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Transcript: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, August 26, 2020



Coverage of Night 3 of the Republican National Convention.


BILL KARINS, NBC NEWS METEOROLOGIST: Looks like Lake Charles to Cameron, that will be the high highest storm surge and wind gust, and that storm surge will be moving on shore over the next 8 to 10 hours.

We are approaching high tide here after midnight. And along with it will come the storm surge. They'll get the double whammy of that, 15 to 20 feet of water, a wall of water going all the way through the swamplands, 30 to 40 miles inland. That's passed I-10, passed Lake Charles.

To give you an idea how far inland that water will go, we have grave concerns about Lake Charles because the river there is expected to have its highest water level ever recorded and it is supposed to flood at least half the city maybe even more of the city of Lake Charles along with it.

Look at these incredible wind gusts. These were just updated. This is the forecast max winds. Lake Charles 127, Cameron 127. Notice the backside of the storm, the winds will be a little bit weaker.

Houston gets spared. But the Beaumont-Port Arthur area could have winds 60 to 90 mile per hour gust, and even as far north as Shreveport could have gusts of 60 to 70 miles an hour. That's why we're saying we will have hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people without power all the way to northern Arkansas from this storm.

So, you get the idea. We're starting to go into the heart of the storm right now, the hurricane force winds and the storm surge will be arriving on the Texas and Louisiana coastline as we go throughout the next couple of hours.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Bill, let me ask you to zoom in on the human impact here in terms of hurricane force winds, the most damaging winds. The most damaging amounts of water, the population centers that are at highest risk right now, you keep mentioning Lake Charles, Louisiana. That's about 78,000 people you said earlier. That's the most populated place in the most danger at least at the outset?

KARINS: Yeah. You know, it's interesting. If you look at the populations all around the gulf coast, it is hitting the most populated spots. It's extremely swampy, there is little small communities like Holly Beach and Cameron, Louisiana, but there is not a lot of populations where the actual eye is going to make land fall, so that's good news.

But this is the equivalent. The winds is going equivalent to an EF-2 tornado, with winds up to 130 miles per hour. So, picture a 30-mile wide tornado moving 40 miles inland into Southwest, Louisiana. So, yes, the swampy areas and the wildlife refugees, those areas will be -- there won't be a lot of damage obvious to the eye. But once we get to the population centers, that's where we'll see all that damage, that's where we'll have power outrages for days, if not weeks.

And, you know, we mention Lake Charles the most because 135 miles an hour wind gusts are possible and a huge portion of the city is expected to flood. I mean, you can't imagine a worse scenario for the 78,000 people that called that home.

MADDOW: Bill, in terms of what to watch for over the course of the night, what we expect to wake up to in the morning, obviously we have seen mass evacuations. Hundreds of thousands of people evacuated off the coast in advance of this. Around tomorrow morning, around dawn, what do we expect conditions to be then when we can see what's happened and when we're looking at impacts into tomorrow daytime?

KARINS: Yeah. This storm is different than say Harvey that lingered. This will be a quick hitter. It's in and it's out.

The sun will be out tomorrow afternoon in southwest Louisiana. No one will have power, but at least the sun will come out and it won't be raining. Here is the timing on it behind me here. This is when we get the land fall, around 3:00 a.m. the heaviest rains going along the shore.

And as we go through the morning, we take that storm north wards. 4:00 a.m. completely on shore and then we watch the storm heading up toward Shreveport by tomorrow night.

MADDOW: OK. Bill Karins, thank you so much. I know we will be back with you over the course of the night as we continue to watch this threat from Hurricane Laura on the coast.

We will get back now to the Republican national convention in progress, night three. Lara Trump expected to speak now.

Good evening, America. I'm Lara Trump, daughter of Bob and Linda Yunaska, sister to Kyle, mother to Luke and Carolina and the daughter-in-law of our 45th President, Donald J. Trump.

But tonight, I come to you simply as an American.

My life began like many in our country. I grew up in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. My parents were small business owners and worked hard to make sure that my brother and I had everything we needed but not everything we wanted.

