Politics

Here are the highlights from Night 3 of the Republican National Convention

Key Points
  • The third night of the Republican National Convention featured a keynote address by Vice President Mike Pence that highlighted the Trump administration's successes and attacked Democratic nominee Joe Biden. 
  • Pence's wife, Karen, also spoke, as did senior White House advisor Kellyanne Conway, who is leaving that role next week.
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VP Mike Pence: Truth is economic recovery and law and order are on the ballot

WASHINGTON — The third night of the Republican National Convention featured a keynote address by Vice President Mike Pence that highlighted the Trump administration's successes and attacked Democratic nominee Joe Biden. 

Pence's wife, Karen, also spoke, as did senior White House advisor Kellyanne Conway, who is leaving that role next week.

Trump's convention speech is scheduled for Thursday night, when he formally accepts the Republican nomination. The president has already spoken and appeared on numerous occasions throughout the convention.

Here are the top moments from Wednesday night:

Pence defends Covid-19 response, attacks Biden

Vice President Mike Pence addressed the convention from historic Fort McHenry in Baltimore. Pence's keynote speech contrasted the Trump administration's record with what he said America would look like under a Biden administration. 

"President Trump set our nation on a path to freedom and opportunity from the very first day of this administration. But Joe Biden would set America on a path of socialism and decline," Pence said.

"Every day, President Trump has been fighting to protect the promise of America. Every day our president has been fighting to expand the reach of the American dream. And every day President Donald Trump has been fighting for you. Now it's our turn to fight for him."

Pence, head of the president's coronavirus task force, defended the administration's handling of the pandemic.

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VP Pence: To fight coronavirus, Trump directed us to forge a seamless partnership with governors of both parties

"In our first three years, we built the greatest economy in the world. We made America great again. And then the coronavirus struck from China," Pence said. "We built hospitals, we surged military medical personnel and enacted an economic rescue package that saved 50 million American jobs," he said. "No one who required a ventilator was ever denied a ventilator in the United States."

The coronavirus has infected more than 5.8 million people in the U.S. — more than a quarter of the globe's reported cases — and killing over 179,000 as of Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Karen Pence speaks to military families

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Karen Pence: President Trump and VP Pence have been supporting military families on a significant scale

Second lady Karen Pence took the stage to deliver a softer message to voters and address the families of U.S. military service members.  

"The Pences are a military family. Our son, Michael, serves in the U.S. Marines, and our son in law, Henry, serves in the U.S. Navy," she said. "And one of my key initiatives is to elevate and encourage military spouses. These men and women, like our daughter, Charlotte, and our daughter in law, Sarah, are the home front heroes."

She then shared a handful of stories from military spouses and described their unique hardships.

"Military spouses may experience frequent moves, job changes, periods of being a single parent while their loved one is deployed — all while exhibiting pride, strength, and determination and being a part of something bigger than themselves," she said, before thanking these families for their service.

She also took a moment to thank health-care workers, teachers, first responders, mental health providers, law enforcement officers, grocery and delivery workers and farmers.

Kellyanne Conway's last hurrah

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Kellyanne Conway: President Trump picks the toughest fights and tackles the most complex problems

Conway, who on Sunday said she is leaving her White House role at the end of August, gave a speech that focused on how Trump has supported women in leadership roles.

"For decades, he has elevated women to senior positions in business and in government. He confides in and consults us, respects our opinions, and insists that we are on equal footing with the men," she began. "President Trump helped me shatter a barrier in the world of politics by empowering me to manage his campaign to its successful conclusion."

Conway addressed her work on tackling America's drug abuse crisis and the support she received from Trump in those efforts.

"When President Trump asked me to coordinate the White House efforts on combating the drug crisis, he said, 'This is personal, Kellyanne.' So many lives have been ruined by addiction and we'll never even know it because people are ashamed to reach out for help, or they're not sure who to turn to in their toughest hour," she said. 

Joni Ernst takes key Senate race national

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Sen. Joni Ernst: The Green New Deal would destroy the agriculture industry

Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, who recorded her remarks in a barn while flanked by a bale of hay and a tractor, spoke about Trump's support for farmers and slammed the Democrats' Green New Deal.

"If given power, they would essentially ban animal agriculture and eliminate gas-powered cars. It would destroy the agriculture industry, not just here in Iowa, but throughout the country," Ernst said of Joe Biden and the Green New Deal. Biden hasn't explicitly endorsed the proposal, which has been pushed by the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, but has called it a "crucial framework."

Ernst, the first female combat veteran elected to the Senate, has carved out a role for herself as an advocate for victims of sexual abuse in the military. This year, she faces a close reelection race against Democrat Theresa Greenfield.

Ernst also lauded the success of trade deals brokered by Trump with Japan, as well as Mexico and Canada. She did not, however, mention Trump's phase one trade agreement with China, which he has touted as being a win for American farmers.

Ernst added that during the coronavirus pandemic, Trump again turned to help farmers. 

"When the pandemic hit, President Trump heard us in our call for assistance for our farmers. Knowing we have an ally in the White House is important," she said.

Crenshaw calls U.S. 'country of heroes'

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Tex. Rep. Dan Crenshaw: We must become the heroes that we so admire

 Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas discussed his time as a Navy SEAL and called America a "country of heroes."

"Our enemies fear us because Americans fight for good, and we know it," Crenshaw said, adding that the Trump administration had defeated the ISIS caliphate and restored America's "might again."

"America's heroism is not relegated to the battlefield. Every single day we see them if you just know where to look," he added.

"It's the nurse who volunteers for back to back shifts caring for Covid patients because she feels that's her duty. It's the parent who will relearn algebra because there's no way they're letting their kid fall behind while schools are closed," said Crenshaw, of Texas.

His speech did not mention Trump by name, a rarity for the convention.

CNBC's Kevin Breuninger and Christina Wilkie contributed to this report.