Donald Trump is speaking to the Republican convention and has formally accepted the party’s nomination in a prime time speech to the nation.
The theme of the evening is “Make America One Again.” Questions about party unity were also swirling after a controversial speech by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz who was booed off the stage Wednesday night when he refused to endorse Trump in his convention remarks.
This is widely considered to be Trump’s most important speech to date.
11:35 p.m. — Trump ends his speech.
He is joined by his family and the family of running mate Gov. Mike Pence on stage as balloons are released and guitar music plays.
10:18 p.m. — Trump takes the stage.
Music swells and Trump applauds back to the convention crowd.
“I humbly and gratefully accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.”
“We will be a country of generosity and warmth. But we’ll also be a country of law and order,” he said.
“Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation,” he said, pointing to recent police killings and terrorist attacks.
But, he said, “Crime and violence that afflicts our nation will soon, and I mean very soon, come to an end. Beginning in Jan. 20, 2017, safety will be restored.
“The most basic duty of government is to defend the lives of its own citizens . . . it is finally time for a straightforward assessment of the state of our nation.”
“We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore,” Trump said. “So if you want to hear the corporate spin, the carefully crafted lies and the media myths, the Democrats are holding their convention next week so go there. Here at our convention there will be no lies.”
“Nearly four in 10 of African-American children are living in poverty . . . household incomes are down more than $4,000 since the year 2000 . . . our trade deficit is $800 billion last year alone, we’re going to fix that,” Trump said.
“I am your voice,” Trump said. “I have no patience for injustice, no tolerance for incompetence.”
Trump said homicides have jumped 17 percent in 50 major cities in 2015. Illegal immigrants are on the rise.
He then pivoted to foreign policy, where he said Obama must regret putting Clinton in charge.
“America is far less safe, the world is far less stable, when Obama made the decision to put Hillary Clinton in charge of America’s foreign policy,” he said.
“She’ll keep the rigged system in place. They have control over every single thing she does. She’s the puppet. And they pull the strings. That’s why her message is, things will never change. Never ever.
“My message is things have to change, and they have to change right now.”
He appeared to wave off chants of “Lock her up” from the convention floor and said “Let’s defeat her in November, OK.”
“This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton. Death, destruction, terrorism and weakness,” he said. “But Hillary Clinton’s legacy does not have to be America’s legacy.”
“A change in leadership is required to produce a change in outcomes,” he said. ‘Our plan will put America first.
‘The American people will come first once again.”
“My plan will begin with safety at home. There can be no prosperity without law and order.”
He said his reforms will be opposed by politicians in a “rigged system.”
Stopping for a protester who interrupted his speech, he said: “How great are our police and how great is Cleveland?”
“I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people who cannot defend themselves,” he said.
Trump predicted supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and other Democrats would support his campaign because of his vow to fix trade deals.
He said, “No one knows the system better than me” — and smiled as the crowd chuckled. “Which is why I can be the one who fixes it.”
Turning to law enforcement, he cited the killings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge said: “An attack on law enforcement is an attack on all Americans.”
“When I take the oath of office next year, I will restore law and order to our country, believe me,” he said, calling himself the “law and order candidate.”
Trump said President Barack Obama has “failed America’s inner cities” on education, jobs and crime.
Addressing the victims of terrorism, such as those killed in Orlando, he cited the LGBT community and pledged to “protect them” from the “hateful foreign ideology.”
Trump said, “As a Republican it is so nice to hear you cheering for what I just said. Thank you.”
He spoke of NATO and how “member countries have not paid their fair share and as usual the U.S. has been picking up the cost.”
He called for immediate suspension of immigration from countries where terrorism is rampant. “We don’t want them in our country.”
He said he would only allow in people who “support our values and love our people.”
“Anyone who endorses violence, hatred or oppression is not welcome in our country and never, ever will be.”
“Nothing has affected me more than the time I have spent with the mothers and fathers who have been victims” to the illegal immigrants “spilling across our borders,” he said.
“We are going to a build a great border wall,” Trump said “to stop the violence, to stop the drugs pouring into our communities.”
He pledged that when he takes the oath of office, “Americans will wake up to a country where the laws are enforced.”
“We are going to be compassionate and considerate of everyone. But my greatest compassion will be for my own struggling citizens.”
Speaking about trade deals, he accused Clinton of supporting trade deals that hurt America’s middle-class.
“We’re going to enforce all trade violations from countries that cheat,” he said and said he would renegotiate NAFTA to make it a “much better deal for America, and we’ll walk away if we don’t get that kind of deal.”
He said, “Our country will start building and making things again.”
“I pledge to never sign any trade deals that hurts our workers . . . we will never again sign any trade deals. America first again,” he said. “Instead I will make individual deals with individual countries.”
He promised “great relief” in taxes and a simplified tax code.
Moving into education he promised that parents would be able to send their children to “schools of their choice” under his administration.
