Tag Archive for: 2024 Party Platforms

‘By the Grace of Almighty God’: Trump Highlights Miraculous Survival in Presidential Acceptance Speech

Accepting the Republican Party presidential nomination in Milwaukee on Thursday, a somber and reflective President Donald J. Trump promised to deliver “a message of confidence, strength and hope,” just days after an assassination attempt that came within fractions of an inch of killing him. On a public platform before untold millions of people, President Trump credited his survival to “the grace of Almighty God.”

As promised, a more charitable Trump dedicated a large share of his remarks at the Republican National Convention to healing our nation’s longstanding divisions, which boiled over into explosive violence last Saturday in Butler, Pennsylvania. “The discord and division in our society must be healed. We must heal it quickly. As Americans, we are bound together by a single fate and a shared destiny. We rise together, or we fall apart,” he said. “I am running to be president for all of America, not half of America,” Trump insisted — a pledge President Joe Biden repeatedly made in the days following the 2020 election. Yet critics say Biden went on to preside over the most politicized presidency in U.S. history.

The emotional highlight came as President Trump recounted the details of his assassination attempt.

“I will tell you exactly what happened, and you’ll never hear it from me a second time, because it’s actually too painful to tell,” he told the crowd. “Behind me, and to the right, was a large screen that was displaying a chart of border crossings under my leadership,” when a bullet rang out. President Trump tilted his head slightly on Saturday night while trying to see an immigration chart, causing his would-be assassin’s bullet to graze the president’s right ear instead of hitting his head. “The assassin’s bullet came within a quarter of an inch of taking my life.”

The 45th president revealed he had turned his head to the right and “was ready to begin a little bit further turn, which I’m very lucky I didn’t do,” as that would have placed his face in the shooter’s bullseye. “If I had not moved my head at that very last instant, the assassin’s bullet would have perfectly hit its mark and I would not be here tonight,” he said.

After feeling his ear and seeing blood covering his hand, he “immediately knew it was very serious, that we were under attack.”

“There was blood pouring everywhere, and yet in a certain way I felt very safe because I had God on my side. I felt that,” he recalled. “I’ll tell you: I stand before you in this arena only by the grace of Almighty God.”

Other speakers also highlighted the seemingly miraculous survival. “I think it was divine intervention,” said Tucker Carlson, who reportedly gave his speech earlier in the evening without a text or teleprompter. Carlson, who saw his top-rated Fox News show canceled a weekend after he began discussing spiritual warfare, felt the shooting’s unlikely failure could touch off a spiritual renewal in America. After seeing “what’s happened over the past month since the debate, and particularly on Saturday in Butler, I think a lot of people are wondering, ‘What is this? This doesn’t look like politics. Something bigger’s going on here.’ I think even people who don’t believe in God are starting to think, ‘Maybe there’s something to this.’”

Rev. Franklin Graham thanked Jesus Christ by Name for the president’s safety. “Thank You for saving the life of President Donald J. Trump. In his words, it was You, and You alone, who saved him,” he prayed. “Sadly, as a nation, we have forgotten Who is responsible for all the freedoms, the liberties, and the bounty we enjoy. It has all come from You.” America, he said, has become a nation “in trouble. We’re divided politically, racially economically … You’re the only One Who can fix the complexity of the problems we face today.” Graham went on to pray that God would “continue to protect him from his enemies” and “surround him with men and women who will give him sound counsel and guidance. Graham also implored God’s protection on Trump, vice presidential candidate and Ohio Senator J.D. Vance (R), and all “leaders of this nation, whether they’re Republican, Democrat, or independent.”

In his acceptance speech, President Trump acknowledged Rev. Franklin Graham — whom, he noted, asked him, “Please, don’t use any foul language” on stage — as well as his legendary evangelist father, Rev. Billy Graham, playfully calling the organizer of global mass crusades “a good rally guy.”

Yet the president praised the calm and concern of his audience, which did not crowd out of the exits. “By not stampeding, many lives were saved,” Trump said. He saluted the heroism of the Secret Service agents who dove on top of him to shield his body with their own, as well as retired Fire Chief Corey Comperatore, who lost his life in the attack. In a touching display, President Trump kissed the helmet Comperatore wore while dousing deadly blazes. Before a televised audience numbering the tens of millions, Trump announced he had helped raised $6.2 million for the families of all those who had been injured or killed in the shooting.

