Declaring America in crisis, Donald Trump pledged to cheering Republicans and still-skeptical voters Thursday night that as president he will restore the safety they fear they’re losing, strictly curb immigration and save the nation from Hillary Clinton’s record of “death, destruction, terrorism and weakness.”
Confidently addressing the finale of his party’s less-than-smooth national convention, the billionaire businessman declared the nation’s problems too staggering to be fixed within the confines of traditional politics.
“I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves,” Trump said.
The 71-year-old celebrity businessman’s acceptance of the Republican nomination caps his improbable takeover of the GOP, a party that plunges into the general election united in opposition to Clinton but still divided over Trump.
His address on the closing night of the convention marked his highest-profile opportunity yet to heal those divisions and show voters he’s prepared for the presidency. Ever the showman, he fed off the energy of the crowd, stepping back to soak in applause and joining the delegates as they chanted, “USA.”
As the crowd, fiercely opposed to Clinton, broke out in its oft-used refrain of “Lock her up,” he waved them off, and instead declared, “Let’s defeat her in November.” Yet he also accused her of “terrible, terrible crimes” and said her greatest achievement may have been staying out of prison.
He offered himself as a powerful ally of those who feel Washington has left them behind.