Donald Trump has officially accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for president of the United States, pledging to champion “Americanism, not globalism” if he is elected to the White House and accusing his likely Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, of a legacy of “death, destruction, terrorism, and weakness.”
Addressing a raucous crowd in Cleveland, Ohio, on the final day of the party’s presidential nominating convention, the billionaire businessman and former reality TV star said the United States is facing a “moment of crisis” and vowed that his plan “will put America first.”
“‘Americanism, not globalism’ will be our credo,” said Trump, whose rise has jolted the American political system. “As long as we are led by politicians who will not put America first, then we can be assured that other nations will not treat America with respect — the respect that we deserve.”
He called for an “immediate suspension” of immigration from “any nation compromised by terrorism” until “proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place,” he said.
“We don’t want them in our country,” said Trump, a political outsider who has never held public office, to raucous cheers from the audience.
Trump has embarked on one of the more remarkable U.S. presidential campaigns in modern history, capturing the nomination of one of the two major parties while denouncing what he calls a “rigged political system.”
Along the way, he has faced accusations — both from political opponents and Republicans — of xenophobia and racism over his controversial comments about immigrants and Muslims while triggering deep divisions within the Republican Party that boiled over during this week’s convention.
The four-day event included a failed bid by anti-Trump delegates for a rule change allowing them to vote for alternative candidates, and a refusal by his main primary rival, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, to endorse him.
The only element that appears to have completely united all the party’s disparate factions has been their determination to defeat Clinton, whom he targeted with fierce denunciations in his July 21 speech.
He said that as secretary of state during President Barack Obama’s first term, Clinton spearheaded a foreign policy that led to the rise of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group and helped plunge Libya, Egypt, and Syria into chaos.
“After 15 years of wars in the Middle East, after trillions of dollars spent and thousands of lives lost, the situation is worse than it has ever been before,” Trump said, though he did not mention that the war in Iraq was started under Obama’s Republican predecessor, George W. Bush.
The final day of the convention was being staged under the motto Make America One Again, a play on Trump’s campaign slogan Make America Great Again. Speakers have included an African-American pastor and a Korean-American delegate, both of whom praised Trump as a candidate who will foster equal opportunity for all Americans.
Trump addressed the issues of race and law enforcement in his speech, portraying himself as a staunch law-and-order candidate following a spate of racially charged shootings in several U.S. cities. The shootings included deadly incidents in which African-American men were killed by police, as well as the slaying of six Dallas police officers by a black gunman earlier this month.
He accused Obama, the nation’s first black president, of stoking racial unrest with rhetoric he called “irresponsible.”
He accused the president of using “the pulpit of the presidency to divide us by race and color.”
Outside the convention hall, Cleveland’s Public Square on July 21 attracted hundreds of demonstrators — both supporters and opponents of Trump — amid a sizable police presence.
Trump also repeated his vow to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico to stem illegal immigration and drug smuggling.
“We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration, to stop the gangs and the violence, and to stop the drugs from pouring into our communities,” Trump said.
Trump’s speech came a day after he told The New York Times in an interview that as president, he would not automatically come to the aid of fellow NATO members in the Baltics if they were invaded by Russia.
Instead, Trump told the newspaper, he would first review whether such countries had “fulfilled their obligations to us” before deciding whether to come to their assistance.
In his July 21 speech, he repeated his criticism that many NATO member countries are “not paying their fair share,” though he called the military alliance’s stepped-up counterterrorism efforts a “true step in the right direction.”