The Latest: Trump to go after Biden in acceptance speech

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FILE - In this July 21, 2016, file photo Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump, speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Four years ago, Donald Trump accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for president with a dark convention speech that painted a dystopic portrait of an America in decline. And he offered a singular solution. His message was “I alone can fix it.” (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
By Associated Press Undefined

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Republican National Convention (all times local):
1:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s acceptance speech will be a hard-hitting verbal offensive against his Democratic opponent in which he’ll call Joe Biden “an empty shell of a candidate, a Trojan horse of a candidate.”

Standing at the White House to accept his party’s presidential nomination, Trump will say that his administration has spent the past four years reversing the “damage Joe Biden inflicted over the last 47 years,” according to excerpts released first to Politico and later by the Trump campaign.

“At no time before have voters faced a clearer choice between two parties, two visions, two philosophies or two agendas,” Trump is to say in remarks addressing the economy and trade, immigration, crime, a rising threat from China and his own response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“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.”

Trump’s address will be hard-hitting because his aides claim the media’s coverage of the GOP convention has filtered out comments criticizing Biden’s policies.

Not all of the speech will have a negative tone. He is also to say:
“The Republican Party goes forward united, determined and ready to welcome millions of Democrats, independents and anyone who believes in the greatness of America and the righteous heart of the American people.”

“This towering American spirit has prevailed over every challenge and lifted us to the summit of human endeavor.”
12:45 p.m.

More than 300 alumni of the most recent Republican administration and presidential campaigns are collectively endorsing Democratic nominee Joe Biden on the day that Republican President Donald Trump accepts his party’s nomination for a second term.

Biden’s campaign released three separate joint statements from the political orbits of former President George W. Bush, 2012 nominee and now-U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney and 2008 nominee John McCain, who died in 2018.

The list of signatories range from rank-and-file campaign aides for all three men to some sub-Cabinet appointees in the Bush administration. The show of bipartisan force seeks to bolster Biden’s argument that Trump presents a fundamental threat to the nation that transcends party loyalties.

Neither Bush nor Romney has said how he will vote in November, but both are notably absent from Trump’s convention. Former presidents and recent nominees typically have prime convention slots.

Romney cast the lone GOP Senate vote to convict Trump and remove him from office for pressuring Ukraine’s government to help him tarnish Biden. Bush has been on the fundraising circuit for down-ballot Republican candidates this year.

Before McCain’s death, the Arizona senator cast the deciding vote against Trump’s push to repeal the 2010 health care law. His widow, Cindy McCain, was featured during Biden’s nominating convention last week as part of a video highlighting the senator’s friendship with the former vice president.
12:20 p.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she doesn’t think there should be presidential debates this year, arguing Democrat Joe Biden shouldn’t “legitimize a conversation” with President Donald Trump.

Pelosi told reporters Thursday she knows she disagrees with Biden on the issue but she believes Trump will “probably act in a way that is beneath the dignity of the presidency” and “belittle what the debates are supposed to be about.” Biden has said he is eager to take on Trump in three debates this fall.

Pelosi says a 2016 debate between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton was “disgraceful” as Trump stood close behind Clinton as she spoke, moving into her camera angle. Pelosi says Trump was “stalking” Clinton and should have been told to move away.

Instead, Pelosi suggests the two candidates have individual events where they take questions. She says, “Let that be a conversation with the American people. Not an exercise in skullduggery.”

The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates recently rejected a request from the Trump campaign to either add a fourth general election debate or move up the calendar for the contests.

Trump’s campaign said 16 states will have started voting by the time of the first scheduled debate Sept. 29.

Trump is set to accept the Republican presidential nomination Thursday night.
12:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump has some business to get out of the way before he accepts the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday night.

The Republican National Committee says the president will raise $10 million for his reelection campaign, the Republican Party and several state GOP committees at a lunchtime event with supporters at his hotel near the White House.

Trump is set to deliver his acceptance speech later Thursday from the White House South Lawn, disregarding longstanding tradition of presidents refraining from using the White House and its grounds for partisan political purposes.

After the fundraiser, Trump will go to Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters for an update on Hurricane Laura. The storm pounded the Gulf Coast with wind, rain and a wall of seawater after it made landfall overnight.

Democrats nominated Joe Biden at their convention last week.