By MEREDITH DELISO and LIBBY CATHEY, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — Republicans opened their scaled-back national convention Monday with a roll call vote to formally renominate President Donald Trump to top the Republican ticket in November.
The overall theme of the convention, “Honoring the Great American Story,” will highlight “the promise and greatness of America” and Trump’s “leadership and what he has planned for the future,” a Trump campaign official said.
Each night will also have a sub-theme; on Monday, it is “Land of Promise.”
Before attention turns to primetime programming, the presidential nomination, seconding speeches and roll call will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Monday morning.
As previously reported by ABC News, Trump is expected to be a part of the programming for each night of the convention.
Here’s how the day is unfolding:
12:45 p.m. Trumps makes first RNC appearance
Just before Trump took the stage in Charlotte, Florida State Sen. Joe Gruters, the chairman of the Florida Republican Party, announced Florida’s 122 votes for Trump — despite them already being included in the tally. Though Trump was already well over the top when Florida announced its delegates, the RNC put up a graphic prepared for the moment when Trump secured the required number.
After suggesting his supporters chant “12 more years” instead of “four more years,” Trump declared the country’s economic recovery was in a “super V-shape” and fired off attacks against mail-in voting.
“This is the greatest scam in the history of politics, I think, and I’m talking about beyond our nation. They act like they are aggrieved by saying this, saying such a horrible thing, we are not patriotic by saying this. No,” Trump said. “We voted during World War I. We voted at the voting booth during World War II. The pandemic we are doing very well — and people know how to handle it — look at the crowds. They are doing very well. It’s very safe.”
Shouts of “four more years” break out as Pres. Trump begins remarks after being renominated at the RNC.
— ABC News (@ABC) August 24, 2020
Trump went on to accuse Democrats of using the pandemic to push a political agenda — while Democratic lawmakers back in Washington grilled postmaster general Louis DeJoy over controversial operational changes to the Postal Service which Democrats argue were designed to slow the mail and help Trump win the election.
“They’re using COVID to defraud the American people — all of our people — of a fair and free election,” rump claimed, though Democrats would argue it is the Trump administration misleading the public. “We can’t do that. Don’t let them give you the Post Office stuff.”
The president also said that “China will own our country” if Biden is elected, before repeating a familiar claim that he has done for the Black community than anyone.
“Nobody has done more for the historically Black colleges and universities than Donald Trump. Nobody, nobody has done more for the African-American community,” Trump said, with the exception of President Abraham Lincoln, he added.
Notably, Trump’s political opponent Kamala Harris, Democratic nominee for vice president, is the first HBCU graduate to be nominated for national office by a major political party.
Before he concluded his remarks, Trump again hinted that Democrats will take the election away — the same claim Democrats make about Republicans.
“This is the most important election in the history of our country. Don’t let them take it away from you,” he said.
12:15 p.m. Republicans reach threshold to renominate Trump for president
After Pence wrapped his remarks, the roll call vote continued with Nevada, whose 25 delegates technically put Trump over the top to have enough votes to once again secure the nomination.
Florida, Trump’s adopted home state, was the only state moved out of alphabetical order, which would have allowed for the state to put Trump over the top — but it was Nevada’s delegate on the screen when Trump surpassed the 1,276 delegate threshold to win the nomination.
Despite Florida not being seen at the microphone to announce the state’s 122 delegates, nor the secretary officially announcing a record of the votes, those votes were included in the RNC’s delegate tally, putting Trump over the top.
With Nevada,1,284 delegates have renominated Trump as the party’s nominee, surpassing the 1,276 delegate threshold to win the nomination.
The president is expected to speak briefly in Charlotte but will formally accept the nomination on Thursday night, when he delivers his speech from the White House South Lawn.
11:48 a.m. Trump touches down in Charlotte, Pence takes the stage
As Trump touched down in Charlotte, Vice President Mike Pence took the stage in the convention center to deliver remarks.
“It is a joy to be with you at the 2020 Republican National Convention here in North Carolina,” Pence said. “I heard there a unanimous vote a little bit earlier, and I’ll have more to say that at Fort McHenry on Wednesday night.”
Pence also teased Trump’s incoming appearance, saying, “You might just see a friend of mine at the Republican National Convention today because we wanted to say, ‘thank you."”
Pence’s speech was primarily a call to action to vote in November to preserve conservative values.
“This movement led our nation back in 2016. And I just know each and every one of you, we’re going to do your part this year to reelect this president and reelected Republicans with strong sound conservative principles every day,” he said.
11:00 a.m. Roll call vote to renominate Trump underway
The convention has begun a state-by-state roll call vote on the renomination of President Donald Trump.
After tests and temperature checks, 336 delegates representing 50 states, five territories and Washington, D.C., are participating in the process from inside the ballroom of the Charlotte Convention Center. They have been asked to wear masks and practice social distancing.
Trump and Pence are scheduled to land in Charlotte around the time delegates plan to announce the results of their vote and are expected to make an appearance at the convention.
9:30 a.m. Republicans renominate Pence for VP
Delegates renominate Vice President Mike Pence with a unanimous vote Monday morning ahead of their roll call vote on Trump.
Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker delivered a brief speech making the nomination.
The vote received a standing ovation from RNC delegates.
Those scheduled to speak on the first night include:
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, R-La.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio
Nikki Haley, former ambassador to the United Nations
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel
Democratic Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones
Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA
Kimberly Guilfoyle, national chair of the Trump Victory Finance Committee
Mark and Patricia McCloskey, St. Louis couple that went viral after waving their guns at Black Lives Matter protesters
Donald Trump, Jr., eldest son of the president
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