President Trump officially became the Republican Party's nominee for president Monday—and he made an unannounced appearance at the Republican National Convention after he had secured enough votes during the roll call of states. "I felt an obligation to come to North Carolina," he told delegates in Charlotte, per the Washington Post. "It’s a place that has been very good to me." He added: "What's more important than the roll call?" There was never any doubt about Trump securing the nomination, though he faced short-lived primary challenges from rivals including former Rep. Mark Sanford and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, the Hill notes. Trump plans to formally accept the nomination in a speech at the White House Thursday. More:
- "Make America great again—again." Vice President Mike Pence was also formally renominated Monday, the AP reports. "We’re going to make America great again—again," he told delegates in Charlotte, adding that it will take four more years to fully "drain the swamp" in Washington, DC.
- Trump: Democrats "using COVID to steal the election." In his hourlong speech to delegates, Trump once again attacked mail-in voting and accused Democrats of trying to use the pandemic "to steal the election," the New York Times reports. He claimed NC Gov. Roy Cooper and other Democratic governors had introduced coronavirus-related restrictions purely to hurt him and would lift them immediately after Election Day.
- "Twelve more years." When delegates chanted "Four more years" as Trump took the stage, the president said: "If you want to really drive them crazy, you say 12 more years," He described the election as "the most important" in US history and said it could send the country "in a horrible, horrible direction or in an even greater direction."
- The scaled-down convention. The RNC will be a mostly virtual affair, but 336 delegates—six from each state and territory—gathered in person at the Charlotte Convention Center, where North Carolina officials had lifted the 10-person limit on indoor gatherings, NBC reports. Delegates were told to wear masks inside the convention center.
- Flake joins "Republicans for Biden." As the Republicans launched their convention, the Biden campaign launched a "Republicans for Biden" effort including more than two dozen former GOP lawmakers, including former Sen. Jeff Flake. "These former members of Congress cited Trump’s corruption, destruction of democracy, blatant disregard for moral decency, and urgent need to get the country back on course as a reason why they support Biden," the campaign told Fox.
- "A few surprises" in store tonight. The prime-time coverage of the convention is set to begin at 8:30pm. A campaign official tells the Post that the line-up will include "a few surprises" along with scheduled speakers including former SC Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott, and Donald Trump Jr.
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