The Story of the RNC: Everybody Who ISN’T There

UPDATE: On the subject of things that don’t exist at the RNC 2020, you can now include “a party platform.” The Republican Party stands for Trump…and that’s about it.

Via the Republican National Committee

Tim Alberta of POLITICO has more on how the Republican Party is no longer about anything:

I decided to call Frank Luntz. Perhaps no person alive has spent more time polling Republican voters and counseling Republican politicians than Luntz, the 58-year-old focus group guru. His research on policy and messaging has informed a generation of GOP lawmakers. His ability to translate between D.C. and the provinces—connecting the concerns of everyday people to their representatives in power—has been unsurpassed. If anyone had an answer, it would be Luntz.

“You know, I don’t have a history of dodging questions. But I don’t know how to answer that. There is no consistent philosophy,” Luntz responded. “You can’t say it’s about making America great again at a time of Covid and economic distress and social unrest. It’s just not credible.”

Luntz thought for a moment. “I think it’s about promoting—” he stopped suddenly. “But I can’t, I don’t—” he took a pause. “That’s the best I can do.”

When I pressed, Luntz sounded as exasperated as the student whose question I was relaying. “Look, I’m the one guy who’s going to give you a straight answer. I don’t give a shit—I had a stroke in January, so there’s nothing anyone can do to me to make my life suck,” he said. “I’ve tried to give you an answer and I can’t do it. You can ask it any different way. But I don’t know the answer. For the first time in my life, I don’t know the answer.” [Pols emphasis]


The Republican National Convention officially got underway today with a rousing display of fist-shaking anger. This message from a Louisiana delegate should give you a good idea of the general tone for the week:

In case the video doesn’t work for you, the gentleman from Louisiana says, “Joe Biden is hiding in the dark, waiting to take the lives of our unborn babies.”

And, we’re off!

Colorado was represented early by Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley), who moonlights as the State Republican Party Chairman (or vice-versa). Buck had some very nice things to say about an imaginary White House:


Buck’s revisionist history might be the only words you hear from notable Colorado Republicans. The RNC lineup of speakers does include some odd choices, such as the St. Louis, MO couple — Mark and Patricia McCloskey — who got in trouble in June for waving guns at Black Lives Matter protestors, but not a lot of other recognizable names from the GOP’s recent past.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey

As Amber Phillips writes for The Washington Post, perhaps the most notable part of the RNC schedule is about who is NOT participating:

Not speaking for the second time at a convention nominating Trump is the only living past Republican president, George W. Bush — a break from tradition. (All three past Democratic presidents offered remarks at that party’s convention last week.)

We also won’t see a ton of Republican senators and House lawmakers who are running for reelection in potentially competitive races. Republican senators running for reelection from swing states for both the White House and the Senate — such as Colorado, Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia and Maine — won’t be making an appearance to speak on behalf of Trump.

That means Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) will not be making an official appearance. Gardner is tight with Trump, but that’s not really a winning message these days. As Phillips continues:

…many of these lawmakers are facing a difficult political reality in which Trump’s popularity is sinking in their states, largely because of concerns about how the president and his administration have failed to get the novel coronavirus pandemic under control. Voters also give the president poor marks on his handling of racial relations, which is unhelpful to senators representing increasingly diverse suburbs, especially in Southern states.

The conclusion is not to speak prominently at the president’s convention, which would almost certainly make it to their Democratic challengers’ TV ads. The one exception to this is Sen. Joni Ernst (R) in Iowa, who is in Republican leadership and facing a tough reelection but has apparently calculated that speaking will help her.

Normally these senators could use campaigning as an excuse for not being able to make it to the convention. But since it’s a convention where video feeds will be the norm, that excuse doesn’t work.

The rest of the lineup of speakers for the 2020 RNC is heavy on people named “Trump” and light on pretty much everyone else. Donald Trump, Jr. and his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, headline the speaking lineup for Monday; First Lady Melania Trump will speak on Tuesday, as will Trump offspring Eric Trump and Tiffany Trump; on Wednesday we’ll hear from Lara Trump, Eric Trump’s wife; and on Thursday First Daughter Ivanka Trump will introduce The Big Orange Guy himself.

Thursday won’t be the first appearance for President Trump, however; he’s literally going to speak every day of the convention, which is fairly unusual for a Presidential candidate in general. Of course, it’s also unusual — and possibly illegal — for a President to accept his party’s nomination from the grounds of the White House.

We’ll keep you updated if any Colorado politicos make noise at the RNC this week, but it appears that the plan for most is to stay as far away from Trump as possible.

25 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MichaelBowman says:

    Oh 2020, you incorrigible, rambunctious little scamp—what *won’t* you do!?

    (buckle up Moddy – even the white supremacists are jumping ship)

    Richard Spencer Backs Joe Biden, Says 'MAGA/Alt-Right Moment is Over'

    White nationalist Richard Spencer has said he will be backing Democratic candidate Joe Biden in November's election after previously distancing himself from Donald Trump.

