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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

Updated Dec 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The top Republicans who have acknowledged Biden as president-elect

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Some elected Republicans are breaking ranks with President Trump to acknowledge that President-elect Biden won the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: The relative sparsity of acknowledgements highlights Trump's lasting power in the GOP, as his campaign moves to file multiple lawsuits alleging voter fraud in key swing states — despite the fact that there have been no credible allegations of any widespread fraud anywhere in the U.S.

House passes sweeping election and anti-corruption bill

Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

The House voted 220-210Wednesday to pass Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill.

Why it matters: Expanding voting access has been a top priority for Democrats for years, but the House passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) comes as states across the country consider legislation to rollback voting access in the aftermath of former President Trump's loss.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.