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Donald Trump Jr. said that economic recovery is within arms’ reach during his Monday evening address at the first night of the Republican National Convention.
In his remarks, Trump Jr. touted the administration’s economic accomplishments—a list of greatest hits that President Trump’s surrogates have been rattling off for at least a year. He noted that, before the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States, the country had seen record-low unemployment for Black and Hispanic Americans. He also touted the GOP’s 2017 tax cut.
All of that was scrambled, Trump Jr. said, “courtesy of the Chinese Communist Party” and the virus that led to widespread lockdowns across the country.
Trump Jr. also spoke of the death of George Floyd, who was killed by Minneapolis police in May, while also insisting that the GOP is the party of law and order.
“We must put an end to racism, and we must ensure that any police officer who abuses their power is held accountable. What happened to George Floyd is a disgrace. And if you know a police officer, you know they agree with that too,” he said.
He went on: “Everything starts with safety and security. You can’t have anything else without it. You can’t focus on building a better future for your children without the peace of mind that they can study safely in their classrooms, play safely in their neighborhoods and sleep safely in their beds.
The president’s eldest son also defended the administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Over 170,000 Americans have been killed so far by the virus, and the president’s response has been widely criticized by doctors, lawmakers and other experts.
“Fortunately, as the virus began to spread, the president acted quickly and ensured ventilators got to hospitals that needed them most,” said Trump Jr., the first of the Trump children to formally address the RNC.
“He delivered PPE to our brave frontline workers. And he rallied the mighty American private sector to tackle this new challenge,” he said. “There is more work to do, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
Trump Jr. often uses his huge online platform to taunt Democrats while hosting the semifrequent live show “Triggered,” named for his book of the same title, to his nearly 5 million Twitter followers.
In May, Trump Jr. baselessly suggested via Instagram that Democratic nominee Joe Biden was a pedophile. Met with indignation, he attempted to characterize his post as a joke.
He continued those slights Monday night.
“Joe Biden is basically the Loch Ness monster of the swamp. For the past half-century, he’s been lurking around in there. He sticks his head up every now and then to run for president, then he disappears and doesn’t do much in between,” said Trump Jr.
He continued: “Joe Biden and the radical left are also now coming for our freedom of speech and want to bully us into submission. If they get their way, it will no longer be the ‘silent majority,’ it will be the ‘silenced majority.’”
In June, Trump Jr. temporarily lost access to his Twitter account for circulating a post that falsely claimed that lupus drug hydroxychloroquine could cure COVID-19. He has frequently claimed that the social media site is biased against conservatives.
Trump Jr. has also publicly toyed with the idea of running for elected office.
In recent years, he has become a main conduit between mainstream GOP and the fringe right. And in his speech Monday, he painted an optimistic message of what four more years of his father would look like, as opposed to what he described as the horrors of Democratic government.
“Imagine the life you want to have — one with a great job, a beautiful home, and a perfect family. You can have it. Imagine the country you want to live in — one with true equality of opportunity, where hard work pays off and justice is served with compassion and without partiality. You can have it,” he said.
“Imagine a world where the evils of communism and radical Islamic terrorism are not given a chance to spread, where heroes are celebrated and the good guys win. You can have it.”
Trump Jr. frequently collaborates with his girlfriend, ex-Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, for campaign activities.
Guilfoyle’s mother was born in Puerto Rico, and her father emigrated from Ireland in the 1950s.
She used her platform Monday evening to stress the importance of the immigrant experience to the GOP.
“My mother, Mercedes, was a special education teacher from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. My father, also an immigrant, came to this nation in pursuit of the American dream. Now, I consider it my duty to fight to protect that dream,” said Guilfoyle, who spoke earlier in the evening.
She added: “Manifest and be the change in this country that you dream, that you hope, that you believe in. Stand for an American president who is fearless, who believes in you, and who loves this country and will fight for her!”
One of Trump’s very first campaign promises was to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to keep out, in the president’s words, “drug dealers,” “criminals” and “rapists.” The president also reportedly griped in 2018 about immigrants from predominantly nonwhite countries coming to the United States.
Guilfoyle struck similar tones, saying that some immigrants from across the border would commit heinous crimes.
“Rioters must not be allowed to destroy our cities. Human, sex, drug traffickers should not be allowed to cross our border,” she said.
Guilfoyle, an attorney who was married to Gavin Newsom before he became governor of California, left her job at Fox News in 2018 to help assist the Trump reelection effort. She has since pivoted to public-facing roles in Trump’s reelection PAC and his campaign, and she warned Monday that Democrats would “dismantle and destroy” American law enforcement.
“Biden, Harris and their socialist comrades will fundamentally change this nation. They want open borders, closed schools, dangerous amnesty and will selfishly send your jobs back to China while they get richer,” Guilfoyle said,
“They will defund, dismantle and destroy America’s law enforcement... When you are in trouble, and need 911, don’t count on the Democrats.”
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