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After officially winning enough delegates to become the GOP presidential nominee on Tuesday, Donald Trump took the stage Thursday at the Republican National Convention. In his speech — the longest acceptance speech since records started being kept in 1972 — Trump formally accepted the nomination and discussed some of the issues America is facing and how he plans on correcting them on his path to “Making America Great Again.” He mentions "attacks on police,” later explicitly listing fatal shootings of police officers in Dallas and most recently in Baton Rouge, “terrorism in our cities,” citing the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting where 49 people were killed as an example, the economy, and immigration. Trump also took a few digs at his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
Did I miss the speech, or is this a premature fundraising appeal? pic.twitter.com/2xjJx6InQJ— Julie Bykowicz (@bykowicz) July 22, 2016
“Together, we will lead our party back to the White House, and we will lead our country back to safety, prosperity, and peace. We will be a country of generosity and warmth. But we will also be a country of law and order.”
“Our Convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation. The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country."
On violence in America:
Trump said crime rates are up in addition to homicides. He gave a statistic saying homicides in America’s fifty largest cities are up by 17 percent—the biggest increase in 25 years. He discussed gun violence by singling out President Barack Obama’s hometown of Chicago. Trump said over 2,000 people have been shooting victims so far this year in Chicago and more than 3,600 have been killed during Obama’s presidency.
Trump's speech tonight says "safety will be restored." In fact, U.S. crime rates are at their lowest in 40+ years. pic.twitter.com/a5MAjyJ5BE— John Green (@johngreen) July 21, 2016
We are approaching the lowest-ever homicide rate in American history. pic.twitter.com/6il8Zp8rmm— John Green (@johngreen) July 21, 2016
On the African American community:
Trump noted four in 10 African-American children are living in poverty adding that 58 percent of African-American youth are unemployed. Later in his speech he blames these high unemployment rates, in both African-American and Latino communities, and lower wages on immigration. He brings up Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, and Ferguson, not to mention the police killings of black people that have happened in these cities, but to say: “Every action I take, I will ask myself: does this make life better for young Americans in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Ferguson who have as much of a right to live out their dreams as any other child America?”
On Hillary Clinton:
He said Obama’s decision to make Hillary Clinton in charge of foreign policy made America “less safe” and the world “less stable.” Trump mentioned how ISIS has risen during Clinton’s time in charge and that “Syria is engulfed in a civil war and a refugee crisis that now threatens the West,” among other things.
“This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction and weakness,” he said. “But Hillary Clinton’s legacy does not have to be America’s legacy. The problems we face now – poverty and violence at home, war and destruction abroad—will last only as long as we continue relying on the same politicians who created them. A change in leadership is required to change these outcomes. Tonight, I will share with you my plan of action for America.”
He also called Clinton a “puppet” after saying big donors are supporting her because they’re the ones that control what she does. Trump called Clinton's Emailgate her “greatest accomplishment” because she got away with it.
Clinton's campaign responded to Trump saying he was the voice of the American people.
You are not our voice, @realDonaldTrump.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 22, 2016
On terrorism in America:
Trump says safety in America can only be achieved by defeating ISIS bringing up the recent attack in Nice, France.
“The damage and devastation that can be inflicted by Islamic radicals has been over and over—at the World Trade Center, at an office party in San Bernardino, at the Boston Marathon, and a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.” He also included the Orlando Pulse club shooting saying the "LGBT" community was targeted and that as president he will protect the LGBT community from "the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology."
“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. I have been honored to receive the endorsement of America’s Border Patrol Agents, and will work directly with them to protect the integrity of our lawful immigration system.”
“By ending catch-and-release on the border, we will stop the cycle of human smuggling and violence. Illegal border crossings will go down. Peace will be restored. By enforcing the rules for the millions who overstay their visas, our laws will finally receive the respect they deserve.”
Trump also criticized Clinton for saying she would increase the number of Syrian refugees entering the U.S. He opposes this saying he would only accept people who "support our values" and "love our people." "Anyone who endorses violence, hatred or oppression is not welcome in our country and never will be," Trump said. He talked about being unable to "screen" Syrian refugees. In the past he's called for a database to track Syrian refugees entering the U.S.
Trump ended his speech saying: "To all Americans tonight, in all our cities and towns, I make this promise: We Will Make America Strong Again. We Will Make America Proud Again. We Will Make America Safe Again. And We Will Make America Great Again."
The speech faced an early interruption by Medea Benjamin of the anti-war group Code Pink. She unfurled a banner and chanted, "Build bridges, not walls," before being removed from the auditorium.
Trump was introduced by his daughter (and former star of The Apprentice) Ivanka Trump. She put a human spin on her father's often-times blustery persona. She also talked about his commitment to women, saying that he "will fight for equal pay for equal work." Her speech was well-received by many Republicans.
Others, however, were skeptical of her claims about her father's positions on equal pay.