Donald Trump “humbly and gratefully” accepted the Republican nomination for president Thursday night, pledging at the GOP convention to be a chief executive who puts America first by being tough on crime, immigration and terrorism.
“Together we will lead our party back to the White House and lead our country back to safety and prosperity and peace,” he said. “We will be a country of generosity and warmth, and also be a country of law and order.”
Speaking for 75 minutes, the New York businessman and reality TV star served up a now-familiar anti-establishment agenda. He aimed his remarks at those in the electorate fearful of polices to expand immigration and broaden America’s role in the global economy through trade deals. He also reached out to those unnerved by Islamic terror at home and frustrated by U.S. efforts to combat it overseas.
Trump also embraced conservative Republican priorities in Washington through pledges to repeal Obamacare and support gun rights. He also articulated a preference for Supreme Court nominees who share conservative views similar to the principles and judicial philosophy of the late Antonin Scalia.
But his most passionate argument centered around crime, particularly the racially fueled violence that has stunned the nation this summer with shootings by and of police.
“Americans watching this address,” he said, live in a “moment of crisis.” They have seen recent images of violence and “chaos in our communities.” Some have witnessed it or been victims.
Any politician who “does not grasp this,” he said, is “not fit to lead,” and that when he’s in office, “crime and violence” will end.
“Beginning on Jan. 20, 2017, safety will be restored,” Trump promised, noting that his blunt persona and a crackdown on crime will become the national standard led by the “best and brightest” from the law enforcement and the prosecutorial ranks.
“We cannot afford to be politically correct anymore,” he said in a swipe at the Obama administration’s more even-handed approach to addressing racial divisions.
He also pledged tougher approaches to immigration and terrorism, campaign boiler plates, and lashed out at Democrat Hillary Clinton as the candidate of a “rigged” system financed by big money and a globalist ideology.
To people living in the industrial Midwest and other areas slow to recover from the Great Recession and feeling politically disenfranchised, Trump thundered, “I am your voice.”
He also said he would stamp out Islamic terrorism. “We’re going to and going to win fast” through beefed up intelligence and working with Israel.
He also said the United States “must immediately suspend immigration” from countries that have been “compromised by terrorism” until a proven system of vetting them is in place.
“We don’t want them in our country,” he said, taking a whack at the U.S. policy of allowing refugees from war-torn Syria.
On the vexing issue of illegal immigration along the U.S. southern border, Trump said it was a problem that could be solved quickly.
“We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration, to stop the gangs and the violence and the drugs from pouring into our communities,” he said to wild applause. “Illegal border crossings will go down. They won’t be happening. Peace will be restored.”