My parents raised me to believe that, in America, I could achieve anything with hard work and determination. That the opportunities available to me were limited only by the size of my ambition. That I should dream big. And, I did.

Those very dreams are what led me to New York City. I'd heard the adage, if I could make it there, I could make it anywhere -- and, I intended to do just that.

Never in a million years did I think that I would be on this stage tonight, and I certainly never thought that I'd end up with the last name Trump.

My 7th grade English teacher, Mrs. B (ph), used to tell us, believe none of what you hear, half of what you read and only what you're there to witness firsthand. The meaning of those words never fully weighed on me until I met my husband and the Trump family.

Any preconceived notion I had of this family disappeared immediately. They were warm and caring, they were hard workers, and they were down to earth. They reminded me of my own family -- they made me feel like I was home.

Walking the halls of the Trump Organization, I saw the same family environment. I also saw, first-hand, the countless women executives who thrived there, year after year. Gender didn't matter, what mattered was someone's ability to get the job done. I learned this directly when, in 2016, my father-in-law asked me to help him win my cherished home state -- and my daughter's namesake -- North Carolina. Though I had no political experience, he believed in me -- he knew I was capable even if I didn't.

So, it didn't surprise me when President Donald Trump appointed so many women to senior level positions in his administration in history. Secretary of the United Nations, secretary of the Air Force, the first female CIA Director, the first African American female director of the Fish and Wildlife service and countless ambassadors, just to name a few.

Under President Trump's leadership women's unemployment hit the lowest level since World War II, 4.3 million new jobs have been created for women -- in 2019 alone, women took over 70 percent of those new jobs. Female small business ownership remains at an all-time high. And 600,000 women have been lifted out of poverty, all since President Trump took office.

He didn't do these things to gain a vote or to check a box, he did them because they're the right things to do.

One hundred years ago today, the 19th Amendment was ratified, granting the right to vote to every American woman. And, since that day, incredible strides have been made by women in America. From Amelia Earhart to Rosa Parks and Sally Ride, women shaped our history and are part of what has made our country the most exceptional nation in the world.

I often think back to my 24 year old self, driving alone in my car from North Carolina to New York City. And, I think about what I would tell myself now as we head towards the most critical election in modern history.

This is not just a choice between Republican and Democrat or left and right, this is an election that will decide if we keep America America, or if we head down an uncharted, frightening path towards socialism.

Abraham Lincoln once famously said, America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

While those words were spoken over 150 years ago, never have they been more relevant.

Will we choose the right path and maintain the unique freedoms and boundless opportunities that make this country the greatest in the history of the world? Will we remain the bacon of hope for those around the world fighting oppression, communism and tyranny? The choice is ours.

I know the promise of America because I have lived it, not just as a member of the Trump family, but as a woman who knows what it's like to work in blue collar jobs, to serve customers for tips and to aspire to rise.

Now, when I look at my son Luke and my daughter Carolina, I wonder -- what sort of country will I be leaving for them, for our future generations?

In recent months, we have seen weak, spineless politicians cede control of our great American cities to violent mobs. Defund the police is the rallying cry for the new, radical Democrat Party. Joe Biden will not do what it takes to maintain order, to keep our children safe in our neighborhoods and in their schools, to restore our American way of life.

We cannot dare to dream our biggest dreams -- for ourselves or for our children -- while consumed by worry about the safety of our families. President Trump is the law and order president -- from our borders to our backyards.President Trump will keep America safe.

President Trump will keep America prosperous.

President Trump will keep America America.

If you're watching tonight and wrestling with your vote on November 3rd, I implore you: tune out the distorted news and biased commentary and hear it straight from someone who knows.

I wasn't born a Trump. I'm from the South. I was raised a Carolina girl. I went to public schools and worked my way through a state university.

Mrs. B from my seventh grade English class was right -- what I learned about our president is different than what you might have heard.

I learned that he is a good man. That he loves his family. That he didn't need this job.

That no one on Earth works harder for the American people. That he's willing to fight for his beliefs, and for the people -- and the country -- that he loves.

He is a person of convictions. He is a fighter and will never stop fighting for America.

