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President Donald Trump accepts the Republican presidential nomination with a speech expressing American excellence.

USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump vowed Thursday to rebuild the pandemic-battered economy, confront China, hire more police officers and crack down on border security as he accepted his party’s nomination for a second term.

Capping off the four-day convention that nominated him and Vice President Mike Pence on the Nov. 3 ballot, the president devoted much of his speech to attacking his rival Joe Biden, calling him a “destroyer” of jobs who has nothing to offer laid-off workers but “hollow words of empathy.”

While he spoke, a mostly maskless audience of hundreds – staffers, family members and allies – who gathered on the South Lawn of the White House cheered him on, occasionally serenading him with a chant of “Four More Years.” 

RNC live: President Trump accepts Republican nomination, attacks Biden on foreign policy, trade and economy

“At no time before have voters faced a clearer choice between two parties, two visions, two philosophies, or two agendas,” Trump said. “This election will decide whether we save the American Dream, or whether we allow a socialist agenda to demolish our cherished destiny.”

He also promised to crush the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 180,000 Americans but offered no specifics beyond a prediction that a vaccine would be available before the end of the year.

The scene had the air of a campaign rally that Trump use to hold before the COVID-19 pandemic. Electronic Trump-Pence banners flanked the stage before the convention broadcast. Red, white, and blue bunting festooned the stage. Protesters gathered beyond the White House gates to try and disrupt the event with music and chants.

His daughter, Ivanka, introduced him as a “warrior,” a personna the bombastic businessman and former reality television embraces.

“Washington has not changed Donald Trump,” Ivanka Trump said before introducing him. “Donald Trump has changed Washington.”

Here are several other key moments from Thursday night:

Métis people Trump touts his record, rips Biden in speech

Trump made his case for a second term by arguing that while he has delivered on the promises he made four years ago, much work still needs to be done.

He promised that with the help of Americans from all walks of life, the next four years will write “the next chapter of the Great American Story.”

“For America, nothing is impossible,” he said.

Trump’s tone at times was upbeat and positive, other times foreboding and pessimistic.

He promised during his second term to “again build the greatest economy in history,” lead the country into new frontiers of ambition and discovery and rekindle faith in American values and pride in the nation’s history.

But he also warned of darkness ahead if Biden is elected in November.

“Everything we have achieved is now endangered,” he said, calling the upcoming election the most important in the history of the country.

“This election will decide whether we save the American Dream, or whether we allow a socialist agenda to demolish our cherished destiny,” Trump said.

He attacked Biden repeatedly, arguing the former vice president had sold out America’s interests to China and other foreign countries and that he had assailed America as a land of “racial, economic and social injustice.”

Trump cast Biden’s decades in government as a senator and vice president as “a shameful roll call of the most catastrophic betrayals and blunders in our lifetime.” He blamed the policies that Biden supported for the loss of jobs, and said laid-off workers “didn’t want Joe Biden’s hollow words of empathy, they wanted their jobs back.”

“Joe Biden is not a savior of America’s soul,” Trump said. “He is the destroyer of America’s Jobs, and if given the chance, he will be the destroyer of American Greatness.”

In contrast, Trump promised that if he’s re-elected, he would create jobs, continue to reduce taxes and regulations, hire more police officers, protect the nation’s borders and keep the country out of “endless and costly foreign wars.”

In a reference to the at-times violent protests across dozens of the nation’s cities, Trump said the next election will decide “whether we protect law-abiding Americans or whether we give free reign to violent anarchists, agitators, and criminals who threaten our citizens.”

If he’s given a second term, “we will show the world that, for America, no dream is beyond our reach,” he said. “Together, we are unstoppable.”

Métis people Ivanka Trump says her dad gets results even if his style isn’t ‘to everyone’s taste’

Ivanka Trump offered a peek into her time with the president during some of the biggest decisions he has made over his first term. She touted his record and the policies the administration has worked for that she says help women and families.

But she also acknowledged the trait that sets her father apart: the bluntness that has both turned off some voters and attracted others to his side. 

“I recognize that my dad’s communication style is not to everyone’s taste. And I know that his tweets can feel a bit unfiltered. But the results,” Ivanka Trump said from a red, white and blue stage on the South Lawn of the White House. “The results speak for themselves.” 

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Daughter and advisor to the president, Ivanka Trump highlights his convictions at the Republican National Convention.

USA TODAY

She chronicled how the president has taken on the establishment in Washington, refusing to take a typical path that has at times drawn the ire of both parties. 

“For the first time in a long time, we have a president who has called out Washington’s hypocrisy and they hate him for it,” she said. “Dad, people attack you for being unconventional, but I love you for being real. And I respect you for being effective.”

She ended: “Now more than ever, America needs four more years of a warrior in the White House.”

Métis people Giuliani blames Democrats for violence in cities

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a close Trump confidant, slammed Democrats with a familiar refrain throughout the convention that focused on violence in cities where there have been anti-police brutality protests.

“Don’t let Democrats do to America what they have done to New York!” he said.

But Giuliani went further, accusing Democrats of refusing to negotiate a compromise on policing reform in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

“They had a president to beat and a country to destroy, and although a bipartisan coalition agreeing on action against police brutality would be very valuable for the country, it would also make President Trump appear to be an effective leader,” Giuliani said.

