Politics

Republicans at RNC blame Biden for inflation. Economists say it’s misleading

Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

(MILWAUKEE, W.I. ) — Speakers at the Republican National Convention this week have faulted the Biden administration for putting the nation at risk from threats that include criminals, illicit drugs — and high prices.

“American families have been crushed by inflation,” Michigan Senate candidate Mike Rogers told the audience in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Tuesday. Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, described the “silent creep of inflation unleashed by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.”

Some economists who spoke to ABC News took issue with the blame placed on President Joe Biden as an overstatement of his role in the price spike. Instead, they said, the bout of rapidly rising prices emerged from a supply shortage imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine war.

Pandemic-era spending measures enacted by former President Donald Trump and Biden also contributed to the price spike, the economists added, but they differed on the share of responsibility that should be apportioned to each of the major party candidates.

“There’s a long list of reasons for the high inflation. At the top of the list is the pandemic and the Russian war,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, told ABC News.

Some of the inflation owes to the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan signed by Biden in 2021, Zandi said. But, he added, “It’s at the bottom of the list.”

The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Price increases have slowed significantly from a peak of more than 9% in June 2022, though inflation remains a percentage point higher than the Fed’s target rate of 2%. Even after that progress made in the inflation fight, cumulative price increases during the Biden administration continue to take a toll on consumers, especially the rise in costs for essential goods like food and gas.

Like so many economic problems, inflation emerged due to an imbalance between supply and demand.

Hundreds of millions across the globe facing lockdowns replaced restaurant expenditures with online orders of couches and exercise bikes. But the demand for goods and labor far outpaced supply, as COVID-related bottlenecks slowed delivery times and infection fears kept workers on the sidelines.

“The most important factor for inflation is the recovery from the pandemic,” Jeffrey Frankel, an economist at Harvard University, told ABC News. “The process of coming back took longer than expected, in particular the supply constraints.”

To supercharge the recovery, Trump and Biden enacted economic stimulus meant to support people who’d lost their jobs or faced other financial hardship. That stimulus helped bring about a speedy economic recovery from the March 2020 downturn, triggering a surge in demand and a blitz of hiring.

With too many dollars chasing too few goods, prices skyrocketed.

“Both Trump and Biden contributed to the fiscal stimulus that fed into the inflation,” George Selgin, senior fellow and director emeritus of the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives at the libertarian Cato Institute, told ABC News.

Jason Furman, a professor at Harvard University and former economic adviser to President Barack Obama, estimated that Biden’s American Rescue Plan added between 1 percentage point and 4 percentage points to the inflation rate in 2021, Roll Call reported. Michael Strain, of the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute, estimated that the legislation added 3 percentage points to inflation.

“It was irresponsible to do stimulus when the economy was well on its way to recovery,” Peter Morici, a professor emeritus at the University of Maryland’s School of Business told ABC News, faulting Biden’s stimulus more than Trump’s because Biden’s measure came when the economy was already heating up.

“Blame is falling where it’s due,” Morici added. “Biden does bear responsibility for the endurance of Covid inflation.”

Zandi, of Moody’s Analytics, disagreed. The measure did little to raise prices but helped sustain the strong job gains and robust economic performance that followed, he said. As far as inflation goes, Zandi added, “The American Rescue Plan is a sideshow.”

Some economists who spoke to ABC News noted that price increases bedeviled countries across the globe, some of which have suffered much worse inflation than the U.S. In Argentina, inflation has surged to more than 270%; in Turkey, it exceeded 75%.

“It’s important to realize that the bout of inflation is worldwide,” Frankel said.

While Biden should avoid wholesale blame for inflation, he should also command only partial credit for its reduction, economists said. The significant slowdown of inflation over the past two years owes in large part to an aggressive series of interest rate hikes at the Federal Reserve.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell was appointed by Trump to head the central bank in 2018. Despite a tradition of independence at the Fed, Trump pressured Powell to lower interest rates the following year. Biden, for his part, has largely refrained from commenting on the actions of the Fed.

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Politics

Biden said he might leave office ‘if I had some medical condition that emerged’

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(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden said in an interview airing on Wednesday that, should his doctors tell him he had a “medical condition,” he would consider leaving office and turning over power to Vice President Kamala Harris in a second term.

It is his latest explanation of what might cause him to step aside as a growing number of Democrats pressured him to do so.