He will uphold our values. He will preserve our families. And he will build upon the great American edict that our union will never be perfect until opportunity is equal for all -- including, and especially, for women.

Our 40th President Ronald Reagan said it best. The dreams of people may differ, but everybody wants their dreams to come true.

And America, above all places, gives us the freedom to do that. It's up to us to keep this country a place where no dream is out of reach for our children in generations beyond.

To my father-in-law, thank you for believing in me. Thank you for bravely leading this country and thank you for continuing to fight every day for America.

May God bless and protect the Gulf States in the path of the hurricane. May God bless our troops and may God continue to bless this incredible country.

MADDOW: Lara Trump, who is married to one of the president's adult sons, Eric Trump.

We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back.



There have been movements that have changed the course of history. Among the most extraordinary was the Civil Rights movement. Sixty years ago, segregation was legal and enforced. The simple act of sitting at a lunch counter could lead to physical harm, jail time or worse.

I know from personal experience walking into a Woolworth department store in February the 2nd, 1960, I knew it was unlike any day I had experienced before. My friends had been denied service the day before because of the color of their skin.

We knew it wasn't right. But when we went back the next day, I didn't know whether I was going to come out in a vertical or prone position, in handcuffs or on a stretcher or even in a body bag.

By sitting down to order a cup of coffee, we challenged injustice. We knew it was necessary. But we didn't know what would happen. We faced down the KKK. We were cursed at and called all kinds of names. They threatened to kill us and some of us were arrested. But it was worth it.

Our actions inspired similar protests throughout the south against racial injustice. And in the end segregation was abolished and our country moved a step closer to true equality for all. That's what actual peaceful protests can accomplish.

America isn't perfect. We're always improving. But the great thing about this country is that it's not where you come from, it's where you're going.

I was born on what some would call the wrong side of the tracks. I don't even have a birth certificate. I never attended an integrated school and am the only one out of my immediate family who graduated from college, an HBCU. I'm a military veteran and a civil rights activist.

And you know what else? I'm a Republican. And I support Donald Trump.

If that sounds strange, you don't know your history. It was the Republican Party that passed the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery. It was the Republican Party that passed the 14th Amendment, giving black men citizenship. It was the Republican Party that passed the 15th Amendment giving black men the right to vote.

Freedom of thought is a powerful thing. There are Americans, voters all over the country who media is trying to convince to conform to the same old Democratic talking points. You know what that will get you? The same, old results.

Joe Biden had the audacity to say if you don't vote for him, you are not black. Well, to that, I say, if you do vote for Biden, you don't know history.

Donald Trump is not a politician. He's a leader. Politicians are a dime a dozen. Leaders are priceless.

The record-funding Trump gave HBCUs is priceless too. So are the record number of jobs he created for the black community and the investment he drove into our neighborhoods with tax incentives and opportunity zones, and so are the lives he restored by passing criminal justice reform where 91 percent of the inmates released are black.

These achievements demonstrate that Donald Trump truly cares about black lives. His policies show his heart. He has done more for black America in four years than Joe Biden has done in 50.

Donald Trump is offering real and lasting change and unprecedented opportunity to rise, a country that embraces the spirit of the Civil Rights movement of the '60s, a place where people are judged by the content of their character, their talents and abilities, not by the color of their skin.

This is the America I was fighting for 60 years ago. This is the America Donald Trump is fighting for today. Let's all join in this fight for re-electing President Trump on November 3rd. Thank you.


During the Presidential primary debates 4 years ago, one outsider stood alone and said in public what most Americans thought in private.

It was 14 years after the start of the War in Afghanistan, and 12 years after the invasion of Iraq, where thousands of American troops had died, and trillions in taxpayer dollars had been spent.

And yet no candidate could bring themselves to admit that something had gone badly wrong with American foreign policy. That the American voter, the American soldier, and the American taxpayer, had all been let down.

Except for one -- Donald Trump. He called America's endless wars what they were: A disaster.

The media was shocked, because Donald Trump was running as a Republican. And yet he said out loud what we all knew. That American foreign policy was failing to make Americans safer.

