Republicans have intensified their unrest-focused message, with Kenosha as a backdrop.

Republicans have intensified their unrest-focused message, with Kenosha as a backdrop.


Republicans used the third night of their convention on Wednesday to amplify warnings of violence and lawlessness under Democratic leadership, trying to capitalize on the worsening unrest in Wisconsin to reclaim moderate voters who might be reluctant to hand President Trump a second term.

The party also made appeals to social conservatives with attacks on abortion and accusations that the Democrats and their nominee, Joseph R. Biden Jr., were “Catholics in name only.” And they intensified their effort to lift Mr. Trump’s standing among women with testimonials vouching for him as empathetic and as a champion of women in the workplace — from women who work for him, a number of female lawmakers and his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump.

Speaking hours after Gov. Tony Evers of Wisconsin called in the National Guard to restore order to Kenosha, where a police officer shot a Black man this week, numerous Republicans, led by Vice President Mike Pence, assailed Mr. Biden for what they claimed was his tolerance of the vandalism that had grown out of racial justice protests, asserting that the country would not be safe with him as president.

“Last week, Joe Biden didn’t say one word about the violence and chaos engulfing cities across this country,” said Mr. Pence, standing before an array of American flags at Fort McHenry in Baltimore and vowing: “We will have law and order on the streets of this country for every American of every race and creed and color.”

The intense focus on the rioting amounted to an acknowledgment by Republicans that they must reframe the election to make urban unrest the central theme and shift attention away from the deaths and illnesses of millions of people from the coronavirus.



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