News and Commentary

Trump Plans To Give Convention Speech On White House Grounds

"It’s a place that makes me feel good"
Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump points at delegates after his acceptance speech during the 2016 Republican National Convention July 21, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read
Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump says he will deliver his speech accepting the presidential nomination during the Republican National Convention from the White House lawn.

“I’ll probably be giving my speech at the White House because it is a great place. It’s a place that makes me feel good, it makes the country feel good,” Trump told the New York Post. “We’d do it possibly outside on one of the lawns, we have various lawns, so we could have it outside in terms of the China virus.”

Democrats have complained that Trump would be using the White House for political purposes, but the U.S. Office of Special Counsel said this week that the president can deliver his speech on the White House grounds without violating government ethics rules.

Trump has also said he might deliver his speech at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, site of a famed Civil War battle.

The RNC has had a tough time finding a home for its quadrennial convention. First, the four-day soiree was set for Charlotte, NC, but the state’s Democratic governor said the gathering might not happen because of COVID-19. So Trump bailed on that state and announced the RNC would be held in Jacksonville, FL.

But then he scrapped that plan, too, deciding against hosting the convention in-person as planned.

“I looked at my team and I said, ‘the timing for this event is not right.’ It’s just not right with what’s happened recently, the flair-up in Florida, to have a big convention, it’s not the right time,” he said July 29. “For me, I have to protect the American people. That’s what I’ve always done, that’s what I always will do.”

Trump said then that some festivities in Jacksonville would still occur, and the official activities that go on at the convention will still happen for select delegates.

Meanwhile, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said last month the Democratic National Convention will still take place in Milwaukee, but the event will be scaled down because of fears over COVID-19.

“We are putting nobody in harm’s way,” Perez said on SiriusXM. “Safety is job one for us in this convention and that’s why it will be considerably smaller, but it will be no less exciting — not less inspiring because frankly, this is still the most important election of our lifetime.”

“We are anchored in Milwaukee and we will have exciting programming in Milwaukee. The vice president will accept the nomination from Milwaukee,” Perez said, according to Politico. Perez also said that the convention will be nearly entirely virtual and “have a lot less people at it” than previous years.

In his interview, Perez took a swipe at Trump, saying: “We will honor the values of the Democratic Party. We will highlight the values of Joe Biden, and one of the values of Joe Biden is humility. Joe Biden doesn’t need the ego gratification of being surrounded by 20,000 people, and that is why we’re doing it in a safe way.”

The Democratic convention will now be held Aug. 17-20, while the Republican convention will be Aug. 24-27.