Democrats Prepare Counterprogramming to Republican Convention

Democrats are planning to mount an aggressive counter-programming effort next week during the Republican National Convention, seeking to hammer President Donald Trump and Republicans for leadership they say has sent the country into chaos.

After Democrats formally nominated Joe Biden as their party’s nominee and outlined their argument against Trump, allies of the former vice president will offer daily briefings next week to continue their argument that Trump has failed to contain multiple crises.

“We plan on holding Trump accountable for the pain he’s caused in the lives of the American people,” said Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Lily Adams.

Vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, who has no public events scheduled next week, is nevertheless expected to take a prominent role in criticizing the Trump administration. Biden allies hope she will draw on her background as a prosecutor to argue against Trump’s re-election. She has previewed that case over the past two weeks, hitting Trump for what Democrats believe is incompetent leadership.

“Donald Trump’s failure of leadership has cost lives and livelihoods,” Harris said in her speech to the Democratic convention on Wednesday. “We are a nation that is grieving, grieving the loss of life, the loss of jobs, the loss of opportunities, the loss of normalcy and yes, the loss of certainty.”

Biden is not expected to participate directly in the counter-programming. Trump live-tweeted during most major speeches in the Democratic convention.

Trump also made in-person campaign appearances throughout the Democratic National Convention, including trips to Biden’s hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, on the same day Biden accepted the nomination.

Democratic groups will share stories from individuals who say they’ve been harmed by Trump’s policies and actions, using the hashtag #TrumpChaos. The DNC will also provide rapid response and live fact-checking of speakers at the Republican National Convention.

Featured speakers for the Democrats next week include many who appeared at the Democrats’ virtual convention, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, and Congresswoman Val Demings of Florida.

Demings will discuss problems afflicting American families on Monday, such as the administration’s pressure to open schools and insufficient aid to parents who lost jobs due to the coronavirus. Speakers will also address the economy and the health care system. Whitmer and Booker will focus on the economy, arguing Trump’s mismanagement of the pandemic led to the recession, and Pelosi will focus on healthcare. Buttigieg will lead a press call on Thursday to make the case that Biden and Harris are best positioned to solve the crises and lead the country through a recovery.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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