Michelle Obama, John Kasich, coronavirus: How Republicans reacted to night 1 of the DNC convention – USA TODAY

As Democratic leaders, and a few Republicans, took the virtual stage for the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, President Donald Trump, his campaign and GOP leaders offered their critiques of the first virtual convention. 

Hogan Gidley, the Trump campaign’s national press secretary, denounced the entire event for offering what he considered to be an incomplete picture of Biden’s platform, which he argued was far left of mainstream America. 

“Democrats can try to conceal the dangerous truth with a Hollywood-produced infomercial, but they can’t hide the fact that the radical socialist leftist takeover of Joe Biden is complete,” Gidley said. 

Trump sent out a flurry of attacks on Twitter Tuesday morning. 

Here is a look at some of the Republican reaction to the opening night of the Democrats’ convention:  

Coronavirus

Blasting Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic was a running theme of the first night’s events and speeches.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, for example, said Trump “has put our lives and health in jeopardy” by attacking “doctors and scientists trying to protect us.” 

“Nero fiddled while Rome burned; Trump golfs,” said Sanders,who opposed Biden in the Democratic primary but has since backed the former vice president. 

Kristin Urquiza, who gained national attention with an obituary for her father in The Arizona Republic after he died from COVID-19, said her dad’s “only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump – and for that he paid with his life.” 

Gidley said the speakers failed to explain that Biden opposed the partial travel ban Trump imposed on China and Europe after the outbreak began, “which saved countless American lives.” 

“With history as our guide, if Joe Biden had been president, the coronavirus crisis would be dramatically worse,” Gidley said.  

On Tuesday, Trump pointed to the Obama administration’s handling of the 2009 swine flu pandemic, which killed 12,469 people in the U.S. over the course of one year, according to the Centers for Disease Control ad Prevention, to argue that Biden would have bungled COVID-19. The coronavrius has left more than 170,000 people dead in the U.S.

“Looking back into history, the response by the ObamaBiden team to the H1N1 Swine Flu was considered a weak and pathetic one,” Trump posted on Twitter. “Check out the polling, it’s really bad. The big difference is that they got a free pass from the Corrupt Fake News Media!” 

Michelle Obama 

The final address of the night featured a taped speech by former first lady Michelle Obama. 

She delivered a blistering review of Trump’s first term in office, saying instead of stable leadership, Trump offered “chaos, division, and a total and utter lack of empathy.” 

The portion of her speech that drew wide attention ended with a reference to Trump’s   response in an Axios interview to the COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.

“Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is,” she said. 

After her remarks aired, Trump retweeted reactions from Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who said his memory “of what life was like after the Obama presidency is much different” than Michelle Obama’s. 

‘It is what it is’:Trump says of rising coronavirus death toll as he insists outbreak is ‘under control’

“I remember a slow-growth economy, a weakened military, ISIS raging, Iran emboldened, China eating our lunch, businesses struggling, and out-of-control illegal immigration,” Graham said. “Those are not the good old days to go back to.” 

On Tuesday, Trump offered his own take.

“Somebody please explain to @MichelleObama that Donald J. Trump would not be here, in the beautiful White House, if it weren’t for the job done by your husband, Barack Obama,” Trump said. 

“My Administration and I built the greatest economy in history, of any country, turned it off, saved millions of lives, and now am building an even greater economy than it was before. Jobs are flowing, NASDAQ is already at a record high, the rest to follow. Sit back & watch!” he said in another tweet

John Kasich

The GOP critics were particularly tough on the current and former members of their own party who threw their support to Biden in featured speeches on Monday night. Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich drew particularly fierce ire.

“John Kasich did a bad job in Ohio, ran for President and was easy to beat, and now went to the other side desperate for relevance,” Trump tweeted of Kasich, who, along with Sen. Ted Cruz, was one of the last two candidates to drop out of the 2016 Republican primary against Trump.  

“Good Job by Chris C in exposing yet another loser!” Trump added, referring to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, who tore into Kasich on ABC News. 

Christie said it was telling that none of Kasich’s fellow Republican governors endorsed him in his 2016 primary bid against Trump. 

“And the reason they didn’t endorse him is because he’s a backstabber, and he’s an untruthful guy. And so, tonight, Republicans are going to look at that and go, ‘You can have him. Please, believe me, give us a break, get him out of our party, you take him for a little while,’ because on top of that, I’ve worked with John a lot. He’s exhausting.” 

Contributing: Michael Collins and John Fritze 

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