Day 1 Of The Republican National Convention

August 25, 2020 |

I expected the Republican virtual convention to be better than the Democrats for several reasons: President Trump is a better showman; the mission is to emphasize patriotism and optimism, not sow gloom and division; etc. I just didn’t expect that the GOP convention would be so much better right out of the gate that it was almost like comparing “Citizen Kane” to “Plan Nine from Outer Space.”

Day one of the Democrat infomercial mostly featured politicians talking directly into the camera like a national version of a bedroom vlogger’s YouTube stream, telling us over their iPhones how awful everything is because of the bad Orange Man. The most memorable things about it were Michelle Obama repeating the debunked “children in cages” lie (that actually started under her husband) and the giant wall of firewood behind Bernie Sanders. I’ll bet whoever cut that wood wasn’t the only one who was sawing logs last week.

By contrast, the Republicans offered an inspiring and well-produced (the opening film narrated by Jon Voight was superb) showcase of both political figures and private citizens from a wide range of backgrounds. They talked about positive things Trump has done for them and America, promises kept, and their optimism for the future, as long as Democrats are kept out of power. (BTW, you can add “Internet live productions” to cities, states and the Congress on the ever-lengthening list of “Things Democrats Cannot Be Trusted to Run.”) When Republicans did talk about negatives, like the riots, looting and assaults on police officers in blue cities that are the #1 news story in America right now, that was also a glaring contrast because the Democrats went for three days without ever mentioning that giant donkey in the room.

Maybe it’s not fair to compare the two. The GOP Convention could focus on Trump’s accomplishments because he actually has so many. The Democrats concentrated on Trump hate, division and name-calling because, hey, you go with what you’ve got.

There were so many powerful moments just on night one that I don’t have time or space to list them all. If you missed it, I suggest, believe it or not, that you actually watch the entire stream. It’s on YouTube here.

And here are the liveblogs from PJ Media

And Townhall.com…

As well as a separate article I wrote for Fox News

Here are just a few of the highlights, but incredibly, there were no lowlights (maybe the Democrats had so many lowlights because they were experiencing rolling brownouts):

Black Georgia Democratic Rep. Vernon Jones, who was viciously attacked for praising Trump, talked of how Trump has created opportunity zones and good jobs for blacks, and criminal justice reform of the law Biden co-wrote. He reminded us that Democrats are defunding cops who protect black children while providing security for themselves, and blasted Pelosi and Schumer for “pandering” to blacks by wearing African kente cloths. He said, “The Democratic Party has become infected with the pandemic of intolerance, bigotry, socialism, anti-law enforcement bias, and a dangerous tolerance for people who attack others, destroy their property and terrorize their own communities.” He warned that black people are becoming louder and more “woke” (I love the new, more accurate spin he put on that term) and in a line that is sure to be quoted and remembered for a long time: "The Democratic Party does not want black people to leave their mental plantation.” As one commenter put it, he left a smoking crater where the DNA used to be.

Cuban immigrant Maximo Alvarez choked back tears as he recalled his family’s escape from communism in Cuba, and how he’s hearing ominous echoes of their same tactics and rhetoric from blue cities like Seattle, Chicago and Portland. He said, “If I gave away everything that I have today, it would not equal 1 percent of what I was given when I came to this great country of ours: the gift of freedom. Right now, it is up to us to decide our fate and to choose freedom over oppression.”

NFL great Herschel Walker spoke movingly of his 38-year friendship with Trump and testified that the claim Trump is a racist is a slanderous lie (and will anyone ever forget the image of Trump joining Walker’s family at Disney World to ride “It’s A Small World” in a business suit?) By the way, I’ve also seen Trump enter one of his hotels and greet the desk clerks and other workers by name and ask about their families. Can you even imagine Hillary Clinton doing something like that?

Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was murdered in the Parkland school shooting, credited President Trump with reversing the Obama “restorative justice” policy that he blames for the killer not being stopped sooner, and warned that Joe Biden wants to bring it back…

Mark and Patricia McCloskey probably never imagined they’d be speaking at a GOP Convention (Mark is a lawyer who’s defended a BLM activist.) But after they were charged with a felony by St. Louis’ far-left DA for brandishing guns to protect their home from a threatening mob – but none of the mob members were charged – their blinders fell off pretty quickly.

After hearing Sen. Tim Scott’s closing speech, I have to second what some conservative bloggers said: I want to vote for him for President in 2024. It was personal and moving, but also substantive. And I loved this line about his early struggles in school: "Trust me, after spending seven years in the Senate, I know I’m not the only one in Congress who failed civics."