“If there had [muffled] some medical condition that emerged, if somebody, if the doctors, came to me, said, ‘you got this problem and that problem.’ But I made a serious mistake in the whole debate, ” he told BET’s Ed Gordon n a preview clip of the interview set to air at 10 p.m. ET

The interview was done before the White House announced late Wednesday that Biden had tested positive for COVID-19, saying that his symptoms were mild.

Biden has now given several shifting reasons about what might make him decide to step aside.

He told ABC News in a July 5 interview after his poor debate performance debate that only the “Lord Almighty” might get him to drop out of the presidential race.

When ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked, “If you can be convinced that you cannot defeat Donald Trump, will you stand down?” Biden answered, “Well, it depends on .. on if the Lord Almighty comes down and tells me that, I might do that.”

In a news conference a week ago, he said he would stay in the race unless his aides told him he had no chance to win a second term.

“No, unless they came back and said, ‘There’s no way you can win.’ “No one is saying that. No poll says that,” Biden told reporters.

Also in the BET interview, Biden said, “When I originally ran, I said I was gonna be a transitional candidate, and I thought that I’d be able to move from this just pass it on to someone else. But I didn’t anticipate things getting so, so, so divided and quite frankly, and I think the only thing age brings a little bit of wisdom,” he said. “And I think I’ve demonstrated that I know how to get things done for the country, in spite of the fact that we [were] told we couldn’t get it done. But there’s more to do, and I’m reluctant to walk away from that.”

On Tuesday, he wholeheartedly endorsed Vice President Kamala Harris as not only a “great vice president” but so great that “she could be president of the United States,” he said while addressing the NAACP national convention in Las Vegas.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated, after the full interview aired, to reflect that Biden said he would consider stepping aside from a second term if he had a “medical condition.”

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Politics

Trump’s VP pick Vance opposes US aid for Ukraine, intensifying fear for Kyiv’s future

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(MILWAUKEE, W.I.) — Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance’s opposition to more U.S. aid for Ukraine is stoking anxiety among Kyiv’s supporters about sustained U.S. support and Ukraine’s ability to fend off Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

“I do not think that it is in America’s interest to continue to fund an effectively never-ending war in Ukraine,” Vance said during a speech in May, adding “we’ve done more than our fair share.”

Although Vance’s isolationist approach to foreign policy has even vexed members of his own party, he has candidly voiced his skepticism since the earliest days of the conflict.

“I gotta be honest with you, I don’t really care what happens to Ukraine one way or another,” Vance said in February 2022, amid an explosion of bipartisan support for country in the immediate aftermath of Russia’s invasion.

Two U.S. officials and a European official tell ABC News they see Donald Trump’s decision to pick Vance as his running mate as a clear sign the former president intends to double down on his “America First” vision if he wins a second term by disengaging from international concerns.

They expressed concern that if Trump, who has described Ukraine as a burden, is able to cut off aid to the country, Ukrainian troops may be unable to hold current lines and Kyiv’s position at any negotiation table would be severely weakened.

In April, Vance broke with Senate Republican leaders to vote against a foreign aid package that included nearly $61 billion for Ukraine, asserting Moscow’s threat to global stability had been overstated.

“Vladimir Putin is not Adolf Hitler. It doesn’t mean he’s a good guy, but he has significantly less capability than the German leader did,” Vance said in a speech on the Senate floor.

“If Ukraine thinks that it’s getting another $60 billion supplemental out of the United States Congress, there’s no way,” he later told reporters.

Vance has also defended his pessimistic outlook on Ukraine’s ability to triumph over Russia, calling himself a “realist.”

In an April op-ed in the New York Times titled “The Math on Ukraine Doesn’t Add Up,” Vance argued that the U.S. could not possibly provide enough munitions to Ukraine to turn the tides of the war and called Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s goal of restoring the country to its 1991 boundaries “fantastical.”

At the Munich Security Conference in February, Vance also said that focusing on Ukraine was distracting Washington from confronting other challenges such as China.

“There are a lot of bad guys all over the world. And I’m much more interested in some of the problems in East Asia right now than I am in Europe,” Vance said.

But despite Trump and Vance’s apprehension on assistance for Ukraine, many of their fellow Republicans have so far remained steadfast in their support.

In April, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a hawkish conservative, called Vance’s arguments against assistance for Ukraine “garbage.”

“I challenge J.D. Vance to go to Ukraine and get a briefing from the Ukrainian military and talk to the Ukrainian people,” he said in a televised interview.

In an interview with Punchbowl News earlier this month, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — one of Ukraine’s most influential allies on Capitol Hill — predicted that future support for Kyiv would depend not only on the outcome of the election in November, but also on whether Ukraine makes progress on the battlefield in the coming months.

