WASHINGTON — Previewing themes for next week’s Republican Party convention, Vice-President Mike Pence promised a heavy focus on GOP support for law and order as he drew a contrast with Democrats for a “negative” tone at their gathering and failure to acknowledge violence plaguing some U.S. cities.
“We’re going to make sure that the American people see the choice here,” Pence said.
President Donald Trump and Pence have blamed outbreaks of violence on a radical left, which they have sought to associate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, as emblematic of the type of agenda they would pursue if elected.
Trump made clear after the death of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, and the protests that sprang up around the country calling for changes to policing that he sides with law enforcement. Trump also has called himself a “law and order president.”
“We don’t have to make a choice between supporting law enforcement and supporting our African American families,” Pence argued Friday. “We have done both from the beginning of this administration. We’re going to continue to do both.”
He said that support would be prominently featured next week.
“We’re going to talk about how we’re going to support law and order, support the men and women of law enforcement, and get ready to hear a lot about that next week,” Pence said.
Pence appeared on morning TV talk shows to counter Democrats and promote the Republican viewpoint hours after Democrats wrapped their four-day convention. Biden and Harris accepted the Democratic Party nominations for president and vice-president, respectively.
Republicans plan to nominate Trump and Pence at their four-day celebration.
Pence promised a “great lineup of leaders” next week along with a “great number of voices from all across the country to talk about what this president has done.” Among known speakers are Trump, Pence and first lady Melania Trump.
The vice-president said he was turned off by the negativity shown by Democrats, who argued Trump is unfit to lead the country for another four years. Former President Barack Obama, a frequent target of Trump’s broadsides, warned that democracy itself is at risk under Trump.
“I didn’t watch much of it and, frankly, I couldn’t watch much of it,” Pence said. “There was so much negativity, nothing but ad hominem attacks.”
Pence appeared Friday on Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, ABC, CBS and CNN.
Superville reported from Florida.
Zeke Miller And Darlene Superville, The Associated Press