After the end of the Cold War, Democrats and Republicans in Washington bought into the illusion that the whole world would start to resemble America. And so they started to pursue unlimited globalization.

They welcomed China into the World Trade Organization. They engaged in "nation-building" in Afghanistan, and tried to export democracy to Iraq. They signed a nuclear deal with Iran, and a global climate agreement in Paris.

But they didn't ground any of it in the interests of the average American.

So for decades, while Washington politicians built a global system, American wages stagnated. Our great cities and industries were hollowed out. Entire communities were devastated, and our manufacturing plants were shipped off to China.

That's what happened when Washington stopped being the capital of the United States, and started being the capital of the world.

As U.S. ambassador to Germany, I had a front row seat to Donald Trump's America First foreign policy. I wish every American could see how President Trump negotiates on their behalf.

I've watched President Trump charm the chancellor of Germany, while insisting that Germany pay its NATO obligations. I was proud to witness President Trump say to foreign leaders: I don't blame you for wanting America to pay for your security. I actually respect you for out-negotiating the Presidents before me. But it stops with me. I won't let the American taxpayer be taken advantage of.

Donald Trump's Administration has always made clear that our priority is the American people's security.

That's the job of all leaders -- to put their people first.

And we've seen how this strategy has succeeded. In four short years, Donald Trump has led even some Washington Democrats to agree on the Chinese threat. On trade deals that benefit Americans first. On alliances that share responsibility.

In four years, Donald Trump didn't start any new wars. He brought troops home. He rebuilt the military, and signed peace deals that make Americans safer.

The Washington elites want you to think this kind of foreign policy is immoral. And so they call it "nationalist."

That tells you all you need to know. The D.C. crowd thinks when they call Donald Trump a nationalist, they're insulting him. As if the American president isn't supposed to base foreign policy on America's national interests.

A return to the Biden way of thinking means America gives the radical terrorist regime in Tehran a plane load of cash in the middle of the night.

You see, President Trump also sent an aircraft in the middle of night to deal with Iran. But that plane was on a different mission -- an airstrike to take out the head of Iran's terror machine who plotted the deaths of Americans.

But we also must be clear that when those who seek freedom take tremendous personal risks in places like Hong Kong, Tehran, or Minsk, there is no doubt who President Trump's Administration supports. We will always stand with the people who fight for their God-given freedoms.

Don't be fooled - the Washington establishment is trying to sell you on their candidate.

Joe Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1972, 48 years ago.

Well, it's actually the typical Washington story. Just this year, 22 Democrats ran for President. They rejected all the outsiders, and nominated the ultimate Washington insider. Someone they had to pull out of retirement.

Every time Joe Biden offers a new idea, you should ask yourself: Why didn't he try that over the last 48 years?

Today, the Democrats blame a global pandemic that started in China on President Trump. And they still blame Russia for Hillary Clinton's loss in 2016.

As Acting Director of National Intelligence, I saw the Democrats' entire case for Russian collusion. And what I saw made me sick to my stomach. The Obama-Biden Administration secretly launched a surveillance operation on the Trump campaign, and silenced the many brave intelligence officials who spoke up against it. They presented bogus information as facts. They lied to judges. Then they classified anything that undermined their case.

And after Donald Trump won the election, when they should have continued the American tradition of helping the president-elect transition into the White House, they tried instead to undercut him even more.

Former Vice President Joe Biden asked intelligence officials to uncover the hidden information on President Trump's incoming National Security Advisor three weeks before the Inauguration.

But that's the Democrats. Between surveillance, classifications, leaks, and puppet candidates, they never want the American people to know who's actually calling the shots.

But with Donald Trump, you always know exactly who is in charge. Because the answer is you.

You're in charge. Not lobbyists. Not special interests. Not warmongers, or China sympathizers, or globalization fanatics.

With Donald Trump and Mike Pence in the White House, the boss is the American people.

President Trump rightly calls his foreign policy "America First."

America First does not advance the interests of one group of Americans at the expense of any other. It has no bias about red or blue, educated or not educated, urban or rural.

America First is simply the belief that politicians should focus on the equality and dignity of every American.