The president eventually displayed the same chart — contrasting the sharp decline of illegal border crossings under his presidency with the record-breaking level of illegal immigrants entering the United States during the Biden administration — that he tried to comment on during the assassination attempt.

The “last time I put up that chart, I never really got to look at it,” the president quipped, showing himself in good spirits.

He refused to show intimidation after the potential domestic terrorist attack. “Our resolve is unbroken, and our purpose is unchanged — to deliver a government that serves the American people better than ever before,” he said. “Nothing will stop me in this mission, because our vision is righteous, and our cause is pure.”

In addition to cracking down on illegal immigration, Trump briefly highlighted his administration’s accomplishments: presiding over a booming economy, lowering unemployment rates to historic lows, broadly sharing prosperity with the middle class, enacting “Right to Try” laws that give terminally-ill patients access to experimental medical treatments.

“We got hit with COVID,” Trump noted, saying his administration “did a great job” handling it.

“Under our leadership, the United States will be respected again. No nation will question our power. No enemy will doubt our might. Our borders will be totally secure. Our economy will soar. We will return law and order to our streets, patriotism to our schools, and importantly, we will restore peace, stability, and harmony all throughout the world,” he promised.

At one point in the speech, Trump seemingly anointed his running mate, Senator J.D. Vance, as his designated successor as leader of the America First movement. “J.D., you’re going to be doing this for a long time,” he told the current junior senator from Ohio. “Enjoy the ride.”

Like Vance’s address on Wednesday night, President Donald Trump’s acceptance speech said nothing about any future federal legislation to protect the unborn from abortion, naming Supreme Court justices from a specific list of judges, upholding the definition of marriage that held until nine years ago, defunding abortionists, or sheltering minors from the transgender industry.

The speech’s priorities mirror the truncated 2024 Republican Party platform, which also contains no concrete promises on those topics — a fact Trump praised.

“It’s very short compared to the long, boring, meaningless agendas of the past,” Trump claimed of previous Republican Party platforms. He also criticized Democratic platforms of the past. (The DNC has yet to adopt its platform for this race or to nominate its official presidential or vice presidential candidates.)

Republicans cheered the final night of the convention, which in addition to Carlson and Rev. Graham, featured an energetic speech by former WWE wrestling champion Hulk Hogan, who called Trump “my hero.”

Some Democrats acknowledged the campaign dynamic at work in the Fiserv Forum. Former Obama Green Jobs Czar and onetime organizer of the Maoist organization STORM (Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement) Van Jones, now a CNN commentator, said, “The last time I was at a convention that felt like this was Obama 2008. There’s something happening.”

But not every Democrat shared his enthusiasm. Fellow Obama administration alumnus David Axelrod called Trump’s speech “the first good thing that’s happened to Democrats in the last three weeks.” Axelrod went on to blame political violence such as last weekend’s assassination attempt on Donald Trump’s rhetoric, mentioning the January 6 riot. “He has done his share to put us where we are,” Axelrod declared.

The Democratic Party formally accused the Republican convention of radicalism but cited promises and policies the president and vice president have not advocated or seemingly oppose. “Trump and Vance are running on the dangerous Project 2025 agenda to put tax cuts for billionaires above lowering costs for working people, outlaw abortion, and threaten other basic rights, and put our democracy at risk,” alleged DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison. In fact, neither Trump nor Vance adopted every plank of the 900-page-plus Project 2025. They have not threatened to repeal fundamental rights such as religious liberty. And they have yet to endorse a single piece of federal legislation to protect unborn children from abortion.


Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Poll: GOP Voters Seek Strong Party Platform on Life, Family, Religious Freedom

As Republicans converge upon Milwaukee, Wisconsin next week to work out their party platform as part of the lead-up to the GOP’s national convention, it’s clear that the big question for delegates will be the issues. In recent days, some party officials have hinted at “paring down” the GOP platform, causing many to wonder which issues will be left on the table.

A new poll released today shows that the issues of life, the family, and religious liberty are still at the forefront of GOP voters’ minds. The survey, conducted by WPA Opinion Research, showed continued concern about these issues, which have been core to the Republican platforms for decades.

WPA put this question to 1,000 likely voters: “Leading up to 2024 the Republican Party Platform has included strong positions on unborn human life, strengthening the family, and religious freedom. Would these issues impact your vote this fall a lot, just some, not too much, or not at all?”

The poll found 62% of Republican voters said that the party platform positions on these issues would impact their vote (37% said it would impact it “a lot,” and 25% said it would impact it “just some”).

