GOP leaders promote Trump as wartime commander with a focus on security and peace

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Speakers at Tuesday’s Republican convention presented President Donald Trump as a commander-in-chief determined to ensure national security, but also focused on peace rather than “endless wars” abroad.

“President Trump is the first president in a generation to seek to end the war, rather than start one,” said Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who ran against Trump in the primary Republican presidential election of 2016. “He intends to end the war in Afghanistan, he is bringing our men and women home.

“If you hate war like I hate war, if you want us to stop sending $ 50 billion every year to Afghanistan to build their roads and bridges, instead of building them here at home, you have to support the President Trump for another term. “

The second day of the convention – forced into a televised and online presentation by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – was themed “Land of Opportunity,” but had a strong thread of national security on the part of party leaders.

Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez called Trump “Commander-in-Chief with a bold agenda” who has helped strengthen “our heroes in uniform” through his strong support for the military.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who received significant criticism before his remarks, delivered a speech during an official visit to Israel, which State Department officials insisted did not violate no rules restricting the participation of federal employees in certain political activities.

Unlike his predecessors, who declined invitations to speak at conventions, Pompeo used his appearance on Tuesday evening to congratulate Trump on balancing strong US military power with the goal of “securing peace” in the world. world.

“Today, thanks to the president’s determination and leadership, ISIS’s caliphate is wiped out. Here we go, ”he said. “Its evil leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead. And our brave soldiers, they are going home.

He praised Trump’s harsh rhetoric on Iran, China and Russia (all of which have been criticized for being less effective than the president insisted), but also for his diplomatic contact with North Korea and unprecedented negotiations with the leader of that country, Kim Jong-UN.

“Securing the peace is the first requisite, indeed, the main constitutional function of the national government,” Pompeo said. “It’s about making sure that your family and mine are safe and have the freedom to live, work, learn and pray as they please… This president has led bold initiatives in almost every country. corners of the world. “

Democratic leaders criticized Trump as commander-in-chief at their convention last week, calling him an erratic and unstable leader and promoting former Vice President Joe Biden as a much-needed response to Trump’s failures.

The agenda for Wednesday night’s Republican convention – themed “Land of Heroes” – is expected to once again touch on military and national security themes, with Vice President Mike Pence scheduled to speak from Fort McHenry in the Maryland and Sen. Joni Ersnt, R-Iowa, and Representative Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, among the guest speakers.

Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, DC since 2004, focusing on policies relating to military personnel and veterans. His work has earned him numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk Award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism Award, and the VFW News Media Award.

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