And that this duty is fulfilled by promoting the safety and wealth of the American people above all else.

That's America First. That's the Trump Doctrine. And that, my friends, is four more years.

WALLACE: That was Ric Grenell. He was an ambitious press aide in the Bush administration, working his way up in jobs for his chief job was to defend the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But that was then.

Now he is spinning plates with really some of the wackiest conspiracy theories that have been peddled over the last three and a half years about how the Trump campaign ended up under investigation. And it was secret. It was kept secret because it was a counterintelligence investigation. Those are by nature secret.

Joining our conversation now, former deputy national security adviser and MSNBC political contributor, Ben Rhodes.

Ben, this falls under the category of false, misleading and pretty dangerous.

BEN RHODES, MSNBC POLITCAL CONTRIBUTOR: Yeah, Nicolle. I'm not sure where to start.

To fact check a couple things, he talks about Trump bringing troops home. There are more than 10,000 additional troops serving the Middle East now than when Donald Trump took office.

He talks about Donald Trump charming the chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel and Donald Trump famously don't get along. And, in fact, Americans standing has collapsed in Europe and among all of our allies. He talks about Joe Biden and the Democrats case about Russian intervention in our 2016 election. It wasn't the Democrats case. It was the United States intelligence community, the United States law enforcement community, the people like Ric Grenell have been attacking ever since Donald Trump set foot in office.

So, I think it's dangerous both in how amazing and misleading it is about the reality of Trump's foreign policy and also dangerous in obscuring very real threats to our security like the fact that Russia interfered in our election once and is doing it again as we speak.

WALLACE: Let me read one line. He says the former Vice President Joe Biden asked intelligence officials to uncover the hidden information on President Trump's incoming national security adviser three weeks before the inauguration. This was Mike Flynn on the phone with Russian Ambassador Kislyak talking about the Obama sanctions on Putin.

I mean, this wasn't a political operation. This was a national security operation. And even there, the facts are wrong.

RHODES: The facts are wrong right there. Why was Mike Flynn talking to the Russian ambassador in the first place? We had nothing to do with launching counterintelligence operations by the FBI when you see a danger to national security.

And again, when he talks about Donald Trump putting America first, you know, that's exactly the opposite of what's happened here. They put Donald Trump's interest above the national security of the United States, above the security of our democracy. What did he not talk about, Nicolle other than saying that somehow we Democrats blamed Donald Trump for a global pandemic.

The fact that 180,000 Americans are dead from COVID, which is enormously higher than any other country in the world precisely because Donald Trump is unable to work with other countries, unable to listen to experts, unable to marshal the resources of the American government to actually help Americans.

So when he talks about America first, we're last, Nicolle, in dealing with this pandemic just as we have been completely unwilling under this president to stand up to the national security threat from Russia.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Ben, I also wanted to ask you about the remarks that Grenell made. When those who seek freedom take tremendous personal risks in places like Hong Kong, Tehran or Minsk, the capital of Belarus, there is no doubt who President Trump's administration supports.

He's making it sound like democratic administrations in the past never supported pro-democracy movements in other places. Whereas, Trump has been very vocal and obviously making support and coming down hard on the side of protesters in places like that. How does that comport with reality?

RHODES: When Donald Trump was asked about the Hong Kong protests, when there was literally a bill sitting on his desk almost unanimously passed by the United States Congress, he said that he wanted President Xi to be able to work it out. He only came to this line that he's now using on Hong Kong months after what he calls the quote,-unquote China virus, which is a racist term frankly, when he decided that he had to go all in with an anti-China strategy.

He wasn't there at the beginning of those Hong Kong protesters. The United States stood up for human rights around the world under Barack Obama and presidents of both parties, including getting Chinese dissidents out of China who the Republicans now lift up (ph).

I want to say one other Rachel that you'll understand. Where was Alexei Navalny in that speech? If he wants to talk about threats to dissidents and oppositionists in the world today, the leading Russian opposition figure, the leading opponent of (INAUDIBLE) country was poisoned recently, days ago, and is now being held in (INAUDIBLE) in Germany, the country that Rick Grenell was ambassador to. (INAUDIBLE)

MADDOW: Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser in the Obama administration. Thank you, Ben. Invaluable to have you here.

