Addressing a packed crowd on the White House South Lawn Thursday night, President Trump accepted the GOP nomination in a speech that painted Joe Biden as a "Trojan horse for socialism" who will not have "the strength to stand up to wild-eyed Marxists like Bernie Sanders and his fellow radicals."
Why it matters: "This is the most important election in the history of our country," Trump said in a refrain that Joe Biden and the Democratic Party have also stressed. "There has never been such a difference between two parties, or two individuals, in ideology, philosophy, or vision than there is right now."
Between the lines: The hour-plus speech mentioned Joe Biden 44 times. Biden's own speech at the Democratic convention last week did not once reference Trump by name.
- In a veiled rebuttal to Biden's speech, in which the Democrat offered himself as an "ally of the light," Trump said his opponent "is not a savior of America's soul – he is the destroyer of America's jobs, and if given the chance, he will be the destroyer of American greatness."
- Later, when referencing the "crippling power outages" that have swept across California this month, Trump quipped: "How can Joe Biden claim to be an 'ally of the light' when his own party can't even keep the lights on?" (Reality check: The operator of California's power grid is not a political entity)
The big picture: Trump's speech was riddled with falsehoods and echoed the same record of accomplishments that he has repeated throughout countless hours of rallies, press briefings, interviews and daily appearances over the past three years.
- For example, Trump said that he will "always, and very strongly, protect patients with pre-existing conditions," but his administration is currently arguing before the Supreme Court that the Affordable Care Act — which protects pre-existing conditions — should be struck down.
- He also claimed that his administration passed the private-sector health care program Veterans Choice, when it was in fact passed in 2014 under President Obama.
On the issue of the coronavirus, which is widely seen as one of the most important issues to voters, Trump offered only praise for his administration's response and shifted blame to China for allowing a "once-in-a-century pandemic" to spread around the globe.
- He touted the administration's progress on therapeutics and boldly asserted that a vaccine will be ready by the end of the year: "Together, we will crush the virus."
Worth noting: Despite his "law and order" rhetoric and descriptions of violent unrest, Trump did not once mention the name of Jacob Blake, whose shooting by a police officer has set off demonstrations in Kenosha and across the country.
- "We have spent the last four years reversing the damage Joe Biden inflicted over the last 47 years. Biden’s record is a shameful roll call of the most catastrophic betrayals and blunders in our lifetime. He has spent his entire career on the wrong side of history."
- "Biden voted for the NAFTA disaster, the single worst trade deal ever enacted; he supported China's entry into the World Trade Organization, one of the greatest economic disasters of all time. After those Biden calamities, the United States lost 1 in 4 manufacturing jobs."
- "At the Democrat convention, you barely heard a word about their agenda. But that's not because they don't have one. It's because their agenda is the most extreme set of proposals ever put forward by a major party nominee. Joe Biden may claim he is an "ally of the light," but when it comes to his agenda, Biden wants to keep you completely in the dark."
- "Biden is a Trojan horse for socialism. If Joe Biden doesn't have the strength to stand up to wild-eyed Marxists like Bernie Sanders and his fellow radicals, then how is he ever going to stand up for you?"
- "When there is police misconduct, the justice system must hold wrongdoers fully and completely accountable, and it will. But what we can never have in America – and must never allow – is MOB RULE. In the strongest possible terms, the Republican Party condemns the rioting, looting, arson and violence we have seen in Democrat-run cities like Kenosha, Minneapolis, Portland, Chicago, and New York."