Trump pledges to restore law and order, 'make America strong again'
Trump paints Clinton as a puppet of wealthy donors and architect of disastrous foreign policy
Donald Trump accepted the nomination for the Republican Party to massive cheers at the party's convention in Cleveland tonight, promising to help restore law and order, renegotiate trade deals such as NAFTA and bring back manufacturing jobs in America.
Trump framed his candidacy in a 75-minute speech as necessary at a "moment of crisis for our nation."
"We will be a country of generosity and warmth, but we will also be a country of law and order," said Trump.
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He attacked Hillary Clinton and U.S. President Barack Obama on a number of fronts first established by speakers earlier in the convention: the Iran nuclear deal, the killing of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya and perceived failed policies with respect to the Syrian civil war and its related refugee crisis, and the emergence of ISIS.
"Not only have our citizens endured domestic disaster, they have lived through one international humiliation after another," said Trump.
Trump promised in his presidency "to defeat the barbarians of ISIS and defeat them fast."
Protester escorted out
The delegates reacted enthusiastically, with frequent chants of "USA! USA! USA!"
About 25 minutes into the speech, Trump's delivery was interrupted by a lone female protester, who tried to unfurl a banner but was escorted out.
Trump has forgiven over $45 million US in loans to his campaign, it was revealed this week, and only since the spring has taken outside donations in earnest.
He attacked Clinton's propensity for attracting Wall Street donors.
"She is their puppet, and they pull the strings," he said.
As the crowd, fiercely opposed to Clinton, broke out in its oft-used chant, "Lock her up," he waved them off, and declared, "Let's defeat her in November."
Trump racked up wins and support during the campaign with pledges to both limit immigration — particularly in the wake of mass shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., and Orlando, Fla. — and build a wall on the southern border with Mexico.
He repeated those calls on Thursday, with promises that haven't been supported by even some among the Republican party establishment.
"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," he said. "We don't want them in our country."
A recurring theme in his speech was the U.S. not getting enough out of its international treaties like NATO and its economic agreements. He promised to re-examine the Trans-Pacific Partnership and North American Free Trade Agreement deals and restore manufacturing and coal mining jobs.
"It is time to show the whole world that America is back – bigger and better and stronger than ever before," he said.
Trump wrapped up his speech, which clocked in at twice the length of Mitt Romney's in 2012, with a rousing pledge to "make America strong again."
"We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And we will make America great again. God bless you, and good night. I love you," he told the crowd, who were cheering on their feet.
Trump's 34-year-old daughter and trusted adviser, Ivanka, introduced the candidate. She delivered her remarks at the convention as family members looked on from box seats.
"For more than a year Donald Trump has been the people's champion, and tonight he is the people's nominee," she said.
Ivanka Trump praised her father's entrepreneurial and leadership abilities when introducing him, saying he was "colour blind and gender neutral" when it came to hiring and that the Trump organization had more female executives than male.
Unprecedented run to nomination
Trump's speech in Cleveland marked the culmination of an unprecedented run to the nomination in modern American times by several measures.
Trump vanquished 16 candidates in the field, the largest in a century in the U.S.
The unconventional candidate has been in the public eye for over three decades, best known as a reality TV show host or real estate and casino magnate.
But his brand of populism and vow to "Make America Great Again" led to wins in 37 states after an opening defeat in the Iowa caucuses. His supporters said they appreciated his blunt talk on the economy, immigration an on restoring U.S. leadership on the world stage.
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"My father is a fighter. When the primaries got tough — and they were tough — he did what any great leader does," said Ivanka Trump. "He dug deeper, worked harder, got better and became stronger."
Trump instigated exchanges more commonly heard in a schoolyard with his opponents, a handicapped reporter, Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly and former candidate John McCain during his campaign. He also shrugged off attacks about his Republican bona fides, going against the grain with support of gay marriage and some of Planned Parenthood's work.
If elected, Trump would be the oldest president at the time of first-term inauguration, at 70 years, seven months.
Trump's turn comes on the heels of a contentious speech from campaign rival Ted Cruz, who encouraged the audience to "vote their conscience," but refused to endorse Trump even in the face of vociferous pleas from the New York delegation.
Earlier, chants of "All Lives Matter" filled the arena during the speech by Mark Burns, a pastor from South Carolina.
Burns called on the Republicans to listen to the problems of people in disenfranchised communities in the country and re-invest in those communities. He says that more than anything, they want jobs.
Peter Thiel, Silicon Valley investor and co-founder of PayPal, threw his support behind Trump, saying it was "time to rebuild America."
Thiel, who is openly gay, pointed to inefficiencies and obsolescence at nuclear facilities and in government software and military technologies.
"We don't accept such incompetence in Silicon Valley and we must not accept it from our government," said Thiel.
With files from The Associated Press