“The conflict over the summer and how it is perceived to turn out is extremely important in answering the question inevitably coming up in democracies — can they win?” McConnell said.

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Politics

President Joe Biden has tested positive for COVID-19: White House

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(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden has tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms, according to the White House.

UnidosUS CEO Janet Murguía had also announced the diagnosis from the podium where the president was set to speak at the organization’s conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

Biden, 81, tested positive for COVID-19 earlier Wednesday, following his first event in Las Vegas, according to the White House.

“He is vaccinated and boosted and he is experiencing mild symptoms,” the White House said in a statement. “He will be returning to Delaware where he will self-isolate and will continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time.”

The White House said it will provide regular updates on the president’s status “as he continues to carry out the full duties of the office while in isolation.”

The White House also shared a note from Biden’s doctor, who said the president had upper respiratory symptoms — including a running nose and cough — and “general malaise” Wednesday afternoon.

“He felt OK for his first event of the day, but given that he was not feeling better, point of care testing for COVID-19 was conducted, and the results were positive for the COVID-19 virus,” his doctor said, according to the White House.

Biden has received his first dose of Paxlovid, according to his doctor, who noted that the president’s respiratory rate, temperature and pulse oximetry are normal.

The president gave a thumbs-up to reporters as he prepared to depart Las Vegas when asked how he was feeling and responded, “Good. I feel good,” according to the pool.

He was seen maskless boarding Air Force One in Las Vegas on Wednesday afternoon to head to Rehoboth, Delaware.

Biden also shared his COVID-19 diagnosis on X later Wednesday night, writing, “I am feeling good and thank everyone for the well wishes.”

“I will be isolating as I recover, and during this time I will continue to work to get the job done for the American people,” he said.

Biden previously tested positive for COVID-19 in 2022 and took Paxlovid then, the White House said at the time.

The president was slated to deliver remarks Wednesday afternoon at the annual conference for UnidosUS, the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, when Murguía announced from the stage that he would no longer be able to appear.

“Regrettably, I was just on the phone with President Biden and he shared his deep disappointment at not being able to join us this afternoon,” Murguía told the crowd. “The president has been at many events as we all know, and he just tested positive for COVID. So, of course, we understand that he needs to take the precautions that have been recommended, and he did not obviously want to put anybody at risk.”

“He said to tell my folks that you’re not going to get rid of him that quickly,” Murguía continued. “We’re going to have a chance to hear from him in the future directly. He’s just really sorry he couldn’t be with us.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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Politics

Schumer privately urged Biden to step aside in 2024 election: Sources

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(WASHINGTON) — According to multiple well-connected Democratic sources, President Joe Biden’s support from elected party leaders is crumbling.

As one person who has been defending Biden publicly since his debate performance said Wednesday, “Biden is going to see the whole house of cards come down soon.”

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer went to see Biden in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on Saturday. Shortly after the meeting, Schumer’s office put out a statement, saying only, “I sat with President Biden this afternoon in Delaware; we had a good meeting.”

The meeting didn’t get much attention as it happened shortly before the assassination attempt later that day on former President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania.

A knowledgeable source close to both men tells me Schumer had a blunt conversation with Biden, making the case it would be best if Biden dropped out of the 2024 presidential race.

When asked about this, Schumer’s spokesperson declined to comment on specifics of the meeting, saying only that “Leader Schumer conveyed the views of his caucus.”

Later, the leader’s spokesperson added: “Unless ABC’s source is Chuck Schumer or President Joe Biden the reporting is idle speculation. Leader Schumer conveyed the views of his caucus directly to President Biden on Saturday.”

Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke with Biden about a week ago, telling the president that she and other members of the Democratic Party are concerned about him staying in the race, a source confirmed to ABC News.

A source familiar with the matter tells ABC News that House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries has expressed similar views directly to Biden, suggesting he should drop out of the race.

Asked about that, a spokesperson for Jeffries told ABC News, “The letter sent by Leader Hakeem Jeffries to his House Democratic colleagues speaks for itself. It was a private conversation that will remain private.”

In that letter, dated July 12, Jeffries told House Democrats, “In my conversation with President Biden, I directly expressed the full breadth of insight, heartfelt perspectives and conclusions about the path forward that the Caucus has shared in our recent time together.”

Jeffries in the letter did not address whether he urged Biden to drop out of the race or to stay in.

