Both the Republican and Democratic conventions gave speaking slots to grieving parents of a son killed in combat, but — according to MSNBC’s Steve Benen — Khizr Khan’s DNC speech was “memorable,” while Pat Smith’s RNC speech was “offensive.”
Smith, whose son, Sean, was killed in Benghazi, slammed Hillary for allegedly lying to her about the cause of her son’s death.
“In an email to her daughter shortly after the attack, Hillary Clinton blamed it on terrorism. But when I saw Hillary Clinton at Sean’s coffin ceremony, just days later, she looked me squarely in the eye and told me a video was responsible,” Smith said. “Since then, I have repeatedly asked Hillary Clinton to explain to me the real reason why my son is dead. I’m still waiting.”
Khan, a Muslim whose son Humayun Khan was killed in Iraq in 2004, slammed Trump over his proposed Muslim ban.
“Have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words ‘liberty’ and ‘equal protection of law,'” Khan asked Trump. “Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America — you will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”
Over at MSNBC, Benen portrayed the two speeches in two different lights.
Benen’s hot take on Smith’s speech was titled: “RNC manipulates the pain of a grieving mother for partisan gain.” When covering Khan’s speech 10 days later, though, Benen sang a different tune. “Khizr Khan’s words won’t soon be forgotten,” was how Benen covered Khan’s speech.
Smith’s appearance, Benen said, was “a spectacle so offensive, it was hard to even comprehend.” Khan’s speech, Benen said, “laid waste to Trump’s twisted understanding of patriotism.”
Writing about Smith’s speech, Benen argued, “Modern, major political parties, hoping to govern in a global superpower, probably shouldn’t choose to deliberately take their televised national convention to ‘a very dark place,'” quoting NBC’s Richard Engel.
Writing about Khan’s speech, Benen argued, “Americans heard from quite a few high-profile speakers at the two major-party conventions, but when it comes to sheer emotional weight and resonance, no one topped Khizr Khan.”