Trump vows law and order if elected, sharply criticizes Clinton
Updated: 2016-07-22 11:24
Republican US presidential nominee Donald Trump formally accepts the nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, US July 21, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]
CLEVELAND - Donald Trump accused Democratic rival Hillary Clinton of a legacy of "death, destruction, terrorism and weakness" as US secretary of state and vowed to be tough on crime and illegal immigrants in a speech on Thursday accepting the Republican presidential nomination.
Trump's speech was designed to set the tone for the general election campaign against Clinton, an answer to Republicans who say the best way he can unify the divided party is to detail why the Democrat should not be elected on Nov 8.
As the crowd chanted: "Lock her up" for her handling of US foreign policy, Trump waved them off and said: "Let's defeat her in November." Thousands of supporters who were gathered in the convention hall roared their approval.
The remarks by Trump, 70, closed out a four-day convention that underscored his struggle to heal fissures in the Republican Party over his anti-illegal-immigrant rhetoric and concerns about his temperament. The event was boycotted by many big-name establishment Republicans, such as 2012 nominee Mitt Romney and members of the Bush family that gave the party its last two presidents.
Trump stuck to his hardline position on illegal immigrants, saying they were taking away jobs from American citizens and in some cases committing crimes. He accused President Barack Obama of inflaming racial tensions rather than calming them.
His speech was filled with some of the bravado he used to win the Republican nomination over 16 rivals.
"I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves," Trump said. "Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it."
In his speech, Trump offered little in the way of details about his policies but rather portrayed himself as a fresh alternative to traditional politicians, willing to consider new approaches to vexing problems and help working-class people who may feel abandoned.
Laying out his case against Clinton, he denounced nation-building policies that were actually put in place to some extent by George W. Bush, without mentioning by name the Republican president who launched wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Trump said nation-building pursued by Clinton in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria had made a bad situation worse. He blamed her for the rise of Islamic State militants and blasted her willingness to accept thousands of Syrian refugees.
"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. This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction, terrorism and weakness," Trump said.
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