It was the culmination of four days of fantastic spectacle and charged rhetoric. In front of a frenzied crowd of delegates and alternates from every U.S. state and territory, such as Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, New York real estate mogul Donald Trump officially accepted the Republican nomination for president.
Speaking before Trump’s acceptance speech, Sugarloaf, Pennsylvania, delegate Rick Morelli had high hopes for what Trump would bring to the speech.
“I’d like to see two things,” he said. “I’d like to see the regular Donald Trump with how he got to where he is, which is his personality and not being politically correct. On the flip side, I hope he can show the presidential side of him, the leadership side of him.”
During his address, Trump emphasized his commitment to supporting police, pledging to make America a “country of law and order,” including securing its borders.
“On Jan. 20, 2017, safety will be restored,” Allen County (Ohio) GOP Chairman Keith Cheney said. “Our nation will immediately be respected when Trump puts his hand on the Bible.”
Trump also highlighted issues with the nation’s economy and infrastructure. To help bolster the economy, he promised to unlock restrictions on America’s energy industry, including coal and oil, as well as renegotiating what he called disastrous trade deals for America, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a deal he said is supported by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton .
Trump lambasted Clinton in other areas, asserting she showed “bad instincts” in her foreign policy decisions, including decisions leading up the death of four Americans in Libya in 2012, as well as the Iran nuclear deal. Trump promised instead to combat terrorism abroad while emphasizing protection at home. He has also pledged to combat illegal immigration, an issue he said is bringing “drugs and lawlessness” into the nation.
“The focus seems to be the safety of home and nation,” Pilot Mountain, North Carolina, alternate delegate A.J. Daoud said. “The primary focus seems to be domestic, I would say, to balance [Clinton’s] Secretary of State experience.”
While the campaign is now officially underway for the Republican ticket, the task is now before the Trump ticket to convince America to support him, a job that Cheney and other Republicans feel is obtainable for one major reason.
“Trump gets it,” Cheney said.
Lora Abernathy contributed to this report.