(Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday cast the re-election of President Donald Trump as critical to preserving law and order and economic viability, warning that Democratic rival Joe Biden would set America on a path to socialism and decline.
Following are quotes from the night’s events, most of which were pre-recorded due to the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE:
“Last week, Joe Biden said: ‘No miracle is coming.’ What Joe doesn’t seem to understand is that America is a nation of miracles and we’re on track to have the world’s first safe, effective coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year. After all the sacrifice in this … year like no other – all the hardship– we are finding our way forward again.
“In the days ahead, as we open up America again, I promise you we’ll continue to put the health of America first.
“My fellow Americans, we are passing through a time of testing. For in the midst of this global pandemic, just as our nation had begun to recover, we’ve seen violence and chaos in the streets of our major cities.”
“President Donald Trump and I will always support the right of Americans to peaceful protest, but rioting and looting is not peaceful protest. Tearing down statues is not free speech. And those who do so will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Let me be clear: the violence must stop - whether in Minneapolis, Portland or Kenosha. Too many heroes have died defending our freedoms to see Americans strike each other down. We will have law and order on the streets of this country for every American of every race and creed and color.”
“The choice in this election has never been clearer and the stakes have never been higher. Last week, Joe Biden said democracy is on the ballot and the truth is our economic recovery is on the ballot, law and order are on the ballot. But so are things far more fundamental and foundational to our country. In this election, it’s not so much whether America will be more conservative or more liberal, more Republican or more Democrat. The choice in this election is whether America remains America.”
“We will make America great again, again.”
MICK MCHALE, PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF POLICE ORGANIZATIONS, A UNION GROUP:
“The differences between Trump/Pence and Biden/Harris are crystal clear. Your choices are the most pro-law enforcement president we’ve ever had or the most radical anti-police ticket in history.”
MARSHA BLACKBURN, U.S. SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE:
“Tonight, I want to talk to you about another kind of hero. The kind Democrats don’t recognize, because they don’t fit into their narrative. I’m talking about the heroes of our law enforcement and armed services. Leftists try to turn them into villains. They want to ‘cancel’ them. But I’m here to tell you these heroes can’t be canceled.”
DAN CRENSHAW, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE FROM TEXAS:
“We need to remind ourselves of what heroism really is. Heroism is self-sacrifice. It’s not moralizing and lecturing over others when they disagree. Heroism is grace, not perpetual outrage. Heroism is rebuilding our communities, not destroying them. Heroism is renewing faith in the symbols that unite us, not tearing them down.”
TRUMP ADVISER KELLYANNE CONWAY:
“A woman in a leadership role can still seem novel. Not so for President Trump. For decades, he has elevated women to senior positions in business and in government. He confides in and consults us, respects our opinions, and insists that we are on equal footing with the men. President Trump helped me shatter a barrier in the world of politics by empowering me to manage his campaign to its successful conclusion.”
LOU HOLTZ, RETIRED FOOTBALL COACH:
“Nobody has been an advocate for the unborn like President Trump. President Trump protects those lives. I trust President Trump.”
CHEN GUANGCHENG, CHINESE HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST:
“The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) is an enemy of humanity. It is terrorizing its own people and it is threatening the well-being of the world. In China, expressing beliefs or ideas not approved by the CCP - religion, democracy, human rights - can lead to prison. The nation lives under mass surveillance and censorship. The U.S. must use its values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law to gather a coalition of other democracies to stop CCP’s aggression. President Trump has led on this and we need the other countries to join him in this fight, a fight for our future.”
RICHARD GRENELL, FORMER ACTING DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE:
“That’s the Democrats. Between surveillance classifications, leaks and puppet candidates, they never want the American people to know who’s actually calling the shots. But with Donald Trump, you always know exactly who is in charge. Because the answer is you. You’re in charge. Not lobbyists, not special interests, not warmongers or China sympathizers or globalization fanatics. With Donald Trump and Mike Pence in the White House, the boss is the American people.”
SOUTH DAKOTA GOVERNOR KRISTI NOEM:
“I believe America is an exceptional nation founded on three principles: equality, freedom and opportunity. But today our founding principles are under attack.”
“It took 244 years to build this great nation, flaws and all. But we stand to lose it in a tiny fraction of that time if we continue down the path taken by the Democrats and their radical supporters.”
U.S. SENATOR JONI ERNST OF IOWA:
“Folks, this election is a choice between two very different paths. Freedom, prosperity, and economic growth, under a Trump-Pence administration. Or, the Biden-Harris path. Paved by liberal coastal elites and radical environmentalists. An America where farmers are punished, jobs are destroyed, and taxes crush the middle class. That is our choice.”
Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Peter Cooney
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