Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination for president Thursday night, becoming the first woman in American history to accept the presidential nomination of a major political party and laying out a case for American voters to elect her in November.
During her speech to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, she said the country is at “a moment of reckoning,” presenting herself as the responsible choice for president instead of Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Clinton cited President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s most famous remark in a rebuke of Trump’s platform, saying “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
She later took a shot at a Trump comment from his convention in Cleveland last week, telling the audience they shouldn’t “believe anyone who says, ‘I alone can fix it.'”
She would later rip his lengthy speech, saying “he spoke for 70-odd minutes — and I do mean odd,” drawing laughs and cheers from her supporters in Philadelphia.
The former secretary of state, in wrapping up her four-day convention, acknowledged the gravity of the moment. She said the country must “keep going until every one of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves to have.”
“But, even more important than the history we make tonight is the history we will write together in the years ahead,” she continued.
Clinton praised the work of President Barack Obama, saying America is “stronger” because of his leadership. She also thanked Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, her main primary opponent, for having “inspired millions of Americans.”
The Democratic nominee also spent a good portion of her speech comparing the founding of the nation to the choice in 2016 between herself and Trump.
She said her primary goal as president will be to create jobs with rising wages.
“From my first day in office to my last,” she said. “Especially in places that for too long have been left out and left behind. From our inner cities to our small towns, Indian Country to Coal Country. From the industrial Midwest to the Mississippi Delta to the Rio Grande Valley.”
Clinton also made a point of mentioning how she’d appoint liberal Supreme Court justices and vowed the court would overturn the Citizens United decision related to campaign finance.
She promised to work with Sanders to make college “tuition-free for the middle class.”
And national security, she made the case that she has the proper temperament for the Oval Office while Trump cannot be trusted.
“You want a leader who understands we are stronger when we work with our allies around the world and care for our veterans here at home,” she said. “Keeping our nation safe and honouring the people who do it will be my highest priority. I’m proud that we put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program without firing a single shot — now we have to enforce it, and keep supporting Israel’s security.”
She added that she’s “proud” to stand by NATO allies against threats — including from Russia, a nation to which Trump has appeared sympathetic along the campaign trail.
Clinton also said she laid out a strategy to beat ISIS.
“We will strike their sanctuaries from the air, and support local forces taking them out on the ground,” she said. “We will surge our intelligence so that we detect and prevent attacks before they happen. We will disrupt their efforts online to reach and radicalize young people in our country. It won’t be easy or quick, but make no mistake — we will prevail.”
“Now Donald Trump says, and this is a quote, ‘I know more about ISIS than the generals do,” she continued, taking aim at the Manhattan billionaire. “No, Donald, you don’t.”
Continuing to lambaste Trump, Clinton said Trump doesn’t have the temperament to be president because he is “a man you can bait with a tweet.”
“Donald Trump can’t even handle the rough and tumble of a presidential campaign,” she said. “He loses his cool at the slightest provocation. When he’s gotten a tough question from a reporter. When he’s challenged in a debate. When he sees a protester at a rally. Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”
Clinton went directly after one of Trump’s biggest claims against her — that she will look to repeal the Second Amendment and take away guns from citizens.
“I’m not here to take away your guns,” she said. “I just don’t want you to be shot by someone who shouldn’t have a gun in the first place.”
Finally, in some of her sharpest criticism of Trump, she said there is no other version of the Republican nominee — “this is it.”
“For the past year, many people made the mistake of laughing off Donald Trump’s comments — excusing him as an entertainer just putting on a show,” she said. “They think he couldn’t possibly mean all the horrible things he says — like when he called women ‘pigs.’ Or said that an American judge couldn’t be fair because of his Mexican heritage. Or when he mocks and mimics a reporter with a disability.”
“Or insults prisoners of war like John McCain — a true hero and patriot who deserves our respect,” she continued. “At first, I admit, I couldn’t believe he meant it either. “It was just too hard to fathom — that someone who wants to lead our nation could say those things. Could be like that. But here’s the sad truth: There is no other Donald Trump. This is it.”
Clinton said “in the end,” the election comes down to something Trump doesn’t understand: “that America is great — because America is good.”
Trump, she said, is not “offering real change.”
“He’s offering empty promises,” she said. “What are we offering? A bold agenda to improve the lives of people across our country – to keep you safe, to get you good jobs, and to give your kids the opportunities they deserve. The choice is clear.”
Watch some of the best moments of the speech below:
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.