Mike Pence, Vice President Mike Pence is about to begin his remarks on night 3 of the Republican National Convention.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please welcome, the Vice President of the United States Mike Pence, accompanied by the second lady, Mrs. Karen Pence.

MADDOW: This is Fort McHenry, a Maryland National Monument, site of a key battle in the war of 1823, place that was the setting for "The Star-Spangled Banner", Francis Scott Key. There's been Hatch Act (ph) concerns over the course of the RNC, them using federal property for campaign purposes. Those concerns hold about this monument, too, which has been closed to the public for COVID reasons for five months now.


It's an honor to speak to you tonight from the hallowed grounds of Fort McHenry, the site of the very battle that inspired the words of our National Anthem.

Those words have inspired this land of heroes in every generation since. It was on this site 206 years ago when our young republic heroically withstood a ferocious naval bombardment from the most powerful empire on Earth. They came to crush our revolution, to divide our nation, and to end the American experiment.

The heroes who held this fort took their stand for life, liberty, freedom and the American flag. And those ideals have defined our nation.

But they were hardly ever mentioned at last week's Democratic National Convention. Instead, Democrats spent four days attacking America.

Joe Biden said that we were living through a season of darkness.

But as President Trump said, where Joe Biden sees American darkness, we see American greatness.


In these challenging times, our country needs a president who believes in America, who believes in the boundless capacity of the American people, to meet any challenge, defeat any foe, and defend the freedoms we hold dear.

America needs four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House.


Before I go further, allow me to say a word to the families and communities in the path of hurricane Laura. Our prayers are with you tonight and our administration is working closely with authorities in the states that will be impacted.

FEMA has mobilized resources and supplies for those in harm's way. This is a serious storm and we urge all of those in the affected areas to heed state and local authorities, stay safe, and know we'll be with you every step of the way, to support, rescue, respond, and recover in the days and weeks ahead. That's what Americans do.


Four years ago, I answered the call to join this ticket because I knew that Donald Trump had the leadership and the vision to make America great again. And for the last four years, I've watched this president endure unrelenting attacks but get up every day and fight to keep the promises that he made to the American people.

So, with gratitude for the confidence President Donald Trump has placed in me, the support of our Republican Party and the grace of God, I humbly accept your nomination to run and serve as vice president of the United States.


Serving the American people in this office has been a journey I never expected. And it's a journey that would not have been possible without the support of my family, beginning with my wonderful wife Karen.


She's a lifelong school teacher, an incredible mother to our three children, and she is one outstanding second lady of the United States.

I'm so proud of you.


And we couldn't be more proud of our three children. Marine Corps Captain, Michael J. Pence, and his wife Sarah.


Our daughter Charlotte Pence Bond, an author and the wife to Lieutenant Henry Bond who is currently deployed and serving our nation in the United States Navy.


And our youngest, a recent law school grad, our daughter Audrey and her fiance who like so many other Americans had to delay their wedding this summer. But we can't wait for Dan to be a part of our family.


In addition, my wife and kids, the person who shaped my life the most is also with us tonight. My mom, Nancy.


She is the daughter of an Irish immigrant, 87 years young. And mom follows politics very closely. And the truth be told, sometimes I think I'm actually her second favorite candidate on the Trump/Pence ticket.


Thank you, mom. I love you.

Over the past four years, I have had the privilege to work closely with our president. I have seen him when the cameras are off.

Americans see President Trump in lots of different ways. But there's no doubt how President Trump sees America. He sees America for what it is, a nation that has done more good in this world than any other, a nation that deserves far more gratitude than grievance.

And if you want a president who falls silent when our heritage is demeaned or insulted, he's not your man.


PENCE: Now, we came by very different routes to this partnership. And some people think we're a little bit different.


PENCE: But, you know, I have learned a few things watching him, watching him deal with all that we have been through over the past four years.

He does things in his own way, on his own terms. Not much gets past him. And when he has an opinion, he's liable to share it.


PENCE: He's certainly kept things interesting.

