With a first-ever Republican Convention finale held outside the White House on Thursday night, President Trump and the GOP once again ignored Washington’s rules – and left Democrats fuming.
“Get off our lawn,” former presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., tweeted as Trump formally accepted the GOP nomination in a speech on the South Lawn.
The Republican Party brought together more than 1,000 spectators for the final night of its quadrennial gathering – the makeshift event prompted by concerns about the coronavirus.
JOURNALISTS CONDEMN LACK OF SOCIAL DISTANCING AT WHITE HOUSE RNC CLIMAX, INVOKE DEATH OF HERMAN CAINwhit
The party initially planned to hold a traditional-style convention in Charlotte, N.C., but ultimately decided against that, opting instead to have most of its speakers deliver their addresses from Washington’s Mellon Auditorium, just a short distance from the White House.
For Thursday’s finale, however, White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump and the president spoke to the crowd from a stage on the South Lawn.
Two large Trump campaign signs were posted on either side of the stage, irking Democrats who vented their frustrations on social media.
“My blood is boiling over political banners at the White House,” former U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri wrote. “Awful. Just awful.”
“Let’s be clear,” wrote former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, a former mayor of South Bend, Ind. “It is wrong and illegal to use federal property and taxpayer resources for partisan campaigning.”
“A @JoeBiden presidency cannot come soon enough,” Buttigieg added in another tweet.
Other Democrats seemed bothered that Republicans appeared to be less worried than them about the coronavirus. Few attendees at the White House event appeared to be wearing masks, and most of the spectators sat closer to one another than the recommended social distancing length of six feet.
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The GOP also appeared to flout the recommendations on previous nights, during a Wednesday event in Maryland featuring Vice President Mike Pence and during a Tuesday speech at the Rose Garden outside the White House featuring first lady Melania Trump.
“Is coronavirus gone? Is COVID-19 gone?” Biden campaign senior adviser Symone Sanders asked Thursday on a call with reporters, according to The Associated Press. “I didn’t see any masks or social distancing happening during the vice president’s speech last night. So, the reality is, there is a lack of leadership here.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.