I was thrilled that for the Pledge of Allegiance, the speaker made a point of reminding people that the words include “under God,” which was left out of two recitations of it at the Democratic Convention. (I also appreciated that they told attendees to stand for the National Anthem, not stand or kneel, whatever your preference.) The embrace of God may have already turned at least one vote

Natalie Harp, who would have been relegated to death by cancer by government regulations if it weren’t for Trump’s “right to try” reform that let her try an experimental drug, reminded viewers of all the people who have been saved by Trump’s ending of VA hospital waiting lists, reduction of drug prices and other health initiatives. She also reminded us of Charlie Gard, the British infant who was sentenced to die by British government health care bureaucrats.

There was also a powerful film and speech by a Louisiana doctor who both treated and contracted COVID-19, on the false narrative that President Trump did nothing about or botched the disease response. It reminded viewers of how the pandemic took the world unawares and unprepared, and Trump quickly built an unprecedented public-private effort that prevented equipment shortages, removed FDA red tape and fast-tracked new treatments. Bonus: footage of Democratic Governors such as Andrew Cuomo praising Trump’s efforts (this was before word came down that they were supposed to trash and blame him)

Charlie Kirk appealed to young people by defending “the American way of life,” including freedom of speech and religion, against the cancel culture, self-righteous Silicon Valley censors, and a mob of “bitter, deceitful, vengeful activists who have never built anything in their lives.” He called Trump “the bodyguard of Western Civilization”…

Rebecca Friedrichs, the California kindergarten teacher who took on the teachers’ unions in court and won (she noted that the Obama/Biden Administration and Kamala Harris fiercely opposed her in that lawsuit), spoke about school choice (a recurring theme of the evening) and how teachers’ unions are trapping poor and minority children in failing schools. It’s a subject that’s become red hot now that stuck-at-home parents are discovering what their kids were being “taught” all these years…

All this, and I still haven’t touched on Nikki Haley’s excellent speech, Trump’s moving visits with coronavirus essential workers and Americans who’d been held hostage abroad whom he brought home (he rescues people from the other side of the world while Democrats fight having to give medical care to a newborn baby in the same room), Maryland House candidate Kim Klacik’s powerfull message, and so much more.

It was also a stunning contrast just to see Trump popping up everywhere, seemingly working around the clock with limitless energy. At the Democratic Convention, we waited three days for Joe Biden to emerge from his basement like we were waiting for Punxsutawney Phil to rouse himself from his burrow on Groundhog Day. It definitely bolsters Trump’s “Sleepy Joe” moniker and puts pressure on the Dems to let Biden debate to prove he’s up to the job.

You really should watch it all if you can. It will lift your spirits and renew your hope. As I said in my article for Fox News, the Dems gave a funeral for America, and the Republicans threw a celebration. Never has an electoral choice been so stark – or so obvious.

But I can’t end without quoting the funniest line of the night, from Donald Trump Jr: Joe Biden is the “Loch Ness Monster of the swamp.” He sticks his head up every 20 years or so to run for President, then disappears into the swamp again.

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Comments 1-25 of 91

  • Florence D. Ross

    08/26/2020 09:11 PM

    Regarding the Words of Vernon Jones. Everyone watching as he spoke, I ask what do you see?
    Do you see a black person at the podium? Do you see a white person at the podium? Do you see a person of any color there? I do.!! I see a person of blue, looking & thinking beyond the skies.
    I see a person of yellow, looking with the clarity of the sun. I see a person of the rainbow,
    showing many colors blending together, thinking on their own without influence of propaganda.
    Thank you Vernon Jones we all need to think objectively, leaving emotions at home. To show appreciation for unadulterated fact, it wouldn't hurt any one of us to pay attention to reality.
    To thank those who care for our country; When the Left tells it, that any one thing certainly,
    ''It CANNOT be done'', it is those we may least suspect that step forward and firmly say: . . . .
    "GET OUT OF MY WAY, WHILE I'M DOING IT."

  • David Redman

    08/26/2020 07:12 PM

    Thank you for your insights. Please note:
    Many of the wonderful things Joe Biden is promising to do,
    are already being done, or have been done,
    by President Trump.
    David Redman

  • Andrea Helen Eckert Watters

    08/26/2020 02:46 PM

    I agreed with your comment about Tim Scott perhaps running for president in 2024, then I went to visit my husband in the hospital and he mentioned liking Tim Scott, too. Mike, my husband and I are both 79 years old, with multiple ailments and losing our memories. We probably won't be around in 2024, or if we are, we will probably be non compos mentis, but it'll be the right time for a black Republican president. You are younger than we are and will probably be around in 2024. So please promote him then, and let him know how we felt about him in 2020.

