PHILADELPHIA — The first woman nominated for president by a major American political party on Thursday called on the nation to work together to solve its problems and to reject Donald Trump as a self-absorbed and dangerous man.
A healthy chunk of Clinton’s primetime address on the last night of the Democratic National Convention was a rebuttal to Trump.
“He’s taken the Republican Party a long way from morning in American to midnight in America,” Clinton said, echoing Ronald Reagan’s famous line. “He wants us to fear the future and fear each other.”
American will not build a wall or ban a religion, she said. “We will work with all Americans and our allies to fight and defeat terrorism,” Clinton said.
She did not, however, bring up this week’s controversy over Trump’s comments that Russia should hack Clinton’s computer to find missing emails, nor did she mention her own controversial use of a private e-mail server while secretary of State.
Instead, Clinton said there’s plenty of work to be done. The economy is moving, but not growing fast enough. Challenges galore face the U.S. abroad. But those are obstacles, not dead-ends, she said.
“So don’t let anyone tell you our country is weak. We’re not. Don’t let anyone tell you we don’t have what it takes. We do,” she said. “And most of all don’t believe anyone who says ‘I alone can fix it.’
“Really? I alone can fix it. Isn’t he forgetting troops on the front lines? Police officers and firefighters who