Cleveland: A triumphant Donald Trump on Thursday accepted the Republican White House nomination and made a promise to fearful Americans that "safety will be restored" if they shun Hillary Clinton to make him president.
Amidst a standing ovation and chants of "USA, USA, USA", "Trump, Trump, Trump" at the Republican National Convention, the mogul-turned-TV-star-turned-politico said: "I humbly and gratefully accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States."
The Republican nominee for US president told party delegates that his foreign policy would put Americans first if he is elected to the White House in November.
"The most important difference between our plan and that of our opponents is that our plan will put America First. Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo," he said while addressing 2,000 raucous Republican Party activists in Cleveland.
He further cast himself as the "law and order candidate" and vowed to champion "people who work hard but no longer have a voice."
"In this race for the White House, I am the law and order candidate," he said, accusing US President Barack 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 color, has made America a more dangerous environment for everyone."
"I am your voice," he declared pointing into the cameras, promising a return to more secure times with "millions of new jobs and trillions in new wealth."
Trump accused Democratic rival Hillary Clinton of a legacy of "death, destruction, terrorism and weakness" as US secretary of state and vowed to be tough on crime and illegal immigrants.
Trump`s speech of more than an hour was designed to set the tone for the General Election campaign against Hillary, 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 November 08.
As the crowd chanted: "Lock her up" for her handling of US 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.
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.
He vowed to build a "great border wall." He said illegal immigrants were taking away jobs from American citizens and in some cases committing crimes.
"We will stop it," Trump said.
As president, Trump 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.
"We will never sign bad trade deals," Trump thundered. "America first!"
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.
"I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves," Trump said. "Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it."
In his speech, Trump portrayed himself as a fresh alternative to traditional politicians, willing to consider new approaches to vexing problems and help working-class people who may feel abandoned.
Laying out his case against Hillary, he denounced nation-building policies that were actually put in place to some extent by George W Bush, without mentioning by name the Republican president who launched wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Trump said policies pursued by Hillary in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria had made a bad situation worse. He blamed her for the rise of Islamic State militants and blasted her willingness to accept thousands of Syrian refugees.
"After 15 years of wars in the Middle East, after trillions of dollars spent and thousands of lives lost, the situation is worse than it has ever been before. This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction, terrorism and weakness," Trump said.
In a contest that pits two politicians viewed as unfavorable by large segments of the American people, Trump also accused Hillary, 68, of being the puppet of big business, elite media and major donors who want to preserve the current political system.
"That is why Hillary Clinton’s message is that things will never change. My message is that things have to change – and they have to change right now," Trump said.
Trump said he would speedily address the violence that has dominated headlines, such as the shooting deaths of five Dallas police officers earlier this month. He vowed to defeat "the barbarians of ISIS," the acronym for Islamic State.
"I have a message for all of you: The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end. Beginning on January 20, 2017, safety will be restored," Trump said. The next president takes office on January 20.
As he finished his speech, his family appeared on stage to greet him, as red, white and blue balloons were dropped from the ceiling of the convention hall and confetti sprayed around the crowd.
(With Agency inputs)