But, more importantly, President Donald Trump has kept his word to the American people.


PENCE: In a city known for talkers, President Trump is a doer.

And few presidents have brought more independence, energy or determination to that office.

Four years ago, we inherited a military hollowed out by devastating budget cuts, an economy struggling to break out of the slowest recovery since the Great Depression. ISIS controlled a land mass twice the size of Pennsylvania. And we witnessed a steady assault on our most cherished values, freedom of religion and the right to life.

That's when President Donald Trump stepped in. And, from day one, he kept his word. We rebuilt our military.


PENCE: This president signed the largest increase in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan, and created the first new branch of our armed forces in 70 years, the United States Space Force.


PENCE: And, with that renewed energy, we also returned American astronauts to space on an American rocket for the first time in nearly 10 years.


PENCE: And after years of scandal that robbed our veterans of the care that you earned in the uniform of the United States, President Trump kept his word again.

We reformed the VA, and Veterans Choice is now available for every veteran in America.


PENCE: Our armed forces and our veterans fill this land of heroes, and many join us tonight in this historic fort.

Tonight, we have among us four recipients of the Medal of Honor.


PENCE: Six recipients of the Purple Heart.


PENCE: A Gold Star mother of a gallant Navy SEAL.


PENCE: And wounded warriors from SoldierStrong, a group that serves our injured veterans every day.


PENCE: We are honored by your presence. And we thank you for your service.



PENCE: With heroes just like these, we defend this nation every day.

And, under this commander in chief, we have taken the fight to radical Islamic terrorists on our terms on their soil. Last year, American armed forces took the last inch of ISIS territory, crushed their caliphate, and took down their leader without one American causality.


PENCE: And I was there when President Trump gave the order to take out the world's most dangerous terrorist. Iran's top general will never harm another American, because Qasem Soleimani is gone.


PENCE: My fellow Americans, you deserve to know, Joe Biden criticized President Trump following those decisions, decisions to rid the world of two terrorist leaders.

But it's not surprising, because history records that Joe Biden even opposed the operation that took down Osama bin Laden. It's no wonder that the secretary of the defense under the Obama/Biden administration once said that Joe Biden has been -- and I quote -- "wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades."

So, we have stood up to our enemies, and we have stood with our allies, like when President Trump kept his word and moved the American Embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of the state of Israel...


PENCE: ... setting the stage for the first Arab country to recognize Israel in 26 years.


PENCE: Closer to home, we appointed more than 200 conservative judges to our federal courts.


PENCE: We supported the right to life and all the God-given liberties enshrined in our Constitution, including the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.


PENCE: And when it came to the economy, President Trump kept his word, and then some.

We passed the largest tax cut and reform in American history. We rolled back more federal red tape than any administration ever had. We unleashed American energy and fought for free and fair trade.

And in our first three years, businesses large and small created more than seven million good-paying jobs, including 500,000 manufacturing jobs all across America.


PENCE: Our country became a net exporter of energy for the first time in 70 years. Unemployment rates for African-Americans and Hispanic Americans hit the lowest level ever recorded.

And on this 100th anniversary of a woman's right to vote, I'm proud to report that, under President Donald Trump, we achieved the lowest unemployment rate for women in 65 years...


PENCE: ... and more Americans working than ever before.

In our first three years, we built the greatest economy in the world. We made America great again.


PENCE: And then the coronavirus struck from China.

Before the first case of the coronavirus spread within the United States, the president took unprecedented action and suspended all travel from China, the second largest economy in the world.

Now, that action saved untold American lives. And I can tell you firsthand it bought us invaluable time to launch the greatest national mobilization since World War II.

President Trump marshaled the full resources of our federal government from the outset. He directed us to forge a seamless partnership with governors across America in both political parties.

We partnered with private industry to reinvent testing and produce supplies that -- that were distributed to hospitals around the land.

Today, we're conducting more than 800,000 tests a day. And we have coordinated the delivery of billions of pieces of personal protective equipment for our amazing doctors, nurses and health care workers.


PENCE: We saw to the manufacture of 100,000 ventilators in 100 days. And no one who required a ventilator was ever denied a ventilator in the United States.


