Donald Trump officially accepted the Republican nomination on Thursday night at his party’s national convention in Cleveland, Ohio and delivered a speech vowing to defeat Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
At more than an hour and fifteen minutes, the speech was notable for being long by historical standards but otherwise contained largely standard xenophobic tropes about Muslims and immigrants in addition to his right-wing version of faux populism which bashed “free trade” agreements while making vague, yet angry, assurances he will somehow “make America great again.”
After cataloging a series of national shortcomings and Clinton’s alleged faults, Trump declared at one point that “I alone can fix this.”
“Is this guy running for president or dictator?”
—Sen. Bernie SandersFlummoxed by the rhetoric of Trump’s speech, and that comment in particular, Sen. Bernie Sanders exclaimed in a tweet: “Is this guy running for president or dictator?”
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Though apparently well-received by the party faithful within the hall, the speech was briefly interrupted at one point by social justice activist Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the anti-war group CodePink, who displayed a banner reading “Build Bridges, Not Walls” before she was detained and removed by security.
“Scapegoating immigrants and refugees – some of the most marginalized and powerless members of our society – for the problems we face as a nation is deeply racist,” said Benjamin in a statement. “I rose to disrupt Trump’s ‘victory speech’ tonight to make sure that no one, whether in the arena or watching in their living room, could overlook the horrifying racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and misogyny that is at the root of Donald Trump’s ideology. We want to build bridges not walls, and we want peace and love, not hate and war.”
A complete draft of the speech, obtained and published by Politico ahead of its delivery, follows: