The Republican National Convention concluded Thursday night, officially launching the 2020 presidential election. Journalists, media commentators and politicians were mixed in their reactions — some praising the convention as superior to its Democratic counterpart, and others saying it was devoid of reality.
Fox News contributor Dan Gainor lauded the Republican National Convention as being better produced and more captivating than last week’s Democratic National Convention.
“The successful convention left the crestfallen and angry anti-Trump media trying to snark or distract, unable to change the topic successfully,” he wrote. “No one can deny that the Republican Convention had better production values and more compelling speeches than the Democratic Convention, along with some outstanding high points.”
Washington Post columnist Max Boot said that the 2020 Republican National Convention was “all lies and fear.”
“One can hope that the dark, nihilistic Republican approach, based on fear and falsity, will prove to be an election loser,” he wrote. “But it is salutary to remember that the 2016 Republican convention might have been even more crazy. (At least this time there were no chants of ‘Lock her up!’) And yet that horror show did not prevent Trump from eking out a narrow electoral college victory.”
Kaylee McGhee, a writer for the Washington Examiner, praised the working-class Trump supporters who were featured during the convention.
“Not every blue-collar worker will agree with (Jason) Joyce’s and John Peterson’s assessment of Trump’s policies,” she said, referencing two Tuesday speakers. “But it is important that the Republican Party gave these men and women a platform, and it is even more important that they advocated the policies Trump’s administration implemented. Blue-collar workers are currently leaning toward Biden, according to recent polls. But tonight’s testimonies are a reminder that policy matters much more than rhetoric — and Trump has the policy to back it up.”
The USA Today editorial board claimed that “the event itself (was) less Republican National Convention than Trump National Convention.”
“Want more evidence the Grand Old Party has become little more than a Trump booster club?” its Tuesday-morning editorial read. “Consider the fact that this year’s convention will have no platform. While it is easy to overstate the importance of platforms, they represent a chance for party regulars to have input, and they force parties to make decisions and compromises about complex issues. The absence of a platform shows that there is little distinction between the GOP and the whims of Donald Trump.”
Kate Andersen Brower, author of “First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies,” praised Melania Trump’s “emotional and heartfelt” speech.
“Melania served an important role this week,” she wrote in a CNN op-ed. “She was able to show compassion and empathy, which her husband struggles to do. ... First ladies may have an anachronistic role, but it’s one that carries enormous power, chief of which is influencing and humanizing their husbands. This President, with a noticeable lack of empathy for coronavirus victims, needed that more than most — I think Melania delivered as well as anyone could have.”
Sen. Kamala Harris, Democratic nominee for vice president, said “reality (was) completely absent” from the Republican National Convention.
Mollie Hemingway, a senior editor for The Federalist, viewed the convention as a big boost for Trump supporters.
“Because of the media being so hysterically anti-Trump and suppressing the news, this convention is the first time in about four years that non-leftist Americans have seen other Americans reflecting their positive views about Trump and the administration,” she wrote. “It’s emboldening for Republican and Independent voters as they prepare for the fall campaign that will surely include many surprises.”