Due to coronavirus concerns, virtually all of the Republican National Convention set for mid-August has either been canceled or transitioned into virtual events, including President Donald Trump’s nomination acceptance speech.
President Trump revealed on Wednesday that he was considering delivering his acceptance speech from the White House, but that notion only served to spark predictable outrage from Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), The Daily Caller reported.
The president pointed to security needs as the primary reason why he would give his speech from the White House, but Pelosi fired back and asserted that doing so could be “legally wrong” or “ethically” unacceptable.
White House speech considered
President Trump’s revelation about the potential site of his acceptance speech came during an interview on Wednesday morning on Fox News‘ Fox & Friends where he noted that the White House was only one of several different options his campaign is considering.
“It would be the easiest from the standpoint of security,” Trump said of doing his speech from the White House. “You know these, they move with a lot of people, it’s a very expensive operation militarily. And law enforcement-wise. The Secret Service is fantastic. But it’s a big deal.”
“There’s no movement — it’s easy and I think it’s a beautiful setting and we are thinking about that … it’s the easiest alternative,” he said, according to The Washington Times.
Trump further noted that he would deliver his acceptance speech on Thursday night and that despite objections from Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper — which prompted a now-scuttled attempt to shift the convention from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Jacksonville, Florida — there would be some limited in-person events each night of the convention.
Of course, Speaker Pelosi had to interject her thoughts on the matter and cried foul over the possibility that Trump would use the White House as a backdrop for his speech.
Fox reported that Pelosi, during an interview Wednesday night on MSNBC, said, “For the President of the United States to degrade once again the White House, as he has done over and over again, by saying he’s going to completely politicize it, is something that should be rejected right out of hand.”
“It’s not serious thinking,” the speaker added. “It won’t happen, whether it’s legally wrong or ethically out of the question, it shouldn’t have been something that was expressed.”
What Pelosi and other critics of a White House-based acceptance speech are probably referencing, at least in terms of the legality of the speech, is the Hatch Act that prohibits openly partisan political activity from federal government employees. However, it must be noted that the president and vice president are explicitly exempted from that prohibition, which suggests there may be no real legal issue here at all.
Due to their reflexive opposition to anything and everything said and done by President Trump, his critics have once again been triggered by a mere suggestion of a locale for his nomination acceptance speech — one they likely would have blasted regardless of where it was.