Trump at the 2016 RNC. Photo: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

In his 2016 acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, President Trump promised to "restore law and order to our country" and said that a government that fails to "defend the lives of its own citizens" is a government "unworthy to lead."

Why it matters: Trump is likely to repeat many of the same themes in Thursday night's acceptance speech, which comes amid the backdrop of nationwide unrest and violent protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

  • Throughout all four nights of the RNC, speakers have railed against violent protests and warned of left-wing "mobs" overrunning U.S. cities, with Vice President Mike Pence claiming on Wednesday: "You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America."
  • Biden shot back in a statement on Thursday, saying:, "These are not images from some imagined 'Joe Biden’s America' in the future. These are images from Donald Trump’s America today."

Flashback: Here's what Trump said about "law and order" at the 2016 RNC ...

"Together, we will lead our party back to the White House, and we will lead our country back to safety, prosperity, and peace. We will be a country of generosity and warmth. But we will also be a country of law and order.
Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation. The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country.
Americans watching this address tonight have seen the recent images of violence in our streets and the chaos in our communities. Many have witnessed this violence personally, some have even been its victims.
I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end. Beginning on January 20, 2017, safety will be restored.
The most basic duty of government is to defend the lives of its own citizens. Any government that fails to do so is a government unworthy to lead. ...
The American people will come first once again. My plan will begin with safety at home — which means safe neighborhoods, secure borders, and protection from terrorism. There can be no prosperity without law and order.

Full transcript.

Go deeper

SurveyMonkey poll: Suburbs and the safety wedge

Data: SurveyMonkey poll of 35,732 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 31 to Sept. 6, 2020 with ±1% margin of error; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

White suburbanites who feel "very safe" in their communities are more likely to favor Joe Biden, while those who feel only somewhat safe move toward President Trump, according to new SurveyMonkey polling for Axios.

Why it matters: The findings help illuminate how Trump is using safety as a wedge issue ahead of the election — and why he's fanning fears of violent protests bleeding into the suburbs.

Biden on presidential mask mandate: "Our legal team thinks I can do that"

Biden waves as he leaves a hotel in Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden told reporters in Delaware Wednesday he believes he would have the legal authority as president to issue a nationwide mandate to wear face masks to curb the spread of the coronavirus if needed.

Details: "Our legal team thinks I can do that, based upon the degree to which there's a crisis in those states, and how bad things are for the country," Biden said.

Biden: The next president should decide on Ginsburg’s replacement

Joe Biden. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Joe Biden is calling for the winner of November's presidential election to select Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement on the Supreme Court.

What he's saying: "[L]et me be clear: The voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider," Biden said. "This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election. That's the position the United States Senate must take today, and the election's only 46 days off.