PENCE: We built hospitals, surged military medical personnel, and enacted an economic rescue package that saved 50 million American jobs.

As we speak, we're developing treatments known as therapeutics, including convalescent plasma that are saving lives all across America.

Now last week Joe Biden said that no miracle is coming. Well, what Joe doesn't seem to understand is that America is a nation of miracles.


And I'm proud to report that we're on track to have the world's first safe, effective Coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year.


After all the sacrifice in this year like no other, all the hardship, we're finding our way forward again. But tonight our hearts are with all of the families who have lost loved ones and have family members still struggling with serious illness. In this country we mourn with those who mourn, we grieve with those who grieve.

And this night, I know that millions of Americans will pause and pray for God's comfort for each of you. You know, our country doesn't get through such a time unless its people find the strength within. The response of doctors, nurses, first-responders, farmers, factory workers, truckers, and everyday Americans who put the health and safety of their neighbors first has been nothing short of heroic.


Veronica Saez (ph) put on her scrubs every day, day in and day out, went to work in one of New York City's busiest hospitals. She stayed on the job, put in the long hours until it was done, and then got back in her neighborhood and helped neighbors and friends struggling.

Her brother William is a New York City firefighter, and they're both emblematic of heroes all across this country. They're with us tonight. And I say to them and to all of you, you have earned the admiration of the American people and we will always be grateful for your service and care.


Thanks to the courage and compassion of the American people, we're slowing the spread, we're protecting the vulnerable, and we're saving lives. And we're opening up America again. Because of the strong foundation that President Trump poured in our first three years, we've already gained back 9.3 million jobs in the last three months alone.


And we're not just opening up America again, we're opening up America's schools.


And I'm proud to report that my wife Karen, that school teacher I've been married to, will be returning to her classroom next week. And so to all of our heroic teachers and faculty and staff, thank you for being there for our kids. We're going to stay with you every step of the way.


In the days ahead as we open up America again, I promise you, we'll continue to put the health of America first. And as we work to bring this economy back, we all have a role to play and we all have a choice to make. On November 3rd you need to ask yourself, who do you trust to rebuild this economy? A career politician who presided over the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression, or a proven leader who created the greatest economy in the world?

The choice is clear, to bring America all the way back, we need four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House.


My fellow Americans, we're passing through a time of testing. But in the midst of this global pandemic, just as our nation had begun to recover, we've seen violence and chaos in the streets of our major cities. President Trump and I will always support the right of Americans to peaceful protest. But riots and looting is not peaceful protest. Tearing down statues is not free speech. And those who do so will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.


Last week Joe Biden didn't say one word about the violence and chaos engulfing cities across this country. So let me be clear, the violence must stop, whether in Minneapolis, Portland, or Kenosha. Too many heroes have died to defending our freedom to see Americans strike each other down. We will have law and order on the streets of this country for every American of every race and creed and color.


President Trump and I know that the men and women that put on the uniform of law enforcement are the best of us. Every day when they walk out that door, they consider our lives more important than their own. People like Dave Patrick Underwood, an officer in the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Protective Service, who was shot and killed during the riots in Oakland, California.

Dave's heroism is emblematic of the heroes that serve in blue every day. And we're privileged tonight to be joined by his sister Angela. Angela, we say to you, we grieve with your family. And America will never forget or fail to honor officer Dave Patrick Underwood.


The American people know we don't have to choose between supporting law enforcement and standing with our African-American neighbors to improve the quality of their lives, education, jobs, and safety. And from the first days of this administration, we've done both and we will keep supporting law enforcement and keep supporting our African-American and minority communities across this land for four more years.


Now Joe Biden says that America is systemically racist and that law enforcement in America has, and I quote, an "implicit bias against minorities." When asked whether he'd support cutting funding of law enforcement, Joe Biden replied, yes, absolutely. Joe Biden would double down on the very policies that are leading to violence in America's cities.

The hard truth is, you won't be safe in Joe Biden's America. And under President Trump, we will always stand with those who stand on the thin blue line and we're not going to defund the police, not now, not ever.


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