    Spencer, who was one of the key figureheads of the alt-right movement, tweeted how he is "on Team Joe" on Monday, adding in a self-made campaign slogan, "Liberals are clearly more competent."

  2. JohnInDenver says:

    Who isn't there?  Well, lets start with …

    2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney & VP Paul Ryan
    2008 nominee John McCain (or any of his family) & VP Sarah Palin
    2000 and 2004 Republican President George W. Bush & VP Dick Cheney

    No former Republican House majority leaders. No former Republican national chairs.

    No former Republican Cabinet members.

    No Republicans who ran against Trump in 2016 or 2020. 

    I may be missing something, but I don't see a Republican billionaire in the mix, either.

    No national or state-wide Democratic leaders who oppose Joe Biden.

    Thursday night, apparently "most" Representative and Senators were invited to be in the audience at the South Lawn address of *resident Trump.  Should be interesting to see who is unable to show up.


  3. davebarnes says:

    I love how Kimberly Gargoyle said her mother was an immigrant.

    From Puerto Rico.

    • Genghis says:


      I’m guessing she didn’t mention that the Great Fat Fool loathes Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans.

    • Duke Cox says:

      Kimberly Gargoyle…👍

      What might have been an impassioned speech to a roaring, slavish, crowd, was nothing of the sort without the screaming crowd. Her words came across as an almost insane, hateful, rant, fueled by what I presumed was cocaine. Only to have that presumption reinforced during the loud, squealing, drug-animated performance of her paramour. The presidential larva was defnitely coked-up. 

      • RepealAndReplace says:

        Maybe she should have been the warm up act in Tulsa. Oh wait a minute, wasn't she en route to Tulsa when she was diagnosed with the Hoax?

        • NOV GOP meltdown says:

          I just love these soaring rah rah speeches by the likes of Guilfoyle and Gardner at rallies, where the best is yet to come, and you ain't seen nothin'  yet !

          No thank you.  I've seen more than enough, and I'll pass.

  4. Genghis says:

    On the subject of things that don’t exist at the RNC 2020, you can now include “a party platform.” The Republican Party stands for Trump…and that’s about it.

    Why go to the time and trouble of drafting, revising, debating, re-revising and adopting a platform when you can simply issue “I’m With Stupid” t-shirts and call it good?

  5. CDW says:

    Spencer's endorsement of Biden sounds like a kanye-style false flag operation. 

  6. RepealAndReplace says:

    Any word from Moderatus explaining what we are missing from the RNC's week-long shit show?

  7. kwtree says:

    OMFG. the Mango Maniac is presiding over a “naturalization ceremony” for 5 individuals colorfully dressed, from a carefully selected array of countries. There was one woman wearing a hijab – is Trump sure his base won’t freak?

    This is his goddamn campaign convention. Why is he conducting this business during it?  Is he trying to show that he’s no longer anti-immigrant? His actions (suspending immigration, denying asylum, separating families and jailing children at the border, trying to get rid of DACA protections, limiting migration from Muslim countries, stoking rhetoric that non-white immigrants are “terrorists”)

    belie the hopeful welcome message of the ceremony.

    UPDATE: Half of the participants in the naturalization ceremony had no idea that they would be used as part of a Republican campaign event. Also, the man that swore them in was an “acting” homeland secretary, so the oaths they took might have to be re-taken.


    Eric Trump spits when he talks. He claims his dad wants a mission to Mars – but how that works with defunding of general science education, lil Eric didn’t explain.


    • Duke Cox says:

      I think I just heard Eric quote Gandhi without citation. Plagarism runs in the family, I guess. Maybe I missed his cite…

      • kwtree says:

        No, Eric did quote Gandhi without attribution. Strange days. We’ll have to see who Melania copies in her speech.

        So far, her speech seems original. She’s also the only one talking about COVID and saying the things you would expect – condolences, sympathies, praise for first responders and health care workers.

        She gives a shout out to the 19th amendment and women’s suffrage.

        She is telling her personal story about moving to America, but iwithout the nude modeling and exploitive shots, or how she skipped over others to become a citizen, because she was such a “genius”.

        Her take on race relations and addiction recovery was pretty different than all the other speakers.

        This is the most articulate and polished speech I’ve seen Melania deliver. Her Slovenian accent is very strong, but her grammar and pronunciation were almost perfect.

        She’s still lying her ass off about her hubby’s policies and character, but now she is truly an asset to his campaign.

  8. kwtree says:

    Pompeo, speaking from Jerusalem, just threatened to deport all Chinese diplomats in America as "spies". He also referred to COVID as "the China Virus".

    He claimed the ISIS caliphate is dead,and that our soldiers are on their way home. Did I miss something?

    How does a peace deal between Jerusalem and the United Arab Emirates equal "peace in the middle east"?


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