“The President told both leaders he is the nominee of the party, he plans to win, and looks forward to working with both of them to pass his 100 days agenda to help working families,” said White House spokesperson Andrew Bates.

Biden continues to have strong support from some influential and powerful figures in the Democratic Party, including the Congressional Black Caucus and progressive leaders, including Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

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Politics

Who is Kai Trump? Trump’s granddaughter speaks at RNC

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(MILWAUKEE, W.I.) — Kai Trump, daughter of Donald Trump Jr. and granddaughter of former President Donald Trump, spoke at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night.

Kai Trump, the oldest daughter of Donald Trump Jr., addressed the delegates — and a national TV audience — just before her father.

“I’m speaking today to share the side of my grandpa that people don’t often see.,” she said. “To me, he’s just a normal grandpa. He gives us candy and soda when our parents are not looking. He always wants to know how we’re doing in school. When I made the high honor roll, he presented it out to his friends how proud he was of me.

“He calls me during the middle of the school day to ask how my golf game is going and tells me all about his. But then I have to remind him that I’m in school and I will have to call him back later,” she said.

“A lot of people have put my grandpa through hell and he’s still standing. Grandpa, you are such an inspiration and I love you. The media makes my grandpa seem like a different person, but I know him for who he is,” she said.

“He’s very caring and loving. He truly wants the best for this country and he will fight every single day to make America great again,” she said.

“I am honored to be speaking at the RNC at 9 pm (CDT),” she posted earlier on social media along with a photo of the former president and his vice presidential pick, Sen. J.D. Vance.

Kai Trump is the 17-year-old daughter of Donald Trump Jr. and his ex-wife Vanessa Trump. She is also the eldest of Trump’s 10 grandchildren.

As one of the former president’s grandchildren, she is no stranger to being in the spotlight. During the Trump administration, she attended events such as his inauguration and the White House Easter Egg Roll.

The 17-year-old is an avid golfer with social media accounts — including a YouTube page — dedicated to her passion for the sport.

Earlier this year, she posted on social media that she won the ladies club championship at Trump’s golf course in Palm Beach, Florida.

“Very proud of my game and where it’s heading but there is always room for improvement,” she wrote in the post.

Over the weekend, Kai Trump posted a photo of the former president pumping his fist after being shot at his Pennsylvania campaign rally, writing: “We love you Grandpa. Never stop fighting!”

In June, she posted a photo of herself with Donald Trump at what appears to be a Turning Point Action event in Detroit, Michigan.

Tune in to ABC News on Wednesday night for full coverage of the RNC, where you can watch Kai Trump speak.

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Politics

Biden held ‘tense’ call with group of House Democrats over concerns he can’t win

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(WASHINGTON) — On Saturday, roughly an hour before the assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump — President Joe Biden was in the midst of a heated phone call with moderate House Democrats.

The Zoom call, according to multiple sources, did not go well for the president.

The call was between the New Democrat Coalition, which includes a mix of nearly 100 moderate and some progressive-adjacent members, and President Biden, and focused mostly on members’ concerns about Biden’s ability to win the election.

One House Democrat on the call told ABC News that Biden was not prepared for questions, that he gave “rambling responses” without answering questions, and downplayed their concerns.

Members were largely dismayed with Biden’s presentation, lack of a strategy, and preparation for anticipated questions, according to sources.

He was also late to the call by about 30 minutes, per sources.

The call turned personal during what was described as a “tense” exchange with Colorado Democrat Rep. Jason Crow, per multiple sources.

Crow questioned Biden’s mental fitness and if his age is a “national security risk.” The president was “defensive” in his responses, sources say.

A member described to ABC News the exchange was “hard to watch” and detailed how Crow referenced voters’ concerns about Biden being “at the helm when they go to sleep at night.”

The conversation became personal when Biden mentioned Crow’s Bronze Star and attempted to bring up his son Beau, the member said. Two sources described Biden’s exchange with the former Army Ranger as “incoherent” and “unintelligible.”

One member suggested to ABC News that members on the call were left “aghast” after this particular exchange — with members shaking their heads, some with their hands on their faces in apparent shock.

One member confirmed to ABC News the accuracy of the following comments from Biden aimed towards Crow:

“You saw what happened recently in terms of the meeting we had with NATO. I put NATO together,” Biden said.

“Name me a foreign leader who thinks I’m not the most effective leader in the world on foreign policy. Tell me! Tell me who the hell that is! Tell me who put NATO back together!’ he said.

