The U.S. Republican National Convention kicked off Sunday local time, causing controversies over the appropriateness of its guest speakers since President Donald Trump’s reelection camp has invited Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson as speakers. The Democratic Party and mainstream news media hold the stance that it is “unprecedented” that incumbent secretaries have been mobilized for a political party, accusing President Trump of blurring the boundary between state-running and political election.
Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Carson will show up on Monday and Wednesday, respectively, for the Republican National Convention, which will run until Wednesday, to garner support for President Trump. Secretary Pompeo, who is on a state visit to Israel, Bahrain, and Sudan from Sunday to Friday, will give a video speech, fueling the concern that it might undermine his public service. In particular, the AFP News pointed out that it is extremely unusual that the secretary of state, who is the top commander of U.S. foreign affairs, is giving a speech at a convention during an overseas business trip.
Former President George W. Bush also considered having Colin Powell, the then Secretary of State, speaking for his national convention to win black voters, but eventually backed out for fear of backlash. President Trump is already under fire for choosing the White House lawn as venue for his Republican National Convention speech.