Trump pledged to scrub Obamacare and help students with their debt, rebuild “our depleted military” and countries “we are protecting” will be asked to pay their fair share.
He cited a 10-point plan to help veterans receive adequate health care.
Trump pledged to appoint Supreme Court justices who will be true to the principals of the U.S. Constitution.
Trump thanked the evangelical and religious supporters.
“The support they’ve given me — and I’m not sure I totally deserve it — has been so amazing,” he said. He said he would work to repeal a provision introduced by President Lyndon B. Johnson that prevents churches and nonprofits from expressing political views, or else would lose their tax-exempt status.
He attacked Clinton on gun control. “My opponent wants to abolish essentially the Second Amendment. I on the other hand, received the early and strong endorsement of the National Rifle Association and will protect the rights of all Americans to keep their families safe,” he said.
He said “It is time to show the world that America is back, bigger and better than before.
“We don’t win anymore, but we are going to win again.”
Clinton’s campaign, he said, is pushing the slogan “I’m with her.”
“I choose to recite a different pledge,” he said. “I’m with you, the American people. I am your voice.”
“I am with you, I will fight for you and I will win for you.
“To all Americans tonight in all of our cities and in all of our towns I will make this promise, we will make America strong again, we will make America proud again, we will make America safe gain and we will make American great again.”
10:05 p.m. — Ivanka Trump speaks, introducing her father.
To a cover of “Here Come’s the Sun,” Ivanka walks to the stage.
She called her father “the people’s champion. And tonight, he’s the people’s nominee.”
She said, “Real change is only going to come from someone outside the system.”
“As the proud daughter of your nominee I am here to tell you that this is the moment and Donald Trump is the person to make America great again.”
“My father is a fighter,” he said. Referring to the primaries, she said, “He dug deeper, and became better.”
“Now I am seeing him fight for his country.”
“If it’s possible to be famous, and yet not really well known, that describes my father who raised me,” Ivanka said, describing playing at her father’s feet in his office.
She described walking around construction sights, which were ethnically diverse and women were hired. “My father is color blind and gender neutral. He hires the best person for the job, period,” she said.
She touted her father’s record of hiring women and said will fight for equal pay and equal work and affordable childcare.
“A Trump presidency will turn the economy around,” she said. “When my father says he’ll make America great again, he will deliver.”
‘Throughout my entire life I am seen his empathy and sympathy toward others,” she said. “He has the kindness and compassion that will enable him to be the leader this country needs.”
“At my father’s company, there are more female than male executives and when a woman becomes a mother, she is supported, not shut out.”
“In Donald Trump you have a candidate who knows the difference between wanting something done and making it happen . . . when my father says we will make America great again. he will deliver.
“Donald Trump is incapable of thinking small.”
She called him, “The single person most qualified to serve as chief executive of a $18 trillion economy.”
9:55 p.m. — Video shown, narrated by actor Jon Voight.
Video follows Trump’s childhood, early life and his accomplishments as a developer. Jon Voight narrated the Donald Trump biographical video. Trump’s youngest son, 10-year-old Barron Trump, is in the family box.
“Donald Trump has set his sights on a new rebuilding project,” said Voight. “Donald could have continued his successful career and spent more time with his family . . . it’s Donald’s nature to help others.”
9:50 p.m. — Preparations are made for video about the Trump family.
That is to be followed by Ivanka Trump introducing her father.
9:20 p.m. — Peter Thiel, PayPal founder, venture capitalist, and the second openly gay speaker to a GOP convention, speaks:
He took brief swipes at the Republican Party platform. While the country used to debate how to defeat Communism, now it debates who can use bathrooms. “This is a distraction. Who cares?” he said to applause.
Much of his remarks were a critique of America in decline.
He said the government still uses floppy disks and the latest fighter jets “can’t fly in the rain.”
“That’s a staggering decline for a country that completed the Manhattan Project,” he said. “Instead of going to Mars, we invade the Middle East.”
He added, “We don’t need to see Hillary’s deleted emails. Her incompetence is in plain site,” he said, pointing to her push for war in Libya. “It’s time to end the era of stupid wars and rebuild our country.”
Thiel said, “Every American has a unique identity. I’m proud to be gay. I’m proud to be a Republican. But most of all, I’m proud to be an American.”
He said, “I don’t pretend to agree with every plank in our party’s platform. But fake culture wars only serve to distract us from our economic decline. And no one is being honest about it but Donald Trump.”
9:05 p.m. — Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, speaks.
“We stand for peace and prosperity, we stand for freedom and fairness . . . it is clear the Republican Party is the only party willing to fight for these values and lead America to greatness in the 20th century.”
The “dirty little secret,” he said, is that the Democratic Party will be “trotting out” the “same old” politicians.
“We are the party of new ideas,” he said.