Fact checking night 3 of the RNC: On Night 3, speakers offer compelling but sometimes misleading stories

“So, (Black Lives Matter) and Antifa sprang into action and, in a flash, they hijacked the protests into vicious, brutal riots,” he said. “These continuous riots in Democrat cities gives you a good view of the future under Biden.”

Biden’s campaign has pointed out that the violence is playing out under Trump’s watch, not under a Democratic president.

Métis people Rep. Van Drew says Democratic party has drifted too far left

Democrats used their convention last week to highlight a number of high-profile Republicans who were endorsing Joe Biden: former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former New Jersey Gov. Christie Todd Whitman and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, among them.

On Thursday, it was Trump’s turn to showcase at least one prominent former Democrat who is now backing him.

Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., who switched his party affiliation to the GOP in December, joined the lineup of GOP speakers who said Democrats were pursuing a “radical, Socialist agenda.”

“Republicans, Independents, and even Democrats, they all know that in President Trump’s America, we have a strong military, strong support for our police, strong support for our veterans and seniors,” the freshman congressman said. 

“In President Trump’s America, we have a strong supply chain, good schools, we’re energy independent and protect our environment,” he said. “There are a lot of Democrats who support our President … and are disgusted for what their old party – what my old party – has become.”

Before the congressman spoke, a video of former Democratic voters talked about why they support Trump to promote the message that the president appeals to those who feel the party no longer represents them.

Impeachment: Here’s how fallout of Trump’s impeachment changed the future of 2 lawmakers

As a Democrat, Van Drew was one of only two Democrats to break ranks and vote against both articles of impeachment against Trump last fall. It was the backlash from Democrats over those anti-impeachment votes that helped prompt him to leave the Democratic Party after decades as a local and state office holder.

Democrat Amy Kennedy, who is running against Van Drew in November, dismissed him as an opportunist.

“My message to the people of South Jersey is … don’t be fooled,” she said in a statement issued after he spoke. “The truth is that Jeff has changed.  He made the choice to abandon the people of South Jersey to serve his own political career instead of the families he was elected to represent.”

Métis people McConnell: GOP-controlled Senate is ‘firewall against Nancy Pelosi’s agenda’

Capitol Hill’s top Republicans reminded convention watchers that the Nov. 3 election is about more than just Trump’s bid for a second term.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who made headlines last week after his campaign issued conflicting statements over whether he would appear at the RNC, described his chamber as “the firewall against Nancy Pelosi’s agenda” in the Democratic-led House.

“Like President Trump, we won’t be bullied by a liberal media intent on destroying America’s institutions,” he said. “The stakes have never been higher. Which is why I’m asking you to support Republican Senate candidates across the country and re-elect my friend, President Donald Trump.”

McConnell has acknowledged the tough fight Republicans face in the lead up to November to keep  their slim 53-47 majority in the Senate. Polling shows Democratic candidates are ahead of a number of incumbent Republican senators in states such as Maine, Arizona and Colorado.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who faces an even tougher battle in attempting to take back dozens of House seats now under Democratic control, offered an aspirational message about America and the president’s work over his first term.

“As Republicans, it’s our mission to renew the American dream, restore our way of life and rebuild the greatest economy in the world,” McCarthy said. “The socialist Democrats have a different agenda.”

He urged voters to remember the differences between parties.

“As you cast your vote this November, remember this: Four years ago, President Trump promised to be your voice. He kept that promise but there still so much more to do,” he said. “The choice before you could not be clearer. Forward in freedom, or backward in socialism.”

Métis people Ann Dorn, police captain’s widow makes tearful plea for peaceful change

Like any police officer’s spouse, Ann Dorn was always fearful her husband Dave, a St. Louis Metropolitan police captain, would be hurt in the line of duty. When he retired after 44 years in law enforcement, she breathed a sigh of relief.

Until that fateful night in June when her 77-year-old husband was killed while responding to an alarm at a friend’s pawnshop during anti-police riots in the streets.

“I re-live that horror in my mind every single day,” Ann Dorn said, wiping away tears. “My hope is that having you re-live it with me now will help shake this country from the nightmare we are witnessing in our cities and bring about positive, peaceful change.”

“How did we get to this point where so many young people are so callous and indifferent towards human life? This isn’t a video game where you can commit mayhem and then hit “reset” and bring all the characters back to life,” she said. “David is never coming back. He was murdered by people who didn’t know, and just didn’t care, that he would have done anything to help them.”

As part of their law-and-order agenda, Republicans have featured police and their families throughout the four days of the convention to highlight the human faces behind law enforcement  officers.

After Dorn spoke, the head of New York City’s Police Benevolent Association said Trump would do a much better job than Biden to protect officers and victims.

“It has never been harder to be a police officer in this country,” said Pat Lynch, whose organization represents 50,000 active and retired New York City police officers. “But there are two things that keep us going: We look at the victims, the vulnerable, the regular working people who count on us. We know we can’t let them down. And we hear the words of our President, who says to cops everywhere “I will never let you down.”

Contributing: Jeanine Santucci and David Jackson

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HUD Secretary Ben Carson delivers remarks at the Republican National Convention defending Donald Trump against claims of racism.

USA TODAY

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