On the issue of life, the survey showed that 66% of GOP voters think that Republicans should keep (32%) or strengthen (34%) the party’s current platform position on the protection of unborn life. The 2016 Republican Platform contains a substantial statement on the life issue, including calling for a constitutional amendment protecting unborn life, and both federal and state protections for the unborn.

Regarding the issue of families and religious freedom, GOP voters likewise were not backing down. Of the likely Republican voters, 74% said that the party should either keep the current positions (23%) or adopt a stronger position (51%).

The polling was commissioned by FRC Action, which earlier this week launched its Platform Integrity Project to influence the platform committee to keep or strengthen its conservative planks. FRC Action Chairman Tony Perkins, who will also be serving as a delegate from Louisiana to the Republican Platform Committee, made these comments about the polling:

“This survey demonstrates a bold, clearly articulated platform that continues to embrace life, promotes the family, and defends religious freedom matters to voters.

“The platform not only gives insight to voters, it gives direction to Republican elected officials. According to research by Dr. Lee Payne, the parties follow their platforms. Between 1980 and 2004, Republican lawmakers followed their platform 82 percent of the time.

“As Ronald Reagan noted, ‘There are cynics who say that a party platform is something that no one bothers to read, and it doesn’t very often amount to much.’ But he said ‘a banner of bold unmistakable colors with no pale pastels’ would reveal the difference between Republicans and the other party.

“America is in an unprecedented place of moral and cultural confusion and is in dire need of leadership and moral clarity. The Republican Party must once again communicate a clear and hopeful contrast between the parties by painting a message for voters on the foundational issues — life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — not in pale pastels but in bright, bold colors.”

The Republican Platform Committee will begin meeting Monday, July 8 in Milwaukee.


Jared Bridges

Jared Bridges is editor-in-chief of The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: Pro-Abortion Groups Ramp Up Spending ahead of Elections – But So Do Pro-Life Groups

EDITOS NOTE: This The Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Senator Graham: ‘If We Change Our Platform … We’re Going to Be in a World of Hurt’

The fireworks launched Thursday are expected to continue in at least one city — Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As Republican delegates descend on the site of the GOP convention this week, some have come ready for a fight. The news that Donald Trump’s team wants to “simplify” the 60-page platform isn’t sitting well with longtime conservatives who believe the document is the party’s anchor to core values. “Presidential candidates come and go,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) pointed out, but the platform “is foundational.” “There’s no reason to change it. Let’s stick with what got us here.”

Veterans of the platform debate, including Bill Gibbin — who drafted eight of the last 10 GOP documents — are increasingly troubled by what they see from the former president’s senior aides. Pointing to the secrecy with which this platform is set to be drafted, Gibbin wrote ominously in National Review, “Unfortunately, the 2024 GOP platform process is a throwback to 1972, when the Nixon White House, in its imperial-presidency phase, micromanaged everything. But even then, Nixon didn’t treat the delegates as if they were in a witness-protection program.”

Gibbin goes on to point to the history of the platform and its significance in assuring Donald Trump’s election. “The 2016 Trump campaign’s involvement with the platform text consisted of one meeting at the RNC for his representative, John Mashburn, to read the draft. He suggested two small deletions. Many would argue that the remainder of the document helped the candidate win in November by appealing to Evangelicals and others wary of his earlier behavior — an example of winning by policy commitments rather than personality.” At the end of the day, he insists, “For guidance on ensuring a good Republican platform, look to the past.” In other words, resist Trump’s pressure to “streamline.”

Like so many other Republican leaders watching the events in Milwaukee with concern, Senator Graham warns that radically changing the platform takes away an important, motivating contrast with Democrats for voters. “You try to say, ‘Here’s who I am as a Republican.’ And let’s talk about the life issue,” which, as most media outlets have pointed out, is the greatest source of contention for the party. “For over 40 years, we have stated as a platform, as a doctrine of faith, that an unborn child is a member of the human family and deserving protection under the 14th Amendment. … Democrats basically would allow abortion up to the moment of birth. They think the unborn child is a blob of cells. We believe it to be a member of the human family that is foundational to who we are,” he insisted to Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, a delegate at the convention, on Friday’s “Washington Watch.”

Graham pointed to the near-dozen GOP governors who won reelection in 2022 after signing strong pro-life protections. Despite the Left trying to “demagogue the abortion issue,” he said, “they won.” “So the narrative that being pro-life hurts you politically is a false narrative perpetrated by the liberal media, who wants us to be ashamed or afraid of embracing pro-life policies. … If you listen to the chattering class, the gun issue and the life issue hurts us. It does not. … We’re going to be in a world of hurt if we don’t stick with the pro-life community. We’re going to be in a world of hurt,” he repeated.

The South Carolinian used his own reelection campaign as an example why. “People give me money, and I appreciate it,” Graham said. “I raised $112 million in my last race, the highest in the history of the Senate, except my opponent, who raised $132 million. We had money from all over the country, $5 and $10, a bunch of money coming in. You know what got me elected by over 10 points? It [was] people who knocked on doors and made phone calls on my behalf, the people who believe in the sanctity of life … the activists. All the people who write these [big] checks,” the ones, he claims who think social issues hurt the GOP, “are not going to make one phone call, and they’re not knocking on one door.”

“Do not be ashamed of being pro-life,” Graham urged. “It is a responsible position to take. It is a position the American people will understand if you advocate it right. If you look scared and you act scared, you will lose no matter what the issue is. So be not afraid. Be pro-life.”

Perkins, who this week launched a major effort, the Platform Integrity Project, to safeguard the language of the GOP’s guiding document, strongly agreed. “We’ve heard this slogan ‘Making America Great Again,’” he told Graham. “But for the United States to be great again, we must first be good morally. We must have a moral foundation. So this platform must address issues like the sanctity of human life to defend the most vulnerable, the family, religious freedom — those things that are fundamental to a strong and prosperous nation.”

He also pointed to 2022 as a perfect example of what can happen when Republicans are “confident in who we are and we can defend the positions we have.” Ultimately, it “expose[s] the weakness in the policy positions of others,” he underscored, and “we win.” “The Democrats are the ones who have the extreme positions,” Perkins reminded everyone. “And when that is exposed, abortion up until the moment of birth at taxpayers’ expense, the American people get it.”

Another thing to remember, Graham emphasized, is that this will never be “just a states’ rights issue.” For one, the Left doesn’t treat it that way. “The Democratic Party is hell-bent on nationalizing the abortion issue [by] shutting down every pro-life law in every state, federalizing abortion rights so that you can have an abortion. Literally, late-term abortions will be legal. There’ll be no limits. All the exceptions consume the rule there. They want to create a national law allowing abortion-on-demand in all 50 states up to the moment of birth.”

Exactly, Perkins said. “So just so people are clear on this, it is only one party and an element of one party talking about this being strictly a state issue.” And it’s important for Americans to know, Graham chimed in, “Democrats are saying they want to [not only codify] Roe. … They go well beyond that. The law they introduced — we voted on it — goes well beyond what the Roe standard was. What are we trying to do?” he asked. “We’re trying to take it from the courts to elected officials.” But that includes elected federal officials, Graham argued.

“I support President Trump,” the senator said. “I want him to win. I’m going to help him [by doing] everything I can. He believes this is a states’ rights issue. He talks about the downside, the [horror] of late-term abortions. What I think we should be doing is saying, ‘Yes, it is a state issue, but it’s also about the child itself.’ So what I want to do is not change our platform,” which carves out specific roles for Congress in defending life. “If we change our platform and we buy into the narrative [that] being pro-life is bad politics … we’re going to be net losers, because the people who believe like we do are going to abandon us because we’ve abandoned what makes us different.”


Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This The Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Launch of Platform Integrity Project Seeks to Keep Conservative Planks ahead of GOP Convention

A new conservative coalition is mobilizing to ensure that the Republican Party’s platform maintains its strong commitment to socially conservative principles. On Monday, FRC Action partnered with a host of other conservative organizations to form the Platform Integrity Project, an initiative to ensure that when Republican delegates gather in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the Republican National Convention next week, they will write a party platform that includes, according to a press release shared with The Washington Stand, “longstanding pro-life, pro-family, and pro-Israel planks.”

The initiative is the first ever to track and score how delegates vote on the Republican Party’s platform. In addition to FRC Action, Platform Integrity Project partners include WallBuilders, Faith Wins, American Principles Project, Family Policy Alliance, AFA Action, Liberty Counsel Action, Pro-Family Legislative Network, The Family Foundation of Kentucky, Center for Arizona Policy Action, Frontline Policy Action, Maryland Family Action, Human Coalition Action, Palmetto Family Council, and the North Carolina Values Coalition.

“Party platforms matter. They state a party’s principles and their priorities,” FRC Action Chairman Tony Perkins, an elected member of the Republican National Committee (RNC) Platform Committee from Louisiana, said in a statement. He noted that research has found that, historically, elected Republicans follow their party’s platform over 80% of the time. “America is in an unprecedented place of moral and cultural confusion and is in dire need of leadership and moral clarity,” Perkins continued. “The Republican Party must once again communicate a clear and hopeful contrast between the parties by painting a message for voters on the foundational issues — life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — not in pale pastels but in bright, bold colors.”

“Voters need to see a contrast between the two parties on their policy priorities. Voters want and need a choice,” Perkins concluded. “The message to Platform Committee delegates is clear: preserve life and family values in the Republican Party platform so that social conservatives can continue to find a home in the GOP.”

FRC Action Director Matt Carpenter told The Washington Stand, “The party platform is an important document for voters to understand what policies a public official is likely to support if elected.” He continued, “The Platform Integrity Project is an effort to organize like-minded organizations, officials, delegates, and individuals to keep pro-life and pro-family language in the GOP platform. Drawing a clear contrast is important for Christian voters to see where the parties are on the issues that we care about.”

Since the U.S. Supreme Court dismantled Roe v. Wade in 2022, there has been a push from moderate Republicans to abandon the life issue altogether and remove pro-life commitments from the GOP platform. Even some more hardline conservatives, like former President Donald Trump, have taken a more tentative position on abortion. While Trump touts the pro-life record established in his first term and proudly takes credit for his Supreme Court appointees overturning Roe, he has repeatedly shot down any notion of using the federal executive branch to craft pro-life protections at the national level, instead saying that the issue should be left to the states. A memo from the Trump team has suggested that the GOP “streamline” its platform to be more “easily digestible.” Concerns have mounted among Republicans and conservatives that this “paring down” may result in tacit Republican support for abortion, same-sex marriage, and even transgenderism.

With the party platform debate taking place behind closed doors — a novelty, given that the debate is typically public — on July 8 and 9, the Platform Integrity Project commitment to “an open process that will help ensure the preservation of the GOP’s solidly conservative platform” will allow Republican voters to ensure that their party represents their values. The Platform Integrity Project’s website encourages Americans to sign up to pray for their delegates when they meet next week.

In a letter sent Monday and seen by The Washington Stand, Perkins suggested to RNC Chairman Michael Whatley that the platform deliberations not be a secret, noting that the “gag rule” is “unprecedented and appears to violate RNC rules.” Perkins quipped that the gag rule cannot be the will of Trump, especially since the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has himself been targeted by such “un-American” tactics from the Left. He added that the gag rule “heightens speculation that the GOP platform will be watered down to a few pages of meaningless, poll-tested talking points. This contrasts sharply with Ronald Reagan’s call for a party platform, ‘a banner of bold, unmistakable colors with no pale pastels,’ challenging the nation with a clear vision for the future.”

“These bold principles on life, family, and freedom have served the GOP well for over a half-century, starkly contrasting with the other Party and attracting many God-fearing Americans to the GOP,” Perkins wrote. “There is great concern that the foundational efforts of patriots like Phyllis Schlafly and countless others who have built the Republican Party into a majority, pro-life, pro-family, pro-ordered liberty party will be undermined by these unprecedented changes in the process.”

The letter was sent not only to Whatley, but to all RNC leadership. Perkins pledged that if the gag rule were not rescinded, he would elevate the issue to all GOP platform stakeholders. “This process will likely result in an outcome that jeopardizes the Party’s ability to continue being a stabilizing force for freedom in this nation, as it has been for nearly 175 years,” Perkins averred. “I respectfully request that you reject the imposition of the Gag Rule. If you decide to proceed, I formally request the RNC meeting minutes that recorded the motion and the vote, which allowed this unprecedented Gag Rule to be implemented.”

In comments to The Washington Stand, former Congressman and FRC Senior Vice President Jody Hice stated, “In the world of politics, few things are more important than the party platform. A written ‘platform’ delineates the differences between parties, and is the track upon which elected representatives generally vote. Moreover, its impact goes far beyond the federal government, it also provides guidance for the various state legislatures. Further yet, the voters themselves align with one party or the other based upon the stated values expressed in the platform.”

Hice concluded, “The importance of a statement that clearly identifies core values and the foundational worldview upon which the GOP will be guided cannot be over-emphasized. As the platform debate begins, we cannot afford to compromise or water down the essential elements of conservatism and morality.”


S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.