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Republicans lean into social issues on Night 2 of RNC

On Night 2 of the Republican National Convention, supporters looking to bolster President Trump’s base emphasized social issues, including abortion and women’s empowerment. Melania Trump was the first speaker to address the staggering death toll of the pandemic. And in a pre-recorded segment, the president conducted an immigration naturalization ceremony at the White House. Amna Nawaz reports.

Read the Full Transcript

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Vice President Mike Pence is set to take the stage at the Republican Convention and formally accept his party's renomination.

    His speech comes after a night in which Republicans went out of their way to draw stark differences with the Democrats.

    Amna Nawaz has the story.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    A Trump campaign looking to shore up its base leaned hard into social issues.

  • Narrator:

    Some look at American opportunity and see only problems.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    And at times ignored political precedent, even the president's own policies, to message directly to his base.

  • President Donald Trump:

    We believe that each person is made by God for a purpose.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Among his strongest supporters, white evangelicals, and their core issues, front and center throughout the program, from Billy Graham's granddaughter, Cissie Graham….

  • Cissue Graham Lynch:

    Our founders did not envision a quiet, hidden faith. They fought to ensure that the voices of faith were always welcomed.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    … to anti-abortion rights activist Abby Johnson.

  • Abby Johnson:

    I now support President Trump because he has done more for the unborn than any other president.

  • Secretary Mike Pompeo:

    I'm Mike Pompeo.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Even Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a controversial address while overseas on official business, delivered a key message for those white evangelical voters.

  • Secretary Mike Pompeo:

    For the president to move the U.S. Embassy to this very city of God, Jerusalem, the rightful capital of the Jewish homeland.

  • Kellyanne Conway:

    This president has been a champion for women.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Also featured prominently, women backing Trump, including this compilation of testimonials from women in the West Wing.

  • Kelly Craft:

    He is proud to entrust many of our nation's most crucial jobs to women.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    And speaker after speaker at the convention podium.

  • Woman:

    Four more years for President Donald J. Trump.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    In 2016, Mr. Trump won the majority of white women voters, but recent polls have found that support slipping. A pre-recorded presidential pardon made for a memorable moment.

  • President Donald Trump:

    A full pardon.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Despite openly violating the Hatch Act, which prohibits governments officials from using public office for campaign purposes, by turning the White House into a political convention stage.

    And a naturalization ceremony of five new Americans…

  • Men and Women:

    On behalf of the United States…

  • Amna Nawaz:

    … stood in stark contrast to the president's own record on immigration, having dramatically slashed legal migration over his first term.

    For the second night in a row, the Trump children took to the stage. His youngest daughter, Tiffany, railed against what she called big tech and mainstream media censorship.

  • Tiffany Trump:

    This manipulation of what information we receive impedes our freedoms, rather than allowing Americans the right to form our own beliefs.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    While son Eric ended on a rare personal note, nodding to the recent passing of President Trump's brother, Robert.

  • Eric Trump:

    Dad, let's make uncle Robert very proud this week. Let's go get another four years.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    From a newly revamped, Rose Garden, crowded with unmasked, closely seated supporters, first lady Melania Trump capped off the night with the only speech to address both the fight for racial justice…

  • Melania Trump :

    It is a harsh reality that we are not proud of parts of our history. I encourage people to focus on our future, while still learning from our past.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    … and the devastation brought by the pandemic, as the U.S. death toll topped 178,000 people.

  • Melania Trump :

    My prayers are with those who are ill or suffering.

    I know many people are anxious, and some feel helpless. I want you to know, you are not alone.

  • Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.:

    When we vote, things change.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Meanwhile, today, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, Kamala Harris, worked to bolster the support of black voters at a virtual campaign event in Michigan.

  • Sen. Kamala Harris:

    Have a plan to vote, and be sure to vote, and to talk to all of your family members.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Her Republican ticket counterpart, Vice President Mike Pence, will be among those speaking tonight, as his party continues to make its pitch to the American people.

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

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