Aug. 24, 2020, 9:25 a.m. EDT

Republican convention to forgo party platform in favor of blanket support for Trump’s agenda

Unusual move comes ahead of scaled-back convention, set to kick off Monday

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By Mike Murphy


AFP/Getty Images
A sign for the 2020 Republican National Convention is seen outside of the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday.

The Republican National Committee will go without a traditional policy platform at the upcoming GOP convention, saying instead that it “will continue to enthusiastically support the president’s America-first agenda.”

In a statement issued Sunday, the RNC said it adopted a resolution Saturday to go without a platform due to the difficulties presented by the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced the convention to significantly scale back.

“The RNC has unanimously voted to forego the Convention Committee on Platform, in appreciation of the fact that it did not want a small contingent of delegates formulating a new platform without the breadth of perspectives within the ever-growing Republican movement,” the RNC said.

Watch live: Trump and Pence to be formally renominated Monday morning

Read: Trump, Republicans prepare to counterpunch Biden at 4-day convention

The RNC said if it had been able to meet more traditionally, they “would have undoubtedly unanimously agreed to reassert the party’s strong support for President Donald Trump and his administration,” and resolved that “the Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the president’s America-first agenda” and “will adjourn without adopting a new platform until the 2024 Republican National Convention.”

It did not mention any specific policies or goals. It is highly unusual for a major party to entirely forgo a platform. Traditionally, party platforms are used to formally lay out the party and candidate’s ideas, beliefs and goals. In 2016, the GOP platform was 54 pages long . This year’s Democratic platform is 91 pages long .

The 2016 Republican platform came under scrutiny after the excising a plank calling for military aid to Ukraine in its effort to fend off Russian cross-border incursions.

From the archives (October 2019): How Trump came to see Ukraine as adversary rather than ally — a view that aligns with those of Putin and Orbán

The RNC claimed “the media has outrageously misrepresented the implications of the RNC not adopting a new platform in 2020.”

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In his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, Joe Biden tried to appeal to voters beyond his own party. WSJ’s Gerald F. Seib unpacks how Biden intends to run his campaign in the general election against President Trump. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Separately, Trump’s re-election campaign issued a second-term agenda Sunday night, which includes job creation, additional tax cuts, eradicating COVID-19 and “ending our reliance on China.”

The Republican National Convention is set to kick off Monday, culminating with President Donald Trump’s speech accepting the party’s renomination Thursday night. As was the case with the Democratic convention last week, speeches and events will be largely virtual.

See: Joe Biden’s speech to the Democratic convention — full text

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