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In this image from video, Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., speaks from Washington, during the third night of the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020. (Courtesy of the Committee on Arrangements for the 2020 Republican National Committee via AP)

NASHVILLE — During a Wednesday night speech at the Republican National Convention, U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee praised American "heroes" such as volunteers and emergency room nurses while then accusing Democrats of invoking "cancel culture" by refusing to acknowledge members of law enforcement and the U.S. military in the hero category.

"Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and their radical allies try to destroy these heroes, because if there are no heroes to inspire us — government can control us," the fiery Brentwood Republican charged of Democratic presidential nominee Biden and running mate Harris.

But she said President Donald Trump "has stood up for our heroes every day. He's stood by our law enforcement, our military, and the freedoms we hold dear. He's made good on his promise to put America first. And I hope you will stand with me as we send him back for four more years with a clear message to the Democrats: you will never cancel our heroes."

Earlier, Blackburn said, "America is a nation of heroes. In times of difficulty, we're reminded that they're all around us," she said. "They're in line with us at the grocery store, and in the pew with us at church. They're the regular Americans who step up to volunteer and serve when we need them most."

They have "stood at the forefront throughout this pandemic," said Blackburn of the role nurses and others have played during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But she quickly praised "another kind of hero" she said represents "the kind Democrats don't recognize, because they don't fit into their narrative. I'm talking about the heroes of our law enforcement and armed services."

The former congresswoman, who won the U.S. Senate seat in 2018 with President Donald Trump repeatedly coming into Tennessee to campaign on her behalf, charged that "leftists try to turn them into villains. They try to 'cancel' them. But I'm here to tell you that these heroes can't be canceled."

Tennessee is "full" of heroes, Blackburn said, adding "after all, we're the Volunteer State. My dad served in the Army in World War II. When he came home he put on another uniform and for 30 years volunteered to help our underfunded sheriff's department."

"As hard as Democrats try, they can't cancel our heroes," Blackburn said. "They can't contest their bravery, and they can't dismiss the powerful sense of service that lives deep in their souls. So they try to defund them — our military, our police, even ICE — to take away their tools to keep us safe."

In nearly the same breath as her attack on Biden and Harris, Blackburn lashed out at those she said "close our churches but keep the liquor stores and abortion clinics open."

Alluding to national social and racial unrest amid police shootings of Black men, Blackburn charged that authorities "say we can't gather in groups at church, but encourage protests, riots, and looting in the streets.

"If the Democrats had their way, they would keep you locked in your house until you become dependent on the government for everything. That sounds a lot like Communist China to me —maybe that's why Joe Biden is so soft on them. Why Nancy Pelosi says that 'China would prefer' Joe Biden.

"Yeah, I bet they would," Blackburn added.

Contact Andy Sher at asher@timesfreepress.com or 615-255-0550. Follow on Twitter @AndySher1.

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