Vice President Mike Pence issued a stark warning about Joe Biden in his Republican convention speech Wednesday, saying the country ‘won’t be safe’ in Biden’s America.
It was one of many rhetorical bombs Pence lobbed as Donald Trump’s Democratic opponent at an outdoor speech at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore, where crowd members seated in spaced folding chairs called out for ‘four more years!’
Pence hailed Trump in a prime time speech as someone who ‘does things his own way’ as he accepted the Republican nomination for vice president where he wove together stories of patriotism with scathing attacks on Biden and Democrats.
Pence alternately praised Trump for his leadership during the coronavirus pandemic, and blasted the Democratic nominee for stressing a season of ‘darkness’ at his party’s convention last week.
‘Joe Biden would double down on the very policies that are leading to violence in America’s cities. The hard truth is you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,’ Pence warned, after calling for ‘law and order’ on the streets.
‘And under President Trump, we will always stand with those who stand on the thin blue line and we’re not going to defund the police, not now not ever.’
Convention organizers constructed a colorful patriotic backdrop at the historic fort, amid unfolding events in Kenosha, Wisconsin that intruded, following a white police officer’s shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man. Hours before Pence spoke, police arrested Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, and charged him with first degree intentional homicide in connection with a shooting that happened amid protests over the Blake incident, leaving two dead and one injured
Rittenhouse was a white Trump supporter who crossed from Illinois to Wisconsin with his long gun and seemed to co-ordinate with militias before the deadly shootings. He had been pictured in February at a Trump rally in Iowa.
But Pence made no reference to that, nor to the extraordinary boycott of the NBA playoffs in protest at the shooting of Blake. It was started by the Milwaukee Bucks, then spread on Wednesday night with LeBron James tweeting ‘f*** this,’ reportedly calling for a full-scale boycott and Barack Obama congratulating the teams on speaking out. MLB, NLS and WNBA teams also called off games in solidarity.
Pence, who heads the president’s coronavirus task force amid the pandemic that has seen more than 5 million Americans die of COVID-19, acknowledged those killed or harmed by the virus in his speech.
‘We’re finding our way forward again,’ Pence said. ‘In this country we mourn with those who mourn and we grieve with those who grieve,’ he continued, eschewing the president’s favored term: ‘China virus.’
Pence called it a ‘time of testing’ for the nation.
‘In the midst of this global pandemic, just as our nation had begun to recover, we’ve seen violence and chaos in the streets of our major cities,’ he said.
‘President Trump and I will always support the right of Americans to peaceful protest. But rioting and looting is not peaceful protest. Tearing down statues is not free speech,’ he said.
‘But rioting and looting is not peaceful protest,’ Pence said.
He claimed Biden would send the nation on a ‘path of socialism and decline.’
Pence spoke to Trump’s strength and character, while acknowledging Trump’s unpredictability, after Democratic speakers called him unfit for office.
‘He does things in his own way, on his own terms. Not much gets passed him,’ Pence said. ‘And when he has an opinion, he’s liable to share it. He’s certainly kept things interesting. But more importantly President Donald Trump has kept his word to the American peop….