Speed Reads

RNC 2020

Trump's contradictory messaging on crime during RNC has critics puzzled

President Trump's pardon of Jon Ponder, a convicted bank robber who founded a non-profit organization that helps formerly incarcerated citizens, during the Republican National Convention Tuesday night received mixed reviews. On the one hand, observers noted that Ponder's story is a truly inspiring one that could go a long way with undecided voters. On the other hand, some viewers accused Trump of using Ponder's pardon as a "political prop."

But other analysts were puzzled by the RNC's messaging on crime in general. Ponder's pardon was meant to show the Trump administration's commitment to criminal justice reform, but many of the speeches throughout the first two nights have called for a tougher crackdown on crime and warned a Biden-Harris administration would be too lenient.

Similarly, while the convention has attempted to highlight Trump's relationship with Black Americans, including Ponder, some observers argue racially-inspired fear-mongering has been prevalent in the speeches so far, as well. Tim O'Donnell