DONALD Trump accused Democratic rival Hillary Clinton of a legacy of “death, destruction, terrorism and weakness” as United States 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 75-minute 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 U.S. 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.
When it was over, Trump was joined on stage by family members as balloons cascaded from above and confetti blew around the arena.
A CNN snap poll of viewers of the speech said 57 percent had a “very positive reaction” to the address and 18 percent a somewhat positive reaction, while 24 percent said it had a negative effect.
Social media sentiment toward Trump based on tweets that mentioned his name was slightly more negative than positive shortly after his speech.
The acceptance speech 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 presented a bleak view of America under siege from illegal immigrants, threatened by Islamic State militants, hindered by crumbling infrastructure and weakened by unfair trade deals and race-related violence.
Accusing illegal immigrants of taking jobs from American citizens and committing crimes, Trump vowed to build a “great border wall” against the border-crossers.
Trump, taking positions on conflict with traditional Republican policies, said he would avoid multinational trade deals but instead pursue agreements with individual countries. He would renegotiate the NAFTA trade accord linking the United States, Canada and Mexico. He would penalize companies that outsource jobs and then export their foreign-made products back into the United States.
The New York businessman, who has never held elected office, filled his speech with some of the bravado he used to win the Republican nomination over 16 rivals, punctuating his rhetorical points by waving an index finger.