One of the main jobs of the Republican National Convention this week was to make President Donald Trump appear more palatable to skeptical voters ― especially women and minorities ― who may be turned off by his abrasive personality, racist Twitter outbursts, and appeals to fringe conspiracy theorists.
That’s why the four-day event featured speaker after speaker testifying that Trump shows a softer, kinder side behind closed doors, something he has somehow been unable to do in public.
“If there is one thing I hope you will hear from me tonight, it is this ― President Trump is a kind and decent man. I wish you could be at his side with me to see his endless kindness to everyone he meets,” White House communications aide Dan Scavino said in his convention speech Thursday.
But there was also another kind of convention speech that implicitly and somewhat awkwardly acknowledged Trump is not particularly soft or kind ― while making the case for his reelection anyway. It’s a refrain commonly repeated by supporters at his campaign rallies who enthusiastically back the president’s agenda and just wish he would tweet less.
“I recognize that my dad’s communication style is not to everyone’s taste. And I know his tweets can feel a bit unfiltered. But the results speak for themselves,” Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior adviser, said Thursday as she introduced her father from the South Lawn of the White House.
Trump’s “communication style” also includes racist attacks against members of Congress, grievances, boasts, patently false claims, misinformation and retweets of conspiracy theorists.
Addressing the convention earlier this week, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), one of Trump’s top allies on Capitol Hill, made a similar point while urging voters to support the president’s reelection.
“President Trump sometimes raises his voice ― and a ruckus,” Gaetz said. “He knows that’s what it takes to raise an army of patriots who love America and will protect her.”
Retired NFL star Hershel Walker, a longtime friend of Trump, employed a football metaphor in describing “knocking down” opponents.
“He leaves nothing on the field. Some people don’t like his style, the way he knocks down obstacles that get in the way of his goals,” Walker said. “People on opposing teams didn’t like it when I ran right over them either. But that’s how you get the job done.”
Walker also said he felt offended as a Black man by people calling Trump a racist. “He works night and day” to improve the lives of African Americans,” Walker said.
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