‘Land Of Opportunity’: Everything You Need To Know About Night 2 Of The RNC, And What To Expect From Night 3

Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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The second night of the Republican National Convention saw the party pitch its vision of America as the land of opportunity, with President Donald Trump and his supporters focusing on his criminal justice reform efforts, defending the unborn and fighting for small business owners.

Trump opened up Tuesday night’s events with a focus on his criminal justice reform efforts and issued a full pardon to  convicted bank robber Jon Ponder, who now devotes his life to helping former inmates lead successful lives. Trump and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf also conducted a surprise naturalization ceremony for five new U.S. citizens at the White House.

The RNC’s second night was marred somewhat after the party was forced to cancel a speech by “angel mom” Mary Ann Mendoza after the Daily Beast uncovered past tweets from her endorsing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

Los Angeles Rev. Norma Urrabazo blessed the night’s proceedings and opened by praying for the family of Jacob Blake, who was shot in the back by a police officer Sunday in Wisconsin. Blake’s hometown of Kenosha is currently suffering violent unrest in the wake of the shooting, and Urrabazo also prayed for the law enforcement officers keeping the peace in the city. (RELATED: ‘It’s Kind Of Hard Just To Sit At Home’: 15-Year-Old Kenosha Resident Cleans Up After Rioters Destroy Parts Of The City)

In keeping with the night’s theme, small business owners and farmers from the Midwest spoke about the opportunity they’ve experienced under the Trump administration, saying Trump was the only one willing to stand up to China’s trade policies.

Tuesday night was also the first to focus heavily on pro-life issues. Pro-life activist Abby Johnson spoke about her conversion from an ardent pro-choicer and Planned Parenthood employee to the founder of And Then There Were None, an organization determined to entirely ending abortion in the U.S.

Covington Catholic Student Nick Sandmann also delivered a speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial decrying cancel culture and the media, which “willingly” spread a false story about Sandmann’s interaction with a Native American protester last year.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the convention from halfway across the world in Jerusalem, Israel.

“The primary constitutional function of the national government is ensuring your family – and mine – are safe and enjoy the freedom to live, work, learn and worship as they choose,” he said. “Delivering on this duty to keep us safe and our freedoms intact, this president has led bold initiatives in nearly every corner of the world.”

Pompeo’s speech highlighted Trump’s actions to curb China’s economic influence over the U.S. and his recent success in negotiating a peace deal between the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

The second major speech came from First Lady Melania Trump, who highlighted her “Be Best” campaign, which focuses on ending bullying in schools and giving young people the tools to succeed.

“Helping children is not a political goal. It is our moral imperative,” she said.

The first lady also addressed the racial unrest in the U.S.

“We must remember that today we are all one community, comprised of many races, religions and ethnicities,” she said. “Our diverse and storied history is what makes our country strong, and yet we still have so much to learn from one another.”

“I also ask people to stop the violence and looting being done in the name of justice and to never make assumptions based on the color of a person’s skin,” she added. “Instead of tearing things down, let’s reflect on our mistakes, be proud of our evolution and look to our way forward.”

Thursday night is set to include Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, Ivanka and Lara Trump, Rudy Giuliani and a host of others. The keynote speaker will be Vice President Mike Pence as he once again accepts the Republican nomination for Vice President of the United States.

Tuesday night’s programming also featured speeches from:

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul

Eric Trump

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds

Tiffany Trump

Ex-Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi

You can watch Tuesday night’s entire program below.