Vice President Mike Pence headlined the third night of the Republican National Convention, as speakers praised President Donald Trump's support for "heroes," including law enforcement, the military and healthcare providers. Here is a takeaway from Tuesday's program:
LAW AND ORDER
Within the first 15 minutes of the convention's third night, one of the main themes of the evening was already apparent: law and order.
That is the message President Donald Trump has delivered, repeatedly and forcefully, throughout months of civil unrest following the May police killing of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis. He has called protesters 'thugs' and 'anarchists' and deployed federal agents to cities despite opposition from local leaders.
Two of the evening's early speakers, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, accused Democrats of trying to undermine police while allowing violence to consume their cities.
"From Seattle and Portland to Washington and New York, Democrat-run cities across this country are being overrun by violent mobs," Noem said, although most of the protests since May have been peaceful. "The violence is rampant – there's looting, chaos, destruction and murder."
Later in the night, Pence was expected to say: "Under President Trump, we will stand with those who stand on the thin blue line, and we're not going to defund the police - not now, not ever," according to excerpts released ahead of his speech. Republicans have accused Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden of wanting to defund the police, although he has rejected that position.
The bellicose rhetoric took on added significance given the increasingly combustible protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after a Black man, Jacob Blake, was shot in the back by police officers. On Wednesday, a white teenager was arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of two protesters.
The speeches were in stark contrast to the Democratic convention last week – albeit before the Kenosha unrest began – when multiple speakers proclaimed that "Black Lives Matter."