President Trump announced Monday he plans to deliver his acceptance speech during the Republican National Convention (RNC) from either one of two locations — the White House or the battlefield at Gettysburg.
“We have narrowed the Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech, to be delivered on the final night of the Convention (Thursday), to two locations – The Great Battlefield of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and the White House, Washington, D.C. We will announce the decision soon!” Trump tweeted.
We have narrowed the Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech, to be delivered on the final night of the Convention (Thursday), to two locations – The Great Battlefield of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and the White House, Washington, D.C. We will announce the decision soon!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic upended both the RNC and the Democratic National Convention (DNC) plans to hold a large in-person event, forcing both to conduct virtual events. Trump last month abruptly canceled the three-day ceremonial events scheduled in Jacksonville, Florida amid a surge of coronavirus cases in the Sunshine state.
Trump last week mentioned the White House he’ll “probably” deliver his speech accepting the Republican nomination live from the White House.
“I’ll probably do mine live from the White House,” Trump said during a “Fox & Friends” interview last Wednesday. “If for some reason somebody had difficulty with it, I would — I could, you know, go someplace else.”
Both sites are likely to spark controversy, though the White House will generate potential legal challenges over ethics violations. The last time Trump spoke at Gettysburg, the former President Abraham Lincoln’s famed address was when he was a candidate in October 2016.
At a coronavirus press briefing Monday evening, Trump expanded on the idea of delivering his acceptance speech from Gettysburg.
“Well, I think it’s — I’ve been to Gettysburg numerous times. It’s a national park, it’s a national historic site, it’s incredible. You know, it’s the history. It’s incredible, actually, to me. It was a very important place and is a very important place in our country, so we’re are looking at that,” Trump said.
Earlier, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany during a press briefing was asked why Gettysburg was the chosen site and alluded to the backdrop historical significance.
“I won’t get ahead of the President, as to what his convention speech will look like, but the President has done a lot to bring this country together,” McEnany told reporters. “We’ve faced unprecedented challenges and he’s worked to make sure that the American people are best equipped and taken care of to rise above the challenges that we face. And he has a strong record of achievement that he’ll be touting on that day.”
The president is expected to visit Charlotte during business meetings among party leaders on the first day of the convention, but he will give his acceptance speech that is scheduled to take place on the last day on Thursday from a different location.
Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden announced last week that he will not travel to Milwaukee for his party’s convention and will instead deliver his acceptance speech from his home state of Delaware.