  • Marshall Suttles

    08/26/2020 01:48 PM

    I pray the bounce from the RNC convention will be like a slam dunk! The Dems are likely grimacing in the basement as each speaker lays the truth on the line. I loved Hershel Walker's presentation! (Especially since I live just 35 miles from UGA in Georgia!) I was also very impressed with the Kentucky Attorney General, Daniel Cameron! A star in the making for Republicans, I pray! So many more excellent speakers. We watched it on C Span, rather than Fox for uninterrupted coverage. So nice!
    One last comment: I want a bumper sticker that says- "VOTE DEMOCRAT! ALL WILL BE FREE! except your taxes!!!!!!

  • Joan Helen Chambers

    08/26/2020 01:45 PM

    Mike -

    This is a letter that I wrote to the Philadelphia Inquirer - it was not published however
    *********************************************************************************
    Dear Editor,
    I would like to respond to a letter in the Sunday Inquirer Aug. 9, 2020 - 'Using White House as a campaign prop'.
    Have you ever rented a house - it becomes your home for the duration of the rental period? You do not own it.
    You basically do what you want within reason.

    If you take family pictures is the house used as a backdrop? Of course it is.

    Thank you Mike and God Bless you your family and America

  • Floyd A Unger

    08/26/2020 12:49 PM

    Loch Ness Monster.....Great one!

  • Mike Brannick

    08/26/2020 12:41 PM

    I've heard before that the Presidential candidate who has the most positive, optimistic message usually wins. I certainly hope that holds true this year.

  • Gail Denham

    08/26/2020 10:47 AM

    So thankful for the first two nights of the RNC convention - marvelous - one of the most uplifting parts was to hear from some "rising stars" in the party - some hope for the future. Tim Scott - and the fellow who's an attorney General of a state, and so many others. Marvelous. Thanks for the review.

  • Trish O'Neal

    08/26/2020 10:16 AM

    Thank you for your take on the RNC. I appreciate all the things that our President and First Lady, Vice President and His wife are doing for our great country. I appreciate that they want to keep God at the top while the demonats are trying to remove Him from everything. We are and always will be ONE NATION UNDER GOD, because if HE had not allowed it we would never have known America. God bless you!

  • Patsy Stone

    08/26/2020 09:29 AM

    I totally agree with your article. I don't usually like to watch the political conventions, but this one I couldn't leave. It is so uplifting and inspiring. It gives hope.

  • Marlene Helfrick

    08/26/2020 08:17 AM

    Mail in voting will put Pelosi in as president. The constitution says if all votes aren't counted by January 20th the speaker of the House will serve as president until they are all counted. Now you know Pelosi's plan, how much do you want to bet the count never finishes? Pelosi will establish her socialist utopia like San Francisco over all of America.

  • Cindy Smart

    08/25/2020 11:38 PM

    Thankyou for your summary of the RNC...
    You were right on ( as usual)!
    And PS
    That story Sarah told about you taking her to the Holocaust museum...... amazing.....
    She’s such an incredible lady!!!!! I always respected her.... admired the way she handled herself with the evil darts thrown at her by the media!!!
    God bless you both — Thankyou for your service to our Country!!!!

  • Jeffery Klar

    08/25/2020 10:44 PM

    And yet, predictably, the headline this morning in our Minneapolis Star Tribune was, "GOP Paints A Dark Picture".

  • Richard Crook

    08/25/2020 09:49 PM

    Dear Governor,
    Nikki Haley for president 2024!

  • Arda Blevins

    08/25/2020 09:48 PM

    President Trump is exactly right about not wanting mail-in votes. For several years I was a member of the Walla Walla (WA) GOP Central Committee. A few years ago some of us attempted to tackle the huge job of auditing the list of Walla Walla voters to see if we could detect any obvious discrepancies, which was pretty much impossible. I did, however, find the name of a local friend of mine who I knew had moved to a retirement facility in town but the voter list showed him as living in his original home. I called him to confirm he was still in the retirement home, and he said that he was and that he had received voter ballots at his new address. I confirmed that the roll also listed him at his new address. So here we had one voter that I had discovered had two ballots mailed to him. What the new owners of his old home would do with that extra ballot is anybody's guess. This discrepancy is likely repeated numerous times in every location of the United States, giving any number of people an extra ballot to complete and mail in. This is a situation that would not take place with personal visits to voting locations.

