The Republican President blurted another controversial idea as he plans to challenge tradition by delivering his National Convention speech at the Southlawn of the White House, citing security and saving a tremendous amount of money as consideration for ditching Charlotte, North Carolina.
In a phone interview with Fox and Friends on Wednesday, the president said that his campaign is looking into the possibility of having his acceptance speech at the White House because it would be easiest from the standpoint of security and it does not require moving from one state to another. “We are thinking about doing it from the White House. It's certainly one of the alternatives. It's the easiest alternative, I think it's a beautiful alternative.”
This comment, however, did not escape from the critics of the President, especially now that we are months down on the November 2020 General Election. Ethics experts told CNN that this move of using the White House as a backdrop of the President’s speech suggests that he is willing to trample on norms. U.S Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said in an interview that Trump will again degrade the White House for using it in his political advantage. And for some legal and ethical reasons, the convention's gatherings at the White House won't happen. Some Senate Republicans expressed doubts over Trump's campaign decision because of the 1939 Hatch Act, a federal law that barred government employees in the executive branch from using official authority to engage in some forms of political activity.
The speech itself may not violate the act, but it can be compared to what was happening to authoritarian countries where government resources serve high officials, said by the former head of the federal government's ethics office. General counsel and senior director of ethics at the Campaign Legal Center, Kedric Payne, thinks that this is beyond the line and an “overt campaign act” by Trump.
The pandemic caused a major shift in the traditional campaign methods for this 2020 election, something we have not witnessed for the longest time. It repeatedly caused both political parties to make drastic adjustments on their convention plans and reinvent their campaign strategies. Recently, Biden’s camp announced that, along with the national convention speakers, they will not consider flying to Milwaukee, instead Joe will accept his party’s endorsement at his home state, Delaware. For the Republicans, as of press time, there has been no official word yet for the specific location, for they still weigh between the South Lawn and the Trump International Hotel in DC, to hold the convention celebrations; Washington Post reported.