‘What separates the Republicans from the Democrats is our belief in better, we believe in better schools . . . a better economy . . . and most of all, a better chance at the American dream for everyone. The Republican party will not stop until that becomes a reality and that’s why we need to stop Hillary Clinton.”
He said Clinton said “she reads ethics rules as carefully as most Americans read their junk mail.”
Preibus called for Republicans to unite to defeat Clinton.
“To some people, and some presidents, America is just another country. To Republicans, America is the greatest country on earth,” he said.
On Clinton, he said: “You can kiss your gun rights goodbye if she ever finds her way into the White House.”
He said Clinton “has perfected the art of politics for personal gain . . . for Hillary Clinton, the Oval Office is just another cash cow.”
Preibus said Trump would stop illegal immigration and “put America first.”
He offered a full-throated endorsement of Republicans. “We stand for peace and prosperity,” he said. “God didn’t put us here by accident. God put us here to put America on a new path. Let’s stop Hillary Clinton.”
“I have a message to America. Hold on. Help is coming.”
8:40 p.m. — Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin speaks.
“Our country is divided. Our people are afraid. Our spirits are nearly broken. We can’t lose that hopefulness and let it become the new normal.”
She said Trump is “bold, courageous, he’s an outspoken leader. He knows how to create job, and speaks truth to power.”
She said, “We invite every American who agrees with these principles and wants to make America one again to join us in electing Donald Trump president of the United States.”
“We are one in our belief that America must address the national debt not by increasing taxes but by increasing opportunities . . . that we must protect our borders and promote fair trade . . . and we must stand with our allies . . . and we are one in our belief that every life is precious.”
“As a party we don’t agree 100 percent on everything. That’s OK, we don’t have to.”
8:30 p.m. — U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee speaks.
“We find our nation in desperate need of leadership, in desperate need of unity,” she said. “We know that Donald Trump is a leader who has seen challenges, learned his lessons, solved problems and delivered results.”
She said “401k’s get smaller, taxes go up and paychecks shrink. In short, the American people have had it and they are ready for change. They’re ready for someone to take the reins and bring us together.”
She said Trump sees projects through. “Or as Larry the Cable Guy would say, ‘Let’s get ‘er done.’ ”
She said, “With Trump/Pence 2016, we will be great again. We will be one again.”
8:20 p.m. — Bobby Knight, former NCAA basketball coach, speaks on video.
He said Trump “will always have winning on his mind.”
8:15 p.m. Fran Tarkenton, former NFL quarterback speaks.
He decried “the most anemic recovery in American history. We’re stuck. Stuck in frustration. Mired in anger and fear.”
He said, “I can tell you a leader gets stuff done.” Trump, who he has known for 48 years, “gets stuff done.”
8:05 p.m. — Mark Burns, NOW Television Network founder and president, speaks.
He called for support of Trump instead of a party that “focuses on the colors that divide us. . . . All lives matter. . . . Shout with me, all lives matter!
“I know within the shadow of a doubt that Donald J. Trump will make sure all Americans will have jobs. . . . Donald J. Trump is not going to pander to no one race. . . . together, shout together. . . . together as Americans we will get to the promised land . . . where jobs have returned back to this country.”
Burns said he disagrees with the Black Lives Matter movement, but said, “Hopelessness and lack of opportunity breeds this type of desperation. The solution though is “jobs, that would solve the problems in our troubled cities around the country.”
He said the “only colors that matter are red, white and blue.”
8 p.m. — Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks
“The stakes are high. We need a strong leader . . . now more than ever we must have respect for the police, we must give them the tools and the support they need to do their job. The highest level of government must have our backs.”
“We have terrorists coming over our borders, infiltrating our borders . . . committing serious crimes. I am supporting Donald Trump because he is a leader. He produces results and is the only candidate for president who is willing to get tough in order to protect Americans.”
“Let’s elect a leader who will stand up for America and protect our border and support law enforcement,” he said.
He said currently, the country is more concerned with “rights of illegal aliens and criminals than protecting our own country.”
When he said, “Donald Trump will build the wall” the crowd responded with chants of “Build the Wall.”
He said Trump will “restore law and order and keep illegal immigrants from entering into our country.”
7:50 p.m. — Jerry Falwell Jr., evangelical leader, speaks
He evokes his father, Jerry Falwell Sr., who gave the opening prayer at the convention that nominated Ronald Reagan for president.
Falwell called Trump “America’s blue collar billionaire.”
“The most effective politicians were never career politicians” but surveyors, architects, even actors who worked in the private sector. Trump “created jobs for thousands and is one of the greatest visionaries of our time.”
He said Trump has added a plank to the Republican Party platform that would repeal an IRS law that prohibits churches and nonprofits from expressing political views. This, he said, “would be a huge revolution for conservative Christians and for free speech.”
“We are at a crossroads, where our first priority must be saving our nation. We must unite behind Donald Trump and Mike Pence.”