Donald Trump on Friday vowed to “put America first” as he projected himself as the “law and order” candidate in the race for the president of a country rocked by shootings and attacks and sought Americans’ support while formally accepting the Republican nomination.
The 70-year-old real estate tycoon vowed to defeat ISIS and reiterated his resolve to build the wall along the Mexico border, stressing that immigration from countries that have compromised on terrorism should be immediately suspended.
While accepting the nomination “humbly and gratefully”, Trump promised to defeat ISIS and Islamic terrorism, but toned down his previous proposal of a complete ban on entry of Muslims in the country.
He blamed President Barack Obama and his former secretary of state, presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for problems the country faces as he painted a dire state of affairs in the US and the world.
Trump said his plan will put America First. Americanism, not globalism, will be his credo.
“As long as we are led by politicians who will not put America First, then we can be assured that other nations will not treat America with respect that we deserve,” he said amid thunderous applause.
“In this race for the White House, I am the law and order candidate,” he said as he accused Obama of sowing disunity along racial lines.
“The irresponsible rhetoric of our president, who has used the pulpit of the presidency to divide us by race and colour, has made America a more dangerous environment for everyone.
The “crime and violence that on Friday afflicts our nation will soon, and I mean very soon, come to an end,” he said.
“Beginning on January 20, of 2017, safety will be restored.”
Trump painted his rival from the Democratic camp Clinton as incompetent.
“This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction, terrorism and weakness,” he said.
Trump said if elected as the US President in the November elections, he will put in place an immigration system “that works, but one that works for the American people”.
“Tonight, I want every American whose demands for immigration security have been denied and every politician who has denied them to listen very closely to the words I am about to say. On January 21st of 2017, the day after I take the oath of office, Americans will finally wake up in a country where the laws of the US are enforced. We are going to be considerate and compassionate to everyone.
“But my greatest compassion will be for our own struggling citizens. My plan is the exact opposite of the radical and dangerous immigration policy of Hillary Clinton.
Americans want relief from uncontrolled immigration. Communities want relief,” he added.
“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. We must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place,” he said.
“We don’t want them in our country,” the New York billionaire said to huge cheers and applause in his speech during his party’s ongoing National Convention.
Trump had earlier called for a complete ban on Muslims immigrants, which had drawn widespread global condemnation.
He said to make life safe in America, they must also address the growing threats the country faces from outside.
“America: we are going to defeat the barbarians of ISIS. Once again, France is the victim of brutal Islamic terrorism.
“Men, women and children viciously mowed down. Lives ruined. Families ripped apart. A nation in mourning. The damage and devastation that can be inflicted by Islamic radicals has been over and over at the World Trade Centre, at an office party in San Bernardino, at the Boston Marathon, and a military recruiting centre in Chattanooga, Tennessee,” he said.
To protect the US from terrorism, he proposed a three pronged strategy.
“We must have the best intelligence gathering operation in the world. We must abandon the failed policy of nation building and regime change that Hillary Clinton pushed in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria,” he said.
Instead, the US must work with its allies who share the goal of destroying ISIS and stamping out Islamic terror.
“This includes working with our greatest ally in the region, the State of Israel. Lastly, we must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place,” he said.
Trump said anyone who endorses violence, hatred or oppression is not welcome in the US and never will be.
Underlining that an attack on law enforcement is an attack on all Americans, Trump said: “This Administration has failed America’s inner cities. It’s failed them on education. It’s failed them on jobs. It’s failed them on crime. It’s failed them in every way and on every level.
“When I am President, I will work to ensure that all of our kids are treated equally, and protected equally.”
He used his major primetime address as the opportunity to call for protecting the “LGBTQ community”, elevating the issue to a Republican nomination address for the first time.
Trump said he recently pointed out that NATO was obsolete, because it did not properly cover terror, and also, that many of its members were not paying their fair share.
“As usual, the United States has been picking up the cost. Shortly thereafter, it was announced that NATO will be setting up a new programme in order to combat terrorism — a true step in the right direction,” he said.