U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher praised President Trump for rebuilding the military and ushering in a “sea change” in America’s foreign policy during an online panel ahead of the third night of the Republican National Convention.

The panel was tied to tonight’s convention theme, “Land of Heroes” and focused on largely national security and the economy.

Gallagher, who served seven years as an intelligence officer in the Marine Corps, said President Obama damaged the military. The Green Bay Republican called his foreign policy disastrous.

“Across the board, in every major geostrategic region of the world, American power had diminished, and without an effective hard power instrument to wield, America’s diplomatic promises were effectively worthless,” Gallagher said.

He contrasted that with Trump. He said Trump is rebuilding the military, made “courageous decisions,” including killing Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, and ushered in a “sea change” in the nation’s view of China by recognizing the Chinese Communist Party’s aggression.

He also praised a contract for the building of a new Navy frigate in Marinette.

“Marinette is going to be on the forefront of building the future of the Navy,” Gallagher said.

Also participating in the online event: U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Janesville, and Derrick Van Orden, a businessman and retired Navy Seal who’s challenging U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse.

Steil praised Trump’s approach to trade. He said Trump’s work on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, along with relaxation of regulations and tax reform, is reinvigorating manufacturing in the state.

He noted the U.S. had one of the best employment environments in generations under Trump before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

He said the key to recovery will be getting Wisconsinites back to work.

“And who better to do that than the president and conservative policies that grow the economy and get people back to work to good, family-sustaining jobs, better jobs and higher wages?” Steil said.

Steil, who represents Kenosha, also spoke about the violent protests in the city in the wake of the officer-involved shooting of Jacob Blake.

He said he spoke with Trump on Tuesday and suggested he call Gov. Tony Evers to see if he needs assistance. Evers rejected Trump’s offer to send Department of Homeland Security agents to assist Tuesday night, but Evers accepted other federal help following another night of property destruction and violence, including a shooting that killed two and left one injured.

“It’s a really serious situation playing out in Kenosha, and we cannot allow it to spin further out of control,” Steil said, who asked viewers to pray for the people of Kenosha.

Van Orden, who referred to Democrats as the party of “doom and gloom,” said Americans have become energized under Trump.

“It’s undeniable. The way that he’s been able to build an economy. The way that he’s been thinking about pragmatically opening our economy again and getting kids back to school,” he said. “Not the doom and gloom, but practical solutions from a businessman that’s been successful in the private sector and immensely successful in the public sector.”

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