Trump falsely claims he ‘protected pre-existing conditions’

On the first day of the RNC, Donald Trump inaccurately told a crowd in Charlotte, N.C., that he has “strongly protected pre-existing conditions” while in office.

“We strongly protected your pre-existing conditions. We got rid of the horrible mandate,” he said Monday, referring to his 2017 tax law that zeroed out the penalty for not carrying insurance. “Every Republican is sworn to protecting your pre-existing condition. You won’t hear that.”

In fact, Trump has pursued legislation, litigation and executive actions that would weaken pre-existing condition protections, which were set up under the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

The president championed legislation in 2017 to undo the ACA and allow states to obtain waivers from rules that bar insurers from charging more to people with a prior illness. (The effort passed the House but stalled in the Senate.)

Trump’s administration is currently backing a lawsuit led by Republican attorneys general that would wipe out the Affordable Care Act, including its pre-existing condition protections. He has not offered an alternative plan to restore them. And Trump has expanded the use of short-term plans that are cheaper and not required to cover pre-existing health conditions.

‘Today is about four more years’: Pence speaks after being renominated by RNC

Biden campaign to air new spot across cable channels during RNC

WASHINGTON — Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s campaign announced Monday that it will air a new television spot contrasting Biden’s vision for the United States with President Trump’s presidency on cable airwaves during the Republican National Convention as part of a $26 million ad campaign this week across broadcast, cable, radio and digital platforms.

The 60-second spot, entitled, “Heal America,” argues that the United States needs a team that’s “up to the task” of handling the four simultaneous crises plaguing the nation — public health, economic, climate, and racial injustice. 

“Together, they’ll lead America, unite America and heal America. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris: because a united America will be a better America,” the ad narrator concludes. 

Biden creates ‘safe harbor’ for renegade Republicans who’ve dumped Trump

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden is trying hard to win over disaffected Republicans — can it work in such a polarized country?

All four nights of last week’s Democratic National Convention featured prominent refugee Republicans speaking against President Donald Trump and in favor of the Democratic presidential nominee. And this week, to coincide with the GOP convention, Biden’s team is launching a Republicans for Biden effort led by former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and other former GOP lawmakers.

Rather than banking on the vaunted Obama coalition of millennials, young women and non-white voters to power him to the White House, Biden is seeking to convert some historically GOP-leaning constituencies as Trump shows softness in support with white college grads and seniors.

“For Biden’s convention to feature famous Republicans supporting Biden is intended to send the message that he is a unifying figure and that his opponent is so extreme that members of his own party have fled,” said Michael Beschloss, a presidential historian for NBC News.

Read the full story.

Flake explains backing Biden as ‘someone who will stop the chaos and reverse the damage’

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.

Flake explained why he will vote for Biden and not for Donald Trump in a live video on several social media platforms.

“Today, given what we have experienced over the past four years, it’s not enough just to register our disapproval of the president,” Flake said. “We need to elect someone else in his place — someone who will stop the chaos and reverse the damage.”

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 Flake’s and others’ endorsement of Biden.

Trump alleges Democrats are trying to ‘steal the election’

Donald Trump said Monday in Charlotte that Democrats are “trying to steal the election” in November by expanding access to mail-in ballots. 

Speaking to GOP delegates who formally nominated him as their party’s pick for president, Trump said that Democrats are “trying to steal the election” and falsely claimed that the Obama administration tried to steal the 2016 election with “spying.” 

Delegates at the convention center chanted “four more years,” and Trump responded, “If you really want to drive them crazy, say ‘12 more years.’”

“This is the most important election in the history of our country,” Trump said. “Our country can go in a horrible, horrible direction or an even greater direction.”

Trump said that he felt he had an obligation to be at the convention and slammed Joe Biden for not attending the Democratic National Convention last week in Milwaukee. 

“They didn’t go there at all… We did this out of respect for your state,” Trump said.

‘Eerie’: Republicans convene in a near-empty uptown Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Political celebrities and cable news stars were supposed to fill the streets. Hotels thought they would hit capacity. Rooftop bars expected to book up with late-night parties, and nearby restaurants anticipated an endless crush of customers. There were plans for live music concerts and fireworks.

Instead, uptown Charlotte, the official home of the 2020 Republican National Convention, was nearly deserted as the meeting to formally nominate President Donald Trump as the GOP presidential nominee kicked off Monday morning.

On the eve of the convention, restaurants around the Charlotte Convention Center remained closed. Street signs and storefronts, which would normally be covered in RNC signage, displayed social distancing guidelines. A truck with an anti-Trump billboard in its bed drove around the uptown area, but aside from a few reporters and police officers, no one was there to see it. A few scattered demonstrations took place around the city ahead of the event — but as Republicans arrived in the uptown area, there were no protesters in sight.

“It is a very eerie feeling,” said Vinay Patel, principal at SREE Hotels, which includes 12 hotels in the Charlotte area, adding that all of those hotels had been contracted with the RNC.

Read more about the scene at the convention.

Trump officially becomes Republican nominee in 2020 race after delegates’ roll call

CHARLOTTE — Donald Trump officially became the Republican Party’s presidential nominee Monday after a scaled-down group of delegates gathered for a roll-call vote at the Charlotte Convention Center.

“I want to thank you for the honor of this day,” Vice President Mike Pence said just before Trump went over the 1,276 delegate threshold needed to win the nomination. “I am here for one reason and one reason only, and that is not just the Republican Party, but America needs four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House.”

Trump and Pence were traveling on an official White House trip to North Carolina on Monday, making a surprise visit to the Republican National Convention.

Read the story.

Roll call on Trump nomination begins

Delegates begin to arrive for the first day of the Republican National Convention at the Charlotte Convention Center on Aug. 24, 2020.Chris Carlson / Pool via Getty Images

The convention has begun taking the state-by-state roll call vote on President Donald Trump’s renomination.

Ronna McDaniel called for the state roll call to begin in alphabetical order, with the exception of Florida, Trump’s newly adopted home state.

It is tradition for the candidate’s home state to be the one to officially push them over the delegate threshold needed to win the nomination. In this case, that is 1,276 delegates out of 2,550.

Just 336 delegates were invited to participate in the in-person roll call in Charlotte, six from each state and territory. Delegates were asked to wear face masks while inside the Charlotte Convention Center and attendees were asked to get tested for the coronavirus before traveling to Charlotte. Each person was to receive another test upon arrival.

North Carolina officials granted the RNC an exception to the 10-person cap on indoor activities. Just a few reporters were invited to the convention floor in an effort to promote social distancing.

Delegates begin to arrive for the first day of the Republican National Convention on Aug. 24, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C.Chris Carlson / AP

Fireworks approved for National Mall after Trump’s final convention speech

Fireworks are expected to go off over the National Mall in Washington on Thursday for the final night of the convention. 

A permit has been issued that approved the fireworks that Republicans want to launch, Mike Litterst, a spokesperson for the National Park Service, said Monday. They’re expected to go off after Donald Trump delivers his final convention speech from the White House South Lawn. 

NPS said that the Republican National Committee will have to reimburse all costs. 

“The applicant is responsible for production of the event and all associated costs. Additionally, per policy, the National Park Service will recover from the RNC all costs incurred as a result of the activity, including NPS administrative costs for permit preparation and management of the event, and monitoring of the activity to ensure compliance with the conditions of the permit,” Litterst said in a statement.

Fact Check: 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. 

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