Donald Trump has officially accepted the Republican presidential nomination at the GOP National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.
In his speech at the Quicken Loans Arena on July 21, Donald Trump vowed to tackle multiple threats facing the US.
“The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end,” the New York billionaire told the Republican convention.
Donald Trump promised his presidency would usher in a new era putting America and ordinary people first.
His nomination has been clouded by the refusal of major party figures like Senator Ted Cruz to endorse him.
Ted Cruz, who was Donald Trump’s bitter rival during the primary contests, was booed off the stage by Trump supporters.
Other Trump opponents such as members of the Bush family stayed away from the convention altogether.
Donald Trump, who was written off when he launched his campaign a year ago, said he hoped his speech would ease tensions and unite the Republican Party.
Speaking for well over an hour, Donald Trump said the security of the country was under threat from Islamist radicals, undocumented immigrants and trade deals that failed American workers.
“We will lead our country back to safety, prosperity, and peace,” he said.
“We will be a country of generosity and warmth. But we will also be a country of law and order.”
Addressing the “forgotten Americans” who worked hard but no longer had a voice, Donald Trump said: “I am your voice.”
The Republican nominee attacked his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, at every opportunity, blaming the former secretary of state for “death, destruction and weakness”.
In his speech, Donald Trump presented his plan to “put America first”:
- Promising to build a “great border wall” to stop illegal immigration, gangs and drugs
- Accusing Hillary Clinton of proposing mass amnesty, mass immigration and mass lawlessness
- Saying that decades of immigration have produced lower wages for African Americans and Latinos
- Accusing President Barack Obama of failing US inner cities on education, jobs and crime
- Saying that nearly 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records were “roaming free” to threaten citizens
- Promising to end trade deals that had “destroyed [America’s] middle class”
- Promising that “Americanism, not globalism” would be the tenet of foreign policy
Donald Trump was introduced in glowing terms by his daughter Ivanka, who said her father valued women workers and that he would make quality childcare affordable.
Not long into his speech, the audience began calling for the jailing of Hillary Clinton, chanting “Lock her up!”.
Donald Trump promised to defeat Hillary Clinton in November.
In a departure from Republican orthodoxy, Donald Trump took up the theme of acceptance of gay rights, framing it in terms of American values.
“I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence… of the hateful foreign ideology,” he said to some cheers from the crowd.
“As a Republican it is so nice to hear you cheering for what I just said,” Donald Trump added.
In a key moment earlier in the night, Silicon Valley mogul Peter Thiel told the convention he was proud to be gay.
The chairman of the Hillary for America campaign, John Podesta, attacked Donald Trump’s speech as divisive.
“Tonight, Donald Trump painted a dark picture of an America in decline,” he said.
“And his answer – more fear, more division, more anger, more hate – was yet another reminder that he is temperamentally unfit and totally unqualified to be president.”
Texas Senator Ted Cruz caused a storm on July 20 when he pointedly refused to back the nominee, sparking outrage and boos.
He later defended his decision, saying he would not be a “servile puppy” to someone who had attacked his family.
Donald Trump has previously criticized the appearance of Ted Cruz’s wife, Heidi.
Donald Trump’s nomination has been a source of conflict within the party, with some like Ted Cruz questioning his conservative principles.
Others like former nominee Mitt Romney are concerned about Donald Trump’s strident tone and extreme stance on immigration.