'You're going to hear amazing stories:' Lara Trump says RNC to prioritize hope, not fear, as convention continues

Wednesday, August 26, 2020
First lady's speech caps 2nd night of Republican National Convention
Melania Trump's speech caps 2nd night of Republican National Convention. Jonah Kaplan reports.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- There are few who know both the president and North Carolina as well as Lara Trump.

The Wilmington native and NC State grad is married to Eric Trump, one of President Donald Trump's five children. Like many of her in-laws, she's actively involved in the President's reelection campaign.

"A man that loves this country, that loves family, that didn't need to do this job but did it because he loves America," Lara Trump said of her father-in-law in an exclusive interview with ABC11. "The President often gets characterized as this big, bold, brash guy, and he is that when he needs to be, but there is another side to him that she can highlight and so many of us in the family can highlight and will highlight."

The people closest to President Trump -- his family -- are playing prominent roles throughout the Republican National Convention as the GOP works to reintroduce the president to American voters in the midst of the campaign and COVID-19 pandemic.

First lady Melania Trump is delivering Tuesday evening's keynote address before a small audience at the White House, while the president's daughter Tiffany and son Eric will be featured, too.

First lady Melania Trump is set to give the marquee address from the Rose Garden.

The focus on Trump's family comes as the first-term president labors to improve his standing in a 2020 presidential race he is currently seen as losing. Most polls report that Democratic rival Joe Biden has a significant advantage in terms of raw support; the former vice president also leads on character issues such as trustworthiness and likability.

"Saying this is the most consequential election in history is not an overstatement," Lara Trump told ABC11. "The two could not be more different -- Donald Trump and Joe Biden and the socialist Democrats in that party. So, it is up to us to make sure (voters) understand that."

Convention organizers had promised an uplifting and hopeful message the night before as the convention began, but that was overshadowed by dark and ominous warnings from the president and his allies about the country's future if he should lose in November.

"I think naturally there is fear that comes from the idea these policies the Democrats are proposing will be implemented in America," Lara Trump added, and she referenced proposals related to health care and climate change regulations. "It's our job to make that clear and make contrast very clear. I think this will be a hopeful, uplifting and inspiring convention."

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Regarding the first lady's speech, her daughter-in-law said Melania will speak on her own official initiatives.

"You're going to hear amazing stories of opioid addicts and the way we're still tackling in America. It touched her heart very deeply," she explained. Lara Trump also expects Melania Trump to offer personal words about the president, plus other anecdotes about the president behind the scenes.

"Hopefully she's able to show a softer side of this president," Lara Trump said. "He's a grandfather, he's a dad. He's like so many in this country."