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In RNC speech, Pence says U.S. ‘won’t be safe’ with Biden

On Night 3 of the Republican National Convention, speakers reiterated their argument that the soul of America is at stake during this election. Vice President Pence delivered his keynote address before a mostly unmasked crowd at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry, hailing the federal response to the pandemic. The programming also emphasized themes of patriotism and national security. Amna Nawaz reports.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden traded barbs today on the racial unrest gripping the nation just hours before the president's final convention address from the White House tonight.

    Amna Nawaz begins our convention coverage, starting with a recap of last night.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    For the third night in a row, Republicans, like Democrats before them, used their convention stage to argue, the soul of the nation is at stake.

  • Vice President Mike Pence:

    Not so much whether America will be more conservative or more liberal, more Republican or more Democrat. The choice in this election is whether America remains America.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Vice President Pence delivered his keynote address before a mostly unmasked crowd at Fort McHenry in Baltimore.

    As the U.S. COVID-19 death toll topped 178,000, he hailed the federal response and presented an optimistic view of the ongoing pandemic.

  • Vice President Mike Pence:

    After all the sacrifice in this year like no other, all the hardship, we are finding our way forward again.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    While racial justice protests roiled communities after the police shooting of another black man, Jacob Blake, Pence and the party doubled down on their message of law and order.

  • Vice President Mike Pence:

    The hard truth is, you won't be safe in Joe Biden's America. 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.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

  • Amna Nawaz:

    And as league after league of professional athletes boycotted games in response to Blake's shooting…

  • Madison Cawthorn:

    You can kneel before God, but stand for our flag.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Madison Cawthorn, a North Carolina congressional candidate who is partially paralyzed, delivered this message to those who kneel during the national anthem.

  • Madison Cawthorn:

    Be a radical for freedom, be a radical for liberty, and be a radical for our republic, for which I stand, one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Republicans this week have featured a number of black speakers.

  • Clarence Henderson:

    It was the Republican Party that passed the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Messaging their support for the president and his party.

  • Clarence Henderson:

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

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Last night's programming leaned heavily into the theme of patriotism and national security.

  • Man:

    He's always there trying to take care of veterans.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Honoring military service members and featuring several veterans.

    And on the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote, Republicans' appeals to them forged on. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany shared a deeply personal account of her mastectomy, and why she's supporting Mr. Trump.

  • Kayleigh McEnany:

    I have a 9-month-old daughter. She's a beautiful, sweet little girl. And I choose to work for this president for her.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Senior adviser to the president Kellyanne Conway said the president has empowered the women around him.

  • Kellyanne Conway:

    For decades, he has elevated women to senior positions in business and in government. He confides in and consults us, respects our opinions, and insists that we are on equal footing with the men.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    The Republican National Convention rolls into its final night with another norm-shattering event. President Trump will deliver his remarks from the White House to some 1,500 attendees.

    Meanwhile, today, Democratic vice presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris claimed a Biden presidency would better tackle the pandemic.

  • Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.:

    Trump still doesn't have a plan. He still doesn't have a plan.

    Joe Biden released his first plan in March. He's got a national strategy. He's more than ready to lead. Every month since March, as this pandemic has unfolded, Joe Biden has updated the steps he would take to save American lives.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    And on MSNBC, Biden himself charged, the Trump administration is using the moment's many uncertainties to its advantage.

  • Former Vice President Joseph Biden:

    He views this as a political benefit to him. You know, he's rooting for more violence, not less, and is clear about that.

    And what's he doing? He's pouring gasoline on the fire. And you want to end where we are now, we have got to end his tenure as president.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    But speaking today, the president said authorities must squash the demonstrations.

  • President Donald Trump:

    If they request that we send in the National Guard, they will be there instantaneously, and we will put out the fire, we will put out the flame, we will put out the vandalism, because the vandalism and the looting is ridiculous.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    On this, the last night of 2020's unconventional virtual conventions, President Trump will make his case for American voters to give him four more years.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Amna Nawaz.

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