PHILADELPHIA — Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination for president at the close of the party’s convention on Thursday, becoming the first woman nominee of a major political party. She blasted Republican rival Donald Trump for fear-mongering, pledged to keep Israel safe and vowed to be a president for “all Americans,” whether they voted for her or not.
Clinton said she accepted the nomination with “humility, determination and boundless confidence in America’s promise.
“Keeping our nation safe and honoring the people who do that work will be my highest priority,” she maintained. “For the struggling, the striving and the successful. For those who vote for me and those who don’t. For all Americans.”
She also underlined the “milestone” in becoming the first female nominee.
“When any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone,” she continued. “When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit.”
The Democratic nominee said she was “proud” of the Iranian nuclear deal clinched between world powers and the Islamic Republic last year, and urged continued US support for Israel’s security.
“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 stated.
She also launched a scathing rebuke of Trump for painting a misleadingly dark picture of American society and she pledged repeatedly to create new jobs.
“He wants to divide us from the rest of the world and from each other,” Clinton told the Democratic convention, mocking Trump’s claim that he alone can “fix” the country.
“He loses his cool at the slightest provocation… 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,” she claimed.
Clinton also slammed Trump’s proposals to build a wall to prevent immigration from Mexico and his calls to ban Muslims from the US.
“We will not build a wall — instead we will build an economy in which everyone who wants a good job can get one,” she said. “We will not ban a religion. We will work with all Americans and our allies to fight and defeat terrorism.
“When we have millions of hardworking immigrants contributing to our economy, it would be self-defeating and inhumane to kick them out,” she later added.
When Trump addressed the Republican convention in Cleveland, “He spoke for 70 odd minutes, and I do mean odd,” Clinton said. “And he offered zero solutions.”
She acknowledged that Americans were right to be furious about an economy that was “not yet” working for all.
“I have heard from many who feel that the economy sure isn’t working for them,” Clinton said.
“Some of you are frustrated, even furious. And you know what? You’re right. It’s not yet working the way it should.”
Much of the address focused on perhaps her biggest weakness come November — a tough public image forged over decades of withering political trench warfare.
“Some people just don’t know what to make of me,” she commented with a frankness that is unusual in American politics. “The truth is, through all of these years of public service, the service part has always come easier to me than the public part.”
But addressing her image of putting policy above politics, Clinton was unrepentant.
“It’s true,” she said. “I sweat the details,” be it the amount of lead permissible in drinking water or the cost of prescription drugs.
“It’s not just a detail if it’s your kid, if it’s your family,” she said.
She also offered an olive branch to those who backed her rival Bernie Sanders, telling the convention their voice had been heard.
“I want to thank Bernie Sanders… And to all of your supporters here and around the country, I want you to know I’ve heard you,” Clinton said. “Your cause is our cause.”