CLEVELAND — Donald Trump on Thursday formally accepted the Republican Party’s nomination of president, repeatedly promising to lead a “country of law and order” where “safety will be restored.”
“I am your voice,” Trump declared in his Republican National Convention speech at the Quicken Loans arena.
The New York businessman spoke of terrorism, illegal immigration and the recent shootings of police officers. He said the first task of the Trump-Pence administration would be to “liberate” the country from “crime and terrorism and lawlessness.”
“Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation,” Trump said. “The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country.”
Added Trump: “I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon — and I mean very soon — will come to an end. Beginning on January 20th of 2017, safety will be restored.”
Trump was introduced to the crowd by his daughter, Ivanka Trump. He appeared on stage to the theme song from the movie “Air Force One.”
At the beginning of his speech, Trump said: “I will present the facts plainly and honestly. We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore.”
He argued, “decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed” by the Obama administration’s “rollback of criminal enforcement.”
“Homicides last year increased by 17 percent in America’s fifty largest cities,” Trump said. “That’s the largest increase in 25 years.”
The audience in Cleveland broke into chants of “build that wall” when Trump talked about immigration.
“The number of new illegal immigrant families who have crossed the border so far this year already exceeds the entire total from 2015,” Trump said. “They are being released by the tens of thousands into our communities with no regard for the impact on public safety or resources.”
And talking trade, Trump said the county’s manufacturing trade deficit has reached an all-time high of $800 billion in a single year. “We’re going to fix that,” the candidate said.
Talking about President Obama’s “decision to put Hillary Clinton in charge of America’s foreign policy,” Trump said “this is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction, terrorism and weakness.”
“After four years of Hillary Clinton, what do we have?” he said. “ISIS has spread across the region, and the world. Libya is in ruins, and our ambassador and his staff were left helpless to die at the hands of savage killers.”
Speaking of domestic politics and economics, Trumps said: “Big business, elite media and major donors are lining up behind the campaign of my opponent because they know she will keep our rigged system in place.”
Portraying himself as a change agent — and Clinton representing the status quo — Trump said: “My message is that things have to change – and they have to change right now.”
Speaking of Clinton’s email scandal, Trump said: “And when a Secretary of State illegally stores her emails on a private server, deletes 33,000 of them so the authorities can’t see her crime, puts our country at risk, lies about it in every different form and faces no consequence, I know that corruption has reached a level like never before.”
“In fact, her single greatest accomplishment may be committing such an egregious crime and getting away with it – especially when others, who have done far less, have paid so dearly,” he said.
Discussing what he called his “America First” approach, Trump said: “My plan will begin with safety at home – which means safe neighborhoods, secure borders and protection from terrorism.”
Referring to his plans to restrict Muslim immigration, Trump didn’t call for a blanket ban but said “we must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place.”
“We don’t want them in our country,” he said.
Said Trump: “I only want to admit individuals into our country who will support our values and love our people.”