Pence: ‘The vi­o­lence must stop’

Chicago Sun-Times - - NATION/WORLD - LYNN SWEET D.C. DECODER lsweet@sun­times.com | @lynnsweet

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 spark­ing 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 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, hard­work­ing 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!) ...... 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 times 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.”

SAUL LOEB/AFP VIA GETTY IM­AGES

Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence salutes af­ter speak­ing Wed­nes­day at Fort McHenry Na­tional Mon­u­ment in Bal­ti­more, Mary­land.

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