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President Trump Addresses Nation, Accepts Nomination On Final Night Of RNC


With the White House as his stage, President Trump accepted his party's nomination last night at the Republican National Convention. He attacked Joe Biden and framed voters' choice in November this way.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: This election will decide whether we save the American dream or whether we allow a socialist agenda to demolish our cherished destiny.

MARTIN: The president made a lot of claims, some of them false. NPR White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe's on the line with us to give us the details, give us the facts.

Good morning, Ayesha.


MARTIN: Good morning. So let's just start out big picture. How did President Trump paint the next four years under his leadership?

RASCOE: In a lot of ways, he painted a picture that he is fixing the country. But the picture that he painted does not line up with what a lot of Americans are seeing. One thing that stood out is his line about how he talked about his response to the coronavirus, which has now killed 180,000 people.


TRUMP: To save as many lives as possible, we are focusing on the science, the facts and the data. We are aggressively sheltering those at highest risk, especially the elderly, while allowing low-risk Americans to safely return to work and to school.

RASCOE: He delivered this line with more than a thousand people sitting outside, many without masks and no social distancing. Trump also said that there would be a vaccine by the end of the year, or maybe even sooner. But that's way more optimistic than current science suggests.

MARTIN: So this address happened as racial protests continue across this country. Did the president address that?

RASCOE: He - there was a lot of talk about law and order and condemning rioters and really conflating protests and riots. You know, this is a message that Trump has come back to over and over again. It's the main thrust of his reelection argument. You know, vote for Trump, or you won't be safe, even though these things are happening while Trump is president.

MARTIN: So we heard Democrats last week really frame up an existential threat from Donald Trump getting four more years in the White House. Trump has tried this week to turn that around on Joe Biden and Democrats. How did he do in laying out that choice last night?

RASCOE: The messages were kind of all over the place. There was, you know, kind of the idea that Biden is a Trojan horse of the left, you know, and - but at the same time that he has put too many, you know, Black people in jail because of the crime bill.

There was also two big attacks that need some fact-checking. We heard a lot of this idea that Biden wants to defund the police. That's not true. Biden has not said that he wants to defund the police. He actually wants to give police more money, but he wants to redistribute them in a different way. And that's upset some progressives. And also, Biden has not said that he wants to shut down the country. He said he would listen to experts and do that if it was needed.

MARTIN: NPR's Ayesha Rascoe. Thank you.

RASCOE: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Ayesha Rascoe is a White House correspondent for NPR. She is currently covering her third presidential administration. Rascoe's White House coverage has included a number of high profile foreign trips, including President Trump's 2019 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam, and President Obama's final NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland in 2016. As a part of the White House team, she's also a regular on the NPR Politics Podcast.
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