FAM­ILY BACK­ING

First lady, son, daugh­ter of Trump vouch for pres­i­dent on Day 2 of Repub­li­can Con­ven­tion

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY STEVE PEO­PLES, MICHELLE L. PRICE AND DAR­LENE SU­PERVILLE

WASHINGTON — First lady Me­la­nia Trump por­trayed her hus­band as an au­then­tic, un­com­pro­mis­ing leader in a Rose Gar­den ad­dress Tues­day night as Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump turned to fam­ily, farm­ers and the trap­pings of the pres­i­dency to boost his re­elec­tion chances on the sec­ond night of the scaled­down Repub­li­can Na­tional Con­ven­tion.

Mrs. Trump’s re­marks, like much of the night’s prime-time pro­gram, of­fered a pol­ished por­trait of Trump’s pres­i­dency — at odds at times with the crises, di­vi­sion and un­for­giv­ing ac­tions of his ten­ure in the White House.

Show­ing a more for­giv­ing side with mil­lions of vot­ers watch­ing, the pres­i­dent par­doned a re­formed felon and over­saw a nat­u­ral­iza­tion cer­e­mony for sev­eral im­mi­grants in the midst of the pro­gram, though he fre­quently states his vig­or­ous op­po­si­tion to more im­mi­gra­tion, le­gal as well as il­le­gal.

“In my hus­band, you have a pres­i­dent who will not stop fight­ing for you and your fam­i­lies,” said Mrs. Trump, an im­mi­grant her­self. “He will not give up.”

Mrs. Trump and two of his five chil­dren led a di­verse col­lec­tion of sup­port­ers, in­clud­ing a con­victed bank rob­ber, call­ing for Trump’s re­elec­tion on a night that fea­tured a dis­tinctly more pos­i­tive tone than the night be­fore.

In one of the few emo­tional mo­ments of the night, Trump showed a video of him­self sign­ing a par­don for Jon Pon­der, a man from Ne­vada who has founded an or­ga­ni­za­tion that helps pris­on­ers rein­te­grate into so­ci­ety.

“We live in a na­tion of sec­ond chances,” Pon­der said, stand­ing along­side Trump.

“Jon’s life is a beau­ti­ful tes­ta­ment to the power of redemp­tion,” Trump said be­fore he signed the par­don.

Tues­day’s 2½-hour lineup also fea­tured a Maine lob­ster­man, a Wis­con­sin farmer and a Na­tive Amer­i­can leader. So­cial con­ser­va­tives were rep­re­sented by an anti-abor­tion ac­tivist and Billy Gra­ham’s grand­daugh­ter.

The con­ven­tion also fea­tured a Ken­tucky high school stu­dent whose in­ter­ac­tion last year with Na­tive Amer­i­cans at the Lin­coln Me­mo­rial be­came a flash­point in the na­tion’s cul­ture wars. Ni­cholas Sand­mann, who wore a Make Amer­ica Great Again hat in the in­ci­dent and put one on for his con­ven­tion speech, said in re­marks shown Tues­day that the “full war ma­chine of the main­stream me­dia revved up into at­tack mode” against him with­out know­ing all the facts.

There was lit­tle men­tion of the pan­demic through­out the night, although it re­mains a dom­i­nant is­sue for vot­ers this fall.

Tues­day night, there were fierce at­tacks on Demo­crat Joe Bi­den through­out, although the lineup gen­er­ally main­tained a more pos­i­tive tone — in part due to some last-minute changes.

Mary Ann Men­doza, an Ari­zona woman whose son, a po­lice of­fi­cer, was killed in 2014 in a car ac­ci­dent in­volv­ing an im­mi­grant in the coun­try il­le­gally, was pulled from the pro­gram min­utes be­fore the event be­gan. She had di­rected her Twit­ter fol­low­ers to a se­ries of anti-Semitic, con­spir­a­to­rial mes­sages.

Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo ad­dressed the con­ven­tion and na­tion dur­ing an of­fi­cial over­seas trip in Is­rael.

“Pres­i­dent Trump has put his Amer­ica First vi­sion into ac­tion,” Pom­peo said. “It may not have made him pop­u­lar in ev­ery for­eign cap­i­tal, but it’s worked.”

The pres­i­dent’s son Eric and daugh­ter Tif­fany each ad­dressed the con­ven­tion. “My fa­ther re­built the mighty Amer­i­can mil­i­tary,” said Eric Trump, while Tif­fany Trump at­trib­uted a litany of char­ac­ter­is­tics to her fa­ther’s sup­port­ers, say­ing “We be­lieve in free­dom of re­li­gion for all faiths.”

Mrs. Trump, 50, a na­tive of Slove­nia, was the in­tended star of the night.

The first lady, whose 2016 con­ven­tion speech in­cluded pas­sages sim­i­lar to what for­mer first lady Michelle Obama had said in her first con­ven­tion speech, prompt­ing a Trump Or­ga­ni­za­tion speech­writer to apol­o­gize, spoke Tues­day from the ren­o­vated Rose Gar­den, de­spite ques­tions about us­ing the White House for a po­lit­i­cal con­ven­tion. She ad­dressed an in-per­son group of around 50 peo­ple, in­clud­ing her hus­band.

“Whether you like it or not, you al­ways know what he’s think­ing. And that is be­cause he’s an au­then­tic per­son who loves this coun­try and its peo­ple and wants to con­tinue to make it bet­ter,” Mrs. Trump said. “He wants noth­ing more than for this coun­try to pros­per and he doesn’t waste time play­ing pol­i­tics.”

EVAN VUCCI/AP

First lady Me­la­nia Trump ar­rives to speak Tues­day in the Rose Gar­den on the sec­ond night of the Repub­li­can Na­tional Con­ven­tion.

COURTESY OF THE COM­MIT­TEE ON AR­RANGE­MENTS FOR THE 2020 REPUB­LI­CAN NA­TIONAL COM­MIT­TEE VIA AP

Ni­cholas Sand­mann, a teen in a video con­tro­versy last year, puts on a Make Amer­ica Great Again hat at the end of his re­marks.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.