“Tell me who enlarged NATO, tell me who did the Pacific basin! Tell me who did something that you’ve never done with your Bronze Star like my son — and I’m proud of your leadership, but guess what, what’s happening, we’ve got Korea and Japan working together, I put Aukus together, anyway!” he said.

“Things are in chaos, and I’m bringing some order to it. And again, find me a world leader who’s an ally of ours who doesn’t think I’m the most respected person they’ve ever—” he said.

Biden also called on members of Congress to do a “better job” of promoting his successes, implying their lack of support was somehow the reason for his eroding electoral standing, according to a source.

According to a source, the call was controlled by the Biden team and ended before members could ask questions. Biden told members he had to go to Mass.

Sources told ABC News that were it not for the assassination attempt against the former president, multiple Democrats were potentially ready to call for Biden to step aside after the call ended.

The next day — on Sunday — Crow appeared on television, saying the conversation with the president and the New Dem Coalition was “robust.”

“Listen, you know, this is a tough business. There’s a lot at stake. Emotions can run high,” he said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“I think the president heard our message very clearly, and in fact he promised to come back to us with more information,” he added.

Several Democrats also released statements after the call commending the president.

New Hampshire Democratic Rep. Ann Kuster, chair of the New Democrat Coalition, said the conversation was “candid, respectful, and productive.”

“Moving forward we expect President Biden to do everything in his power to demonstrate to the American people that Democrats will keep the White House and flip the House,” she said in a statement.

The Biden-Harris campaign declined to comment but pointed to various social media posts from members supportive of the president.

The campaign also did not dispute the account of Crow’s exchange with the president.

ABC’s Mariam Khan, Gabriella Abdul-Hakim and Lauren Peller contributed to this report.

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Politics

These Milwaukee voters are undecided, and unenthusiastic, about Biden and Trump

ABC News

(MILWAUKEE, W.I.) — The Republican National Convention is bringing a hoard of die-hard Donald Trump supporters from across the country to Wisconsin, where some residents are echoing they’re support for the former president.

At Milwaukee Public Market, ABC News asked local voters who they plan to support in the 2024 election.

“Donald Trump, 100%. I’ve been voting for him since 2016, and I’ll keep doing it till he stays alive,” said Joseph Savaglio, who grew up in Milwaukee and has lived here for decades. “Because he hasn’t changed his stance one bit on anything he’s started with, and he’s going to stay the same way till he goes.”

Savaglio said the issues that matter to him most are the economy and border security.

Mary Jo McBurney, a born-and-raised Milwaukeean, also said she is all in for Trump.

“We need to balance our checkbook,” she said. “In Washington, they don’t care what they spend our money on. And it’s not their money. It’s the people’s money. And they just act like it’s theirs. It’s okay. Spend it however they want, and it’s not fair. And I think I’ve always thought a businessperson should run the country.”

But for other residents of the city, Election Day is still months away and they’re minds are not yet made up. These are the voters that both President Joe Biden and former President Trump will have to vye for in the critical swing state that was determined by just 20,000 votes in the 2020 election.

Wayne Beckes, said he has not decided who he will vote for in 2024, and believed both Biden and Trump were too old to be president and didn’t support Vice President Kamala Harris.

The lack of choices, he said, means he will either look to go “third party or have to knuckle down to figure out which one of the other guys is going to get it.”

What is he looking for in a leader?

“Somebody decisive. Somebody that wants to take control of situations that need to be taken control of and make quick decisions and get things done,” he said.

Beckes said his top concerns as a voter were funds being sent overseas, as he’d like to see that money spent helping Americans, as well abortion rights and gun control. He said he supports a woman’s right to choose and would like to see some form of gun control passed.

Atlas, a 23-year-old who just moved to the area, expressed similar frustration about Biden and Trump being the major candidates.

“It’s crazy,” she said. “I think it’s insane. I just think, I wish anything else was happening, any other presidential candidates were possible.”

As things stand right now, she said she was leaning more toward Biden.

“I don’t see a world in which I vote for Trump, ever,” she said. “Because he’s a felon, he is sexist, misogynistic, has said racist comments.”

But she said she believes both are too “old to be president.”

Endia Frazier, a young Black voter, said she was trying to do research on different candidates and wasn’t supportive of either Trump or Biden.

“The candidates we have is just not up to par to what the United States really needs honestly,” she said, adding that an ideal candidate is someone younger who can understand the current issues most Americans are facing and someone they want to celebrate.

“I don’t want to just not use my vote because my vote has been fought for through generations. So I know my vote is very important, but the candidates that are presented to me right now, they suck, honestly.”

