PHILADELPHIA: Hillary Clinton became the first woman to accept the presidential nomination of a major party on Thursday night, rebutting in detail Republican nominee Donald Trump’s address of a week before.
Clinton referenced both Presidents Ronald Reagan and Franklin Delano Roosevelt to attack what she billed as Trump’s cynical proposals for the country, noting he spoke for more than an hour but offered no specific details last Thursday night in Cleveland.
"He’s taken the Republican Party a long way from morning in America to midnight in America," Clinton said, referencing one of Reagan’s best remembered themes. "He wants us to fear the future and to fear each other."
Clinton also took on Trump’s business record, which she said includes stiffing contractors and opting to make Trump-branded products in other countries. She also criticized his statement that he knows more about the Islamic State than U.S. generals, as well as his temperament.
"Donald Trump said he knows more about ISIS than the generals do. No, Donald, you don’t," she said. "So just ask yourself if you really think Donald Trump has the temperament to be commander-in-chief. He can’t even handle the rough and tumble of a presidential campaign…a man you can can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons."
Nearly halfway through, Clinton’s speech took a populist turn. She pledged to work with members of Congress in both parties to create opportunity, promising the biggest investment in well-paying jobs since the Second World War in her first 100 days in office.
Clinton was introduced by her daughter, Chelsea, who avoided politics but described her mother’s interactions with her grandchildren and determination to rebound from tough times, as well as memories from her own childhood.
"People ask me how does she do it. How does she keep going amid the sound and fury of politics?" she said. "Here’s how: It’s because she never, ever forgets who she’s fighting for."
The Democrats went big on patriotism in the final night of their convention, which featured a rousing speech by retired Marine Corps Gen. John Allen endorsing Clinton. However, night four’s most striking moment was when Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim U.S. soldier killed in Iraq, asked Donald Trump if he had ever read the Constitution, pulling a copy of the document from his jacket pocket. Trump has proposed banning Muslims from entering the country.
Thursday night’s speakers also included basketball legend and activist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver (D-MO), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX).