Delegate repeats misleading Trump claim Dems omitted “under God” during pledge

A Republican delegate from Alaska, Peter Goldberg, slammed Democrats as the convention kicked off Monday, restating a misleading claim by President Donald Trump that Democrats omitted the words “under God” from the pledge of allegiance at their convention last week. 

“That could not, would not, ever happen here,” Goldberg said before he recited the pledge. 

“We know as Republicans that America must put its full faith and trust in that God,” he said. 

Democrats, however, read the entire pledge of allegiance, including the words “under God,” during the prime-time segments of the convention each night last week. There were two caucus meetings, the Muslim Delegates and Allies Assembly and the LGBTQ Caucus meeting, according to the Associated Press, that left out those words during their daytime meetings. 

RNC meets in Charlotte to officially nominate Trump

Republican delegates are meeting in a scaled-down convention this morning to officially nominate President Donald Trump as the party’s presidential candidate against Joe Biden in the November election.

“We are obviously disappointed we could not hold this event in the same way we had originally planned,” Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, said as she gaveled in the convention.

McDaniel hinted that “special guests” could stop by the Charlotte Convention Center later in the day. Both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are scheduled to make official trips to North Carolina today.

Read more on the RNC’s first day of business here.

Jeff Flake, other former GOP Congress members endorse Biden ahead of RNC

More than two-dozen former Republican members of Congress, including ex-Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, endorsed Joe Biden for president on Monday, hours ahead of the Republican National Convention.

Biden’s presidential campaign announced the list of endorsements in a press release. Flake was expected to speak to reporters later in the day about why he has chosen to support the former vice president.

Among the list of Republicans supporting Biden are Flake, former Sens. John Warner of Virginia and Gordon Humphrey of New Hampshire, and former Reps. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania and Ray LaHood of Illinois, who also served as transportation secretary under former President Barack Obama.

Read more on why some former GOP lawmakers are supporting Biden.

Trump names improving economy, school choice among his second term priorities

President Donald Trump said in a new interview that he plans to focus on improving the economy in his second term and also emphasized the importance of school choice. 

“I would strengthen what we’ve done, and I would do more,” Trump said in an interview on Fox News that taped Friday and aired Sunday night. 

Trump claimed that Democrats are intentionally taking steps to hurt the economy, saying they’re doing “anything they can to make the economy as bad as possible, but they’re having a tough time with it because the economy’s so good.”

Asked about whether he plans to moderate his tone if he’s re-elected, the president said, “I’d like it to be calm too. If I change my attitude, I wouldn’t get nearly as many things done.”

The president’s 2020 re-election campaign also sent out a list of items on his second-term agenda on Sunday, but the priorities were vague and didn’t explain how he would accomplish certain goals like “create 10 million new jobs in 10 months” and “return to normal in 2021.”

ANALYSIS: Trump’s Republican convention challenge: Overcoming the trust gap

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump heads into the Republican National Convention needing to make the greatest sales pitch of his life.

He trails Democratic nominee Joe Biden in national and swing-state polling, voters give him low marks for his handling of a coronavirus pandemic that has taken more than 170,000 American lives and led tens of millions to file for unemployment insurance this year, and his lofty plans for a major international peace accord — like a nuclear deal with North Korea — have disintegrated.

His onetime aces in the hole have vanished, one by one. His plot to extort Ukraine into announcing an investigation into Biden resulted in his own impeachment. The economy, his strongest political asset just six months ago, has been roughed up by his response to the coronavirus. And, rather than strengthening the nation’s global position, his trade war with China has pummeled elements of his still-loyal base.

Read the analysis.

Spruced-up White House Rose Garden set for Melania Trump speech

WASHINGTON — The White House Rose Garden has been spruced up in time for its moment in the campaign spotlight.

First lady Melania Trump will deliver her Republican National Convention speech Tuesday night from the garden, famous for its close proximity to the Oval Office. The three weeks of work on the garden, which was done in the spirit of its original 1962 design, were showcased to reporters on Saturday.

The location of the first lady’s speech will be just one of the ways that the Republican National Convention will break with political norms. Federal rules prohibit the White House from being the setting for expressly political events, a regulation that many presidents have flirted with violating.

Read the story.

White House transforms from people’s house to campaign venue

WASHINGTON — Several rows of stage lights could be seen peeking above the colonial style windows of the West Wing when the sun rose Friday as the atmosphere of the White House began to transition, for the first time, into a purely political venue.

Behind the scenes this past week, campaign and convention staffers began work on the White House South Lawn setting up lights, speakers and a stage that would be used for President Donald Trump to deliver his acceptance speech as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee. Trucks brought in long metal poles and beams, and construction equipment was set up adjacent to the Rose Garden.

It is unprecedented in modern politics for the White House to be used as the site of an explicitly political event, with past presidents maintaining some boundaries between the office of the presidency and their re-election bids.

Trump has been smashing those norms for months — attacking Democratic rival Joe Biden from the Rose Garden and playing campaign-style videos in the White House briefing room — but his prime-time convention address will represent the most blatant blurring of the lines yet.

Read more about the White House’s convention preparations.

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