As the Republican National Convention comes to a close, Jon Meacham, presidential historian and author of the new book, “His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope,” joins Yahoo News Editor in Chief Daniel Klaidman and Chief Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff to discuss Vice President Mike Pence’s convention speech. Klaidman and Meacham note that Pence’s speech included references to the violence in Kenosha, Wis., but omitted details about the incident that caused the protests — the shooting of Jacob Blake by police — as well as the shootings of protesters that followed. Meacham, who spoke at the DNC, says that Republican messaging is “not about the country, it’s about their voters.”
DANIEL KLAIDMAN: Did you get a chance to watch the Pence speech last night?
JON MEACHAM: I didn't, actually.
DANIEL KLAIDMAN: Yeah. Well, I gotta say, I thought it was remarkable in its kind of almost callousness on this issue of race in particular. He only mentioned Kenosha in the context of looting and rioting. He did not mention the incident that sparked the protests there.
JON MEACHAM: Or did he mention who did the shooting after the police shooting?
DANIEL KLAIDMAN: And he did not-- he did not mention the 17-year-old vigilante.
JON MEACHAM: A president should say we have a crisis of violence in this country. There's unwarranted police violence. There is vigilante opportunistic violence. And yes, there's looting and lawlessness. There's a way to talk about all of it.
DANIEL KLAIDMAN: How is it that we are in a moment today in 2020 when a vice presidential candidate can give a speech like that?
MICHAEL ISIKOFF: The vice president.
JON MEACHAM: And I suspect we'll hear worse tonight, right, from the president himself. I think it goes back, if I may, to this idea that it's not about the country. It's about their voters. And their voters aren't-- in their estimation, are not interested in the harder work of attacking the structural racism, the structural inequality that is self-evident. They don't see-- the rawest political answer to your question is they don't see any percentage in it.