Would Donald Trump Really Accept the GOP Nomination at Gettysburg?

Would Donald Trump Really Accept the GOP Nomination at Gettysburg?

Is that really a smart idea? 


President Donald Trump said he’s narrowed down the location for his Republican National Convention acceptance speech to two places, with one of them being the Civil War battleground in Gettysburg, Pa., a consideration that CNN anchor Erica Hill urged: it “leaves you scratching your head.”

"When we heard this, one of the first things I thought of was an interview that the President had at Normandy, and when we saw him there with all of those crosses in the background. And that really struck a chord with a number of people as well because it became so politicized," Hill said on "New Day." "To think that now we’re looking at Gettysburg, where the President has in recent weeks really taken it upon himself to do his best to shore up the Confederacy, right, that we keep Confederate flags and monuments to Confederate generals going. That, too, leaves you scratching your head."


The president took to Twitter to tease his followers, noting that the White House has another location it is considering. Trump said the final decision on the venue will be announced “soon.”

"It’s all a bit nutty," CNN presidential historian David Brinkley said, echoing Hill’s concerns. "Here is Donald Trump defending Confederate monuments staying up, refusing to strip the name of rogue traitors like Bragg from federal forts, now talking about speaking at Gettysburg ... remember, not giving a speech there about public policy, but self-aggrandizing himself, making that the center of the Republican National Committee, the middle of the battlefield and cemetery at Gettysburg. I can’t think of a worse idea."

The July 1863 battle in Gettysburg is often described by historians as the war’s turning point as the Union defeated Confederate General Robert E. Lee, marking the three-day fight one of the deadliest battles with over 50,000 casualties. Months later, President Abraham Lincoln delivered a famous address, praising soldiers who suffered death to maintain America’s “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from earth.”

The site could put major political heat on the president, especially since protesters have destroyed and toppled Confederate soldier statues because they believe they showcase white supremacy — actions that Trump has advocated against. 

Trump has upheld his defense of the Confederate statues and memorials when he slammed NASCAR for not allowing the Confederate battle flag at any of its hosted events and also vowed to veto any impending legislation that would remove names of confederate heroes or soldiers from any US military bases or installations.

"You don’t want to take away our heritage and history and the beauty, in many cases, the beauty, the artistic beauty. Some of the sculptures and some of this work is some of the great — you can go to France, you can go anywhere in the world and you will never see more magnificent work. And that’s a factor. It’s not the biggest factor but it’s a factor," Trump told Fox News in June, referring to the avid push to remove Confederate statues and memorials.

Rachel Bucchino is a reporter at the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and The Hill.

Image: Reuters.