Donald Trump “humbly and gratefully” accepted the Republican nomination for president in typical Donald Trump fashion. His speech focused on crimes committed by illegal immigrants and blaming the rise of ISIS and other problems on Hillary Clinton and Democratic President Barack Obama. He also led crowd chants of “USA” during his speech at the Republican National Convention.
Trump also took the time to reach out to voters that he hasn’t traditionally done well with, specifically by saying that he would help children in cities that have recently seen police violence against black men — including Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri — while speaking out against recent fatal attacks on police officers. He made a bald grab for Bernie Sanders supporters by predicting that they would vote for him because he would fix trade to benefit America.
Trump heavily criticized his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, by blaming the rise of ISIS and unrest in the Middle East squarely on her performance as Secretary of State. He also hammered her on her private email server. Trump warned the audience that illegal immigration, taxes, and trade would get worse if she were elected.
Echoing back to his earlier talking points about immigration, Trump told anecdotes of people who had been killed by undocumented immigrants while the crowd faithfully booed when he mentioned certain buzzwords like “sanctuary cities.”
These families have no special interests to represent them. There are no demonstrators to protest on their behalf. My opponent will never meet with them, or share in their pain. Instead, my opponent wants Sanctuary Cities. But where was sanctuary for Kate Steinle? Where was Sanctuary for the children of Mary Ann, Sabine and Jamiel? Where was sanctuary for all the other Americans who have been so brutally murdered, and who have suffered so horribly?
He then renewed calls for a ban on immigration from countries “compromised by terrorism” while saying that Clinton wanted an increase in refugee flows from such countries. “She proposes this despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from,” he said. “I only want to admit individuals into our country who will support our values and love our people.”
And of course, Trump pledged to protect the LGBT community from tragedies like what happened at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando back in June.
He also said that he would stand with the NRA in protecting the right to bear arms, unlike Clinton: “My opponent wants to essentially abolish the 2nd amendment.”
Trump stayed mostly true to his pre-written speech, choosing to go off-script at the beginning to brag about how many votes he got, as well as how he and his supporters proved the naysayers who didn’t think he could get the nomination wrong.
Above all, Trump positioned himself as the populist presidential candidate, implying that his opponent was out for herself in this clever way:
My opponent asks her supporters to recite a three-word loyalty pledge. It reads: “I’m With Her.” I choose to recite a different pledge.
My pledge reads: “I’M WITH YOU – THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.”
I am your voice.
Naturally, he ended with the pledge to “make America great again.”
The immediate reception among pundits (from both sides) was not positive. In fact, many of them are describing the darkest, most negative speech a major party nominee has delivered at a convention.
Folks are also tearing apart Trump’s spoken statistics on everything from trade to violent crime to the amount of votes he captured in the primaries.
Trump also didn’t tell the truth about Hillary Clinton’s Second Amendment stance.
And here’s Clinton’s succinct reaction.