U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Thursday the challenges facing Americans demand steady leadership and a collective spirit, contrasting her character with what she described as a “dangerous and volatile Donald Trump“.
In the biggest speech of her more than 25-year-old career in the public eye, Clinton accepted the Democratic presidential nomination for the November 8 election with a promise to make the U.S. a country that worked for everyone.
“We are clear-eyed about what our country is up against. But we are not afraid,” she said.
She presented a sharply more upbeat view of the country than her rival Trump did when he was formally nominated for president at last week’s Republican convention, and even turned one of Republican hero Ronald Reagan’s signature phrases against the real estate developer.
“He’s taken the Republican Party a long way, from ‘Morning in America’ to ‘Midnight in America,'” Clinton said.
“He wants to divide us – from the rest of the world, and from each other.”
She portrayed Trump as volatile, saying “a man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons”.
Clinton spoke authoritatively and with self-assurance in her pitch to the American public. She acknowledged some people still do not know her well.
“I get it that some people just don’t know what to make of me. So let me tell you. The family I’m from, well no one had their name on big buildings,” Clinton said in a reference to Trump.
She said her family were builders of a better life and a better future for their children, using whatever tools they had and “whatever God gave them.”
Clinton said it would be her “primary mission” to create more opportunities and more good jobs with rising wages, and to confront stark choices in battling determined enemies and “threats and turbulence” around the world and at home.
“America is once again at a moment of reckoning. Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart,” said Clinton, a former secretary of state.
“No wonder people are anxious and looking for reassurance – looking for steady leadership.”
Clinton, who is vying to be the first woman elected U.S. president, called her nomination “a milestone.”
“When any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone. That’s why when there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit,” the 68-year-old Clinton said in a speech that capped the four-day convention.
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