California Senator and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) will be delivering the official Democratic counter-speech to President Donald Trump’s acceptance speech on Thursday night, as reported by The Hill.
Harris is set to give her speech from Washington D.C., and will allegedly denounce Trump’s so-called “failures to contain COVID-19 and protect working families from the economic fallout.” President Trump will be giving his speech accepting the Republican Party’s presidential nomination from the White House lawn, in the fourth and final night of the 2020 Republican National Convention.
The rather unusual and controversial move may be the result of recent rumors that Democratic insiders have been worried about presidential nominee Joe Biden’s failure to provide his own counter-programming for the Republican convention. During the entirety of the Democratic National Convention in the week before, President Trump made numerous campaign stops all throughout the key swing states in the Rust Belt, including Minnesota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, giving rally-like speeches to large, in-person audiences during the Democrats’ programming.
By contrast, the Democratic opposition has been mostly silent throughout the Republicans’ convention, which has garnered exponentially higher viewership than the Democrats’ event and has been widely praised for its optimistic tone, star-studded speaker lineup, and high production quality. Last night, Vice President Mike Pence gave his acceptance speech from the historic Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland, the site that inspired the national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner.
The decision to have Harris deliver the counter-speech is also indicative of the Biden campaign’s plans to feature Harris more prominently in the final months of the campaign, which draws further attention to Biden’s diminished role. Due to increasing questions about his mental health and age, Biden has largely remained in the basement of his home in Wilmington, Delaware, giving short and carefully-prepared interviews rather than campaigning in-person.