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Politics

‘Fight, fight fight!’ has become the RNC rallying cry. Trump’s supporters explain why

ABC News

(MILWAUKEE, W.I.) — As Donald Trump made his way into the Republican National Convention on Monday, his first public appearance since the attempted assassination attempt on him, the delegates greeted him with thunderous applause.

Then came booming chants of what’s become a steady rallying cry — complete with raised fists — for the thousands gathered in battleground Wisconsin this week: “Fight, fight, fight!”

They’re inspired, of course, by the iconic moment when Trump returned to his feet after the shooting and, with blood streaming down his face, pumped his own fist in the air to those at his Pennsylvania rally and mouthed those three now-famous words.

“He put himself aside and he told us, not knowing how badly he was hurt, to keep fighting. And I thought, could I love this man any more?” said Laurie Schaefer, an Illinois delegate who said she was a Democrat until Trump ran in 2016, as she sat outside waiting to enter the second day of the convention.

Trump called for unity in the wake of the shooting, a marked shift in tone from his usual blazing rhetoric against President Joe Biden and Democrats. The former president said he is rewriting his acceptance speech for Thursday to emphasize bringing the country together.

But there’s still plenty of criticism of Democrats this week from key speakers. Sen. Ron Johnson, who later said the wrong speech was loaded into the teleprompter, called Democrats’ policies “a clear and present danger to America.” House Speaker Mike Johnson, too, said conservative principles were being “trampled under foot by the radical left,” and Gov. Ron DeSantis took shots at President Joe Biden’s administration being a “Weekend at Bernies” presidency.

So, what then do the words “fight, fight, fight” mean to some of Trump’s most loyal supporters? Do they clash with Trump’s new call for unity?

“Take back our country the way we feel it should be run,” said Randy Garber, a state representative from Kansas who is an alternate delegate. Garber then added, “Without violence, though.”

Tom O’Connor, a delegate from California who is a union carpenter running for city council, said being a Republican in the blue state means “everything is a fight.”

“So, for the president to literally say now’s the time to fight, it’s more of a war cry and we need to push, we need to get more and more conservatives in office to fix the wrongs that have been done to the American people,” he said.

O’Connor, when asked about Trump’s unity appeal and how it would change his campaign rhetoric, argued it’s Democrats who are still stoking division and that he didn’t believe Trump’s messaging would ultimately change much as a result.

“Then how do we become more unified?” ABC News asked.

“That’s a good question. I don’t have the answers, but I’m looking for them,” he said.

Most attendees who spoke with ABC News insisted they didn’t view Trump’s words of “fight, fight, fight” as calling for violence.

“We can’t give up. That’s what it means,” said Anna Villa, a guest at the RNC who drove 13 hours from New York to be in Milwaukee. “So, you know that we can’t be discouraged, that we have to really keep going. You know, it’s an encouragement.”

“It doesn’t mean to me like I have to go and shoot someone,” she said. “It means that we have to like, probably try to encourage some people that want to stay in and not go vote to get them out and vote for it.”

“I think what that means to me is that go get out the vote, stay diligent to your precinct committee role to help your neighbors, make sure they vote the whole ballot, make sure they vote for good moral values, because with good morality, we have more liberty,” said Clayton Taylor, an alternate delegate from Florida. “I don’t think it should be taken out of context.”

Matt Heilman, a state representative and delegate from North Dakota, said: “What I think of when he says that it’s just to continue on and push forward no matter no matter what. The state of the environment that you’re in, just keep pushing forward and you fight on and hope for a better tomorrow.”

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Politics

Biden seriously considering proposing major Supreme Court changes

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(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden is seriously considering proposing major changes to the Supreme Court in the coming weeks, including proposals for legislation to establish term limits for justices and an enforceable ethics code, according to a source briefed on the plans.

The president is also seriously considering calling for a constitutional amendment to eliminate broad immunity for presidents and other constitutional officeholders, according to the source.

These changes would resonate with the president’s liberal base and comes after outrage in his party over the Supreme Court’s overruling landmark decisions and ethics scandals involving Justice Clarence Thomas.

The plans would need approval from Congress and a constitutional amendment would need to pass even more hurdles.

The details were first reported by the Washington Post.

On Tuesday, in an interview with BET, Biden warned about what he believes a future Trump presidency would bring.

“There’s gonna probably be two more appointments to the court,” he said.

“There’s probably two people gonna resign or resign, retire. Just imagine a court if he has two more appointments on that — what that means forever,” he continued.

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