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Updates and analysis from Day 4 of the Republican National Convention

The convention concluded with President Donald Trump's acceptance speech.
Image: President Donald Trump and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, will be the keynote speakers on the last night of the Republican National Convention on Thursday.
President Trump and his daughter Ivanka will be the keynote speakers on the last night of the Republican National Convention on Thursday.Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

The final day of the Republican National Convention took place on Thursday, culminating in President Donald Trump's speech accepting the Republican nomination for president.

Other speakers on Thursday included Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and senior adviser, and Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer.

Trump delivered his speech at the White House, a decision that critics have said could be a violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in certain political activities. The president and vice president are exempt from the law but other White House employees are not.

Setting the stage for a speech topic?

Demonstrators rally to protest Trump's speech

Demonstrators rally to protest President Donald Trump's acceptance of the Republican National Convention nomination at Black Lives Matter plaza across from the White House on Aug. 27, 2020 in Washington, DC.Olivier Douliery / AFP - Getty Images

Some in White House audience for Trump's speech already waiting to get in

 

TV viewership dips on RNC's Night 3

About 17.3 million people tuned in for Night 3 of the RNC, a decline compared to the second night of the convention and about the same as the first night, according to data released by media measurement company Nielsen.

Night 3 of the Democratic convention drew about 22.8 million viewers. 

The downtick happened during a busy news day — an NBA player walkout, a hurricane barreling toward Louisiana, and the ongoing unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin — that partially drowned out the convention, which Vice President Mike Pence headlined.

The Nielsen data does not take into account people who watched some or all of the convention online. Most major broadcast networks and many other media companies have livestreamed the conventions on various platforms.

But the viewership is still a significant drop off compared to 2016, when Night 3 drew 23.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

Kamala Harris, citing 'sickening' Blake shooting, pledges to tackle police reform

A Joe Biden administration would address systemic racism and tackle police reform, Sen. Kamala Harris said Thursday, invoking the “sickening” shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin as further evidence of the need to address racial injustice in the U.S.

“The reality is that the life of a Black person in America has never been treated as fully human. And we have yet to fulfill that promise of equal justice under the law,” Harris said. “We will only achieve that when we finally come together to pass meaningful police reform and broader criminal justice reform and acknowledge, yes, acknowledge, systemic racism.”

Harris spoke hours before President Trump is set to formally accept his party's nomination for re-election at the final night of the Republican National Convention, pre-emptively criticizing the president for his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Instead of rising to meet the most difficult moment of his presidency, he froze. He was scared. He was petty and vindictive,” Harris said.

Read more here.

Notre Dame disavows former coach's attacks on Biden's religion

The president of the University of Notre Dame disavowed attacks on Joe Biden made by the school's former football coach, Lou Holtz, at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday.

"While Coach Lou Holtz is a former coach at Notre Dame, his use of the university’s name at the Republican National Convention must not be taken to imply that the university endorses his views, any candidate or any political party," Rev. John I. Jenkins said in a statement.

"Moreover, we Catholics should remind ourselves that while we may judge the objective moral quality of another’s actions, we must never question the sincerity of another’s faith, which is due to the mysterious working of grace in that person’s heart," he continued. "In this fractious time, let us remember that our highest calling is to love."

In his speech at the convention, Holtz praised President Trump and called Biden a "Catholic in name only."

Asked about the remarks on Thursday in an interview with CNN, Biden asked, “When’s the last time [Trump] darkened the doorway of a church?"

5 things to watch for on Night 4 of the RNC

President Trump has had nearly four years in office to sell his performance to the American people. So far, polls suggest he has yet to make the sale: A majority of Americans disapprove of the job he's done, and he has consistently trailed Joe Biden in general election surveys this year.

So what can he say on the final night of the Republican National Convention to change those attitudes and convince Americans he deserves four more years in office? Republican strategists say they are looking for him to give a vision of what he would do in a second term — an area he has struggled to define — and how that would contrast with a Biden presidency.

Whatever message Trump delivers on the final night of the gathering, he will be competing for attention with a Category 4 hurricane that made landfall Thursday morning.

Here’s what to watch for on the RNC's fourth and final night.

Trump to attack Biden as 'extreme' in RNC speech

President Trump will focus his Republican National Convention speech Thursday on attacking Joe Biden, according to excerpts of his address.

“At no time before have voters faced a clearer choice between two parties, two visions, two philosophies, or two agendas," Trump will say, according to excerpts of the speech from his campaign.

“We have spent the last four years reversing the damage Joe Biden inflicted over the last 47 years. At the Democrat convention, you barely heard a word about their agenda. But that's not because they don't have one. It's because their agenda is the most extreme set of proposals ever put forward by a major party nominee."

Read more about Trump's speech tonight here.

Biden says Trump is ‘rooting for more violence, not less’

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden said Thursday that President Donald Trump is "rooting for more violence, not less" because he thinks it benefits him politically.

In an interview on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee reacted to Vice President Mike Pence’s speech at the Republican National Convention Wednesday night in which he said that people “won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.”

Biden added about Trump, “He views this as a political benefit to him, you know. He's rooting for more violence, not less, and it's clear about that. And what's he doing, he's kept pouring gasoline on the fire.”

Read what else Biden said about Trump.

Pelosi says Biden shouldn't debate Trump: 'I wouldn't legitimize a conversation with him'

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday that she doesn’t think Joe Biden should debate President Donald Trump in the three scheduled this fall ahead of the election because she said Trump will “probably act in a way that is beneath the dignity of the presidency.”

Pelosi volunteered her opinion at a weekly news conference at the Capitol during which she also said that if Biden wins the White House and Democrats retain control of the House, they will have the ability to expose Trump’s tax returns that he has refused for years to release.

“Don't tell anybody who told you this — especially don't tell Joe Biden — I don't think that there should be any debates,” she said. “I do not think that the president of the United States has comported himself in a way that anybody has any association with truth, evidence, data and facts. I wouldn't legitimize a conversation with him, nor a debate in terms of the presidency of the United States.”

Read more on what Pelosi said.