  • Elaine Liming

    08/25/2020 06:56 PM

    It was a great summary today. You get A+ As a teacher I gave out A+ grades when the work was powerful and enlighten.
    I was moved to prayer and I hope all out there will continue to pray for our President and his family. We need to vote and bring those who need rides to the voting areas. We need to be activists in our Church communities. This is the most important election of our lives. The evil forces are many and we are in for a battle. Starting singing "Battle Hymn of the Republic"!

  • James Tomko

    08/25/2020 06:39 PM

    Thank you Gov. Huckabee for your news letter:
    God Bless You!

  • Jerry Korba

    08/25/2020 06:14 PM

    The Truth is irrelevant by the DNC's standard it will take a statement fabricate it to the agenda of its choosing turning a fact into untruth. A Real person with intellect would bring reason to a debate and when it can't win it will go into untruth mode the DNC rarely leaves that mode as the fellow from Cuba explained. The DNC disqualifies itself daily CNN disqualifies itself daily. The DNC is on par with a WWE champion fight when the champs is about to lose it gets itself disqualified and retains the belt. The WWE has more value than the DNC nobody is watching the DNC most resonate people look at it as a Freak show the characters are well paid but are taken as zero value. On more case today DNC Donna Brazil was taken down on the Fox morning show beaten so badly by her lies she just started talking over her debate opponent showing no respect in defeat as she couldn't bring the DNC talking points to the truth she is a phony person with no morality and nothing more than an old bully thug. Fox news should be ashamed to book her she belongs on a Jerry springer set she is indecent.

  • Judy McGlothlin

    08/25/2020 06:14 PM

    I am one of those people without Cable and so had to rely on various news stations for whatever they cared to show during the first night of the RNC. Thank you, Mike, for the the u-tube video of the entire first night. What a loss that it wasn't shown on regular TV channels for all to see. All the speakers were superb, along with the three that we were allowed to view on the channels.

  • Jean Paulus

    08/25/2020 06:13 PM

    Trump should have Leo Terrell on before the convention is over. He's very powerful.

  • Janis Hook

    08/25/2020 05:44 PM

    I can personally tell you that my parents have been Democrats for most of their lives! Dad was a farmer and mold maker for a glass plant in PA. Mom was a homemaker. Dad lost his job because of his plant shutting down. He drew on his talent as a photographer and built up a very successful business. Of course technology had taken that away. No one needs a photographer when you have a cell phone. When Trump ran for President my dad immediately changed to Republican!! He is a staunch supporter of him. He sees what Trump can do for this country. They watched the Convention last night. Mom said she did not want to watch but she said it was very good and she said she thought the best speech was by the black man. He was very honest and she could tell he meant every word he said. Trump has 10 votes in my immediate family. I know there are more.

  • Kenneth g stach

    08/25/2020 05:44 PM

    We could watch on PBS only and it’s really bad when the woman would cut off the republican speaker before the speaker was thru to put on Democrat analyst just to be nasty. PBS should fire her but they are just as bad.

  • Carol LeQuieu

    08/25/2020 05:41 PM

    How about ALL the FOX News commentators just STOP TALKING during ALL the speeches being given during the convention!!
    I WANT TO HEAR EVERY PERSON SELECTED give their “from the heart” speech. I can hear Fox News commentators every night of the week. Hearing these convention speakers is a once in a lifetime experience that I don’t want to miss!

  • Diane Whittington

    08/25/2020 05:11 PM

    I couldn't agree with you more Govenor. The first night of the RNC was fantastic!!! Love of country was evident throughout. Great to hear some common sense too. Didn't get that from the DNC last week!!

  • Reacherfan Marmot

    08/25/2020 05:11 PM

    While I only caught highlights, I saw all of Tim Scott's speech. WOW! What a great success story and an example to everyone that ambition and hard work can overcome poverty and prejudice. And Mr Alverez was a perfect choice to show what people who lived under a Marxist dictator know all too well while the Dems run to embrace a system that has a history of nothing but failure and death.

    ‘Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…’

    Winston S Churchill, 11 November 1947

    And this memorable line I learned as a child ....

    If you pass Daniel Webster's grave you'll hear, "Neighbor how stands the Union?" "Then you better answer the Union stands as she stood, rock-bottomed and copper sheathed, one and indivisible, or he's liable to rear right out of the ground. At least that's what I was told when I was a youngster."

    Steven Vincent Benet

    I fear he will indeed rise up if the Democrats manage to steal the election.