Don Jr. tries to flip the script on DNC attack lines

The younger Trump has emerged as a cultural emissary for his father, speaking against “woke” activism and signaling his appeal through anti-cancel-culture buzzwords. His book “Triggered” topped bestseller lists, and Trump Jr. presents a more internet-savvy version of his father’s brusque, boomer message. Through memes and incendiary social media posts, Trump Jr. exudes the pushing-the-envelope free speech ethos of his father’s base.

Trump Jr. often stands in for his father at campaign events, and he has become a fundraising machine for the president’s reelection campaign. His prominence in the conservative sphere, particularly among youth, has had a major impact on his life. Over the course of his father’s presidency, he has gone from a relatively low-key real estate heir to an icon of the right. A poll by Axios and SurveyMonkey revealed a considerable share of Republican voters supporting a Trump Jr. bid for the presidency in 2024.

Kimberly Guilfoyle, Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, has also played a major role in Trump’s campaign as his national campaign finance chair and delivered her own remarks largely mirroring those of Trump Jr.’s during the first night of the RNC. The couple presented an image of a power couple, becoming some of the more memorable speakers of Monday’s programming.

Trump Jr.’s Monday attacks reflected and reversed common themes from the DNC, which offered a scathing attack on the president as nurturing the country’s most bigoted sentiments and leaving behind working people.

Trump Jr. tried Monday to take the mantel of the party of tolerance for the Republicans.

“In the past, both parties believed in the goodness of America. We agreed on where we wanted to go. We just disagreed on how to get there,” Trump Jr. said. “This time the other party is attacking the very principles on which our nation was founded.”

Whereas Democrats put on a convention centered on Biden’s character and experience — making a display of his family-man decency — Trump Jr. praised his father as a health crisis hero with several of the campaign’s favored coronavirus talking points. The president’s pandemic response was a favored talking point at the convention, even though the U.S. has disproportionately more cases than other industrialized countries.

While Democrats had heralded themselves as the party of diversity and inclusion, Trump Jr. portrayed Democrats as only for the “rich and powerful” with a platform “designed to crush the working man and woman.”

Trump Jr. even evoked Barack Obama’s 2008 “Hope” campaign motif to portray his presidency as ineffective.

“If you’re looking for hope, look to the man who did what the failed Obama-Biden administration never could do and built the greatest economy our country has ever seen,” Trump Jr. said.

Some of the most memorable addresses from the DNC cast the November election as an existential question on American character. Speakers from Michelle Obama to Bill Clinton spoke of Trump as standing in the way of decency in politics and a government working for its people. But on Monday, Trump Jr. cast the election as a fight for preserving American morality under attack by Democrats.

“Unlike Joe Biden and the radical left Democrats, our party is open to everyone,” Trump Jr. said. “It starts by rejecting radicals who want to drag us into the dark and embracing the man who represents a bright and beautiful future for all.”

“Joe Biden is basically the Loch Ness Monster of the swamp,” he said.

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