in Kentucky gained attention last year for his interaction with a Native American man during demonstrations in Washington.
First lady Melania Trump will deliver the marquee address of the night from a newly renovated White House Rose Garden.
Wednesday, themed “Land of Heroes,”
will feature conservative personalities including South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway. Clarence Henderson, a civil rights figure from the 1960s, is also on deck to address the “true meaning of peaceful protest,” planners said.
Vice President Mike Pence will deliver the keynote Wednesday from Baltimore’s Fort McHenry, which inspired “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 1814, to highlight Trump’s opposition to professional athletes who kneel during the national anthem.
Speakers on the final night, themed “Land of Greatness, will include Alice Johnson, the justice advocate whose sentence on drug crimes was commuted by Trump at the urging of celebrity Kim Kardashian, and evangelist Rev. Franklin Graham.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky are to deliver remarks, as will Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White.
Trump will close out the convention during an unprecedented address from the White House South Lawn. He and Ivanka Trump, his daughter and senior adviser who is set to introduce him, will speak from an elaborate stage in front of the Executive Mansion. The move has drawn criticism from Democrats and ethics groups, who argue that Trump is violating the spirit, if not the letter, of federal law by using the White House grounds to stage his convention.
Donald Trump addresses delegates at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland.