• 72°

Johnson praises Trump acceptance speech

Congressman was among invited guests in select crowd

WASHINGTON, D.C. — When President Donald Trump accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for a second term on Thursday, the region’s congressman was in attendance.

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, whose district covers Lawrence County, was among the invited guests for Trump’s acceptance speech from the White House lawn, Ben Keeler, communications officer for Johnson, said.

Johnson released a statement on Thursday night following the speech, giving his reaction.

“I am proud to have witnessed President Trump’s acceptance of the Republican Party’s nomination for president earlier this evening at the White House,” he said. “President Donald Trump has earned four more years.”

Johnson, who initially backed Ohio Gov. John Kasich for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, came to endorse Trump in that year’s general election and has remained a supporter.

“For once, we have a president who actually kept the promises he made to the American people before he took office,” Johnson said of Thursday’s speech and the president’s campaign for re-election. “From jump-starting our economy and rallying every fabric of America’s exceptionalism and ingenuity to beat back the deadly COVID-19 virus, to cutting unnecessary regulations, reducing taxes, rebuilding our military and destroying ISIS, reforming outdated and lousy trade deals, blunting the opioid epidemic, protecting our gun rights, reforming the VA, leading the United States to energy independence, supporting school choice, standing with law enforcement and the rule of law, and more. When you cut through the noise of the mainstream media and look at the facts of what he and his administration have achieved since January 2017, the record of success is undeniable.”

Johnson focused particularly on the president’s economic pitch.

“And most importantly, he has stood up for the hard-working men and women of our great country, particularly those working blue collar jobs that big city liberal elites view with such contempt,” he said. “President Donald Trump has put Americans first since Day 1. He’s been a champion for rural Ohioans, and I’m proud to support him.”

Both the Democratic and Republican parties staged virtual convention these past two weeks, after plans for traditional, in-person conventions were called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Biden delivered his acceptance speech at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware.

Trump’s choice of the White House was a break from tradition from past presidents, who have chosen not to use the White House for campaign purposes.

Both parties had to seek out locations for the nontraditional approach to conventions this year and Trump’s audience will be a smaller, more select crowd than typical conventions, due the pandemic.

Trump had narrowed the choice of site for his speech to the White House or Gettysburg battlefield in Pennsylvania before making his decision.

Other speakers for the Republican convention this week included Vice President Mike Pence, first lady Melania Trump, Trump’s sons Eric and Donald Jr., U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, and Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. Many of these speakers have opted for a virtual, prerecorded speech, as many of the speakers at last week’s Democratic convention did.

The Republican National Convention was initially scheduled for Charlotte, North Carolina.

Johnson had originally planned on being in Lawrence County for an event on Thursday, but had to reschedule after receiving an invitation from the president.