Opening Night Of Republican National Convention To Feature Congressional Candidate Sean Parnell Speaking In Primetime


    The 2020 Republican National Convention began Monday morning in Charlotte, North Carolina. And while much of it will be virtual, like the Democratic National Convention, a few delegates are gathering to nominate President Donald Trump for a second term.

    The convention began Monday with a roll call vote to renominate Pres. Trump, but the focus in primetime will be to project an upbeat view of America under Trump and the risk of a Joe Biden presidency.

    Unlike the Democrats, several hundred Republicans — six per state — have gathered in Charlotte, enough to justify a surprise visit by the president on Monday. But coronavirus has severely limited the numbers.

    “We’ll all be tested,” said former U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, chair of the Pennsylvania delegation. “They’re taking temperature. And obviously, they’ll be socially distancing, staying within the restrictions of how many people can be in a room at a time.”

    It’s a calculated risk, but much of the convention will be virtual, including primetime prerecorded remarks from Sean Parnell — the local Republican candidate challenging U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb.

    “The number one leadership tenet of leaders is to do everything you can to bring people together,” Parnell told KDKA political editor Jon Delano.

    “It’s going to be about unity. It’s going to be about the Republican Party has a spot for everyone,” says Parnell.

    While many others will speak, viewers may think this week’s Republican National Convention is all Trump all the time.

    “The president has the biggest megaphone. And if we’re going to do any counter-programming of the Democrats, the president is the biggest counter-programming messenger that we’ve got,” says Tim Murtaugh, the communications directors for the Trump-Pence Campaign Committee.

    So no surprise, and contrary to normal practice, President Trump is expected to appear every night of this convention, along with son Donald Jr. speaking Monday. First Lady Melania, son Eric and daughter Tiffany will speak Tuesday, with daughter-in-law Lara and daughter Ivanka speaking Wednesday and Thursday, respectively


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