Despite President Trump’s interest in drumming up excitement for his reelection with a crowded, in-person convention in the middle of a pandemic, this year’s RNC is largely virtual. The president appears to be consoling himself by making the event even more “all about Trump”: The party announced there is no 2020 platform, many of the featured speakers are members of his family, and — in a big break with tradition — the president will speak during all four nights. Still, there are a few non-Trump attractions; Monday night’s headliners include Senator Tim Scott, Representative Matt Gaetz, Representative Jim Jordan, and former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. Follow along right here as Intelligencer staffers provide live updates on day one of the 2020 Republican National Convention.
Updates will appear in reverse-chronological order.
That’s it for Day One, but don’t worry…
Tim Scott’s big moment (he’s also running)
Both Haley and Scott seemed to be offering their vision for a post-Trump — but still pro-Trump — future. And unlike some of the other speakers tonight, their speeches were fairly conventional convention fare.
And there was a kind of riff on Obama
School choice came up over and over tonight, despite the fact that Trump rarely pushes it himself.
It’s the pundits who want to be persuaded
Don Junior seemed to be trying to line up his own future run, too
And he brought the metaphors:
The adaptation-happy GOP establishment approves:
The base-ic instinct
A tonal anomaly
The president is giving viewers a full White House tour
It’s clearly the full-blast strategy
*If* any of them are watching.
Ingraham is watching another convention, apparently:
This was also an interesting moment in the broadcast
Okay, not really. But basically.
KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE DELIVERS TONIGHT’S LOUDEST SPEECH
They did not bring their guns, but they did brandish “Democrat Marxist”
Fact check: Uhh… not exactly
Per the New York Times, regarding a comment made during the coronavirus section of the night by Dr. Ghali (who should probably know better):
Dr. Ghali claims that, hours after receiving a positive result from a rapid test for the coronavirus, he received remdesivir and convalescent plasma — two treatments that have received emergency approval from the F.D.A. These two treatments, an antiviral and a plasma infusion respectively, do have emergency clearance for use, but only in hospitalized patients. Dr. Ghali’s self-described symptoms were mild, “a fever and mild cough.” To date, there’s no clear-cut evidence suggesting that remdesivir benefits patients with milder forms of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. And there’s also little evidence that convalescent plasma actually works as well as President Trump and his colleagues claim it does in patients with any form of the disease.
Behold a “Democrat” for Trump
Michael Cohen is fixing to do some counter-programming
Black friends for Trump
Our own Ben Hart notes:
It’s always good when you have to explain that the nominee isn’t a racist.
United they stand
Over at FiveThirtyEight’s liveblog, Shom Mazumder comments:
One thing you definitely notice compared to the Democrats is that the Republicans seem to have agreed to show almost no internal division within the party. Is this a sign of party strength or party weakness going into a general election?
A long COVID-19 section is heavy on the gaslight
A tiny bit of policy:
Our own Matt Stieb notes a highlight from Trump’s little asides about the coronavirus during the segment:
“Your blood is very valuable” is one of the hits so far for me.
Just like CPAC
The star that shines brightest
Roll callers neither social distanced, nor masked
There was montage of the roll call videos (which aired in full earlier in the day) showing multiple groups of Trump supporters from around the country in indoor rooms enthusiastically nominating the president. Most people were clumped closely together to fit in the frame, virtually none were wearing masks.
Fact check: True
Kim Klacik makes her case
It might go better with national Republicans than Maryland voters
That distracting thing on the bottom of the screen is a motion fundraising
It seems very unlikely that any donors are going to be able to read fast enough to notice their name.
Gaetz coins a new term
Fox News skips the beginning
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows isn’t practicing perfect social distancing in North Carolina
Trump sets the tone for the rest of the week during surprise Monday-afternoon appearance
David Bossie adds to his impressive resumé
From the political activist who helped bring you the Citizens United decision and who once asked a Black guest on Fox News if he was “out of his cotton-picking mind” comes another high point during the GOP roll call:
It’s official: Trump is the Republicans’ presidential nominee
Trump and Vice President Mike Pence both appeared in Charlotte, North Carolina on Monday afternoon as a drastically scaled back number of delegates – 336 delegates representing 50 states, five territories, and D.C. – formally renominated them. ABC News reports there was a bit of a mix up during the roll call. Sadly it did not involve calamari:
After Pence wrapped his remarks, the roll call vote continued with Nevada, whose 25 delegates technically put Trump over the top to have enough votes to once again secure the nomination.
Florida, Trump’s adopted home state, was the only state moved out of alphabetical order, which would have allowed for the state to put Trump over the top – but it was Nevada’s delegate on the screen when Trump surpassed the 1,276 delegate threshold to win the nomination.
Despite Florida not being seen at the microphone to announce the state’s 122 delegates, nor the secretary officially announcing a record of the votes, those votes were included in the RNC’s delegate tally, putting Trump over the top.
With Nevada,1,284 delegates have renominated Trump as the party’s nominee, surpassing the 1,276 delegate threshold to win the nomination.