Donald Trump conjured a dire picture Thursday of an America sliding deeper into poverty, violence and corruption and declared himself the only person who could avert disaster.
Accepting the Republican nomination in Cleveland, the billionaire twice pledged to be a "voice" for working Americans, restore law and order and to confound elites and doubters by winning the White House in November.
"Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it," Trump said. "My message is that things have to change -- and they have to change right now."
Trump, whose unpredictable campaign has broken every rule of politics, portrayed America as a broken nation that only he can fix.
"I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end," he said. "Beginning on January 20th, 2017, safety will be restored."
Trump's lengthy address — clocking in at one hour and 15 minutes — was the most crucial moment yet in his transformation from a brash tycoon and reality star with a sometimes vulgar tongue to a politician on the cusp of the presidency with an expansive vision of disruptive change. Trump took the opportunity to attempt to soothe divisions in both the country as a whole and his party, where tensions were exposed Wednesday by Ted Cruz's refusal to endorse Trump.
Trump took the opportunity to attempt to soothe divisions in both the country as a whole and his party, where tensions were exposed Wednesday by Ted Cruz's refusal to endorse Trump.
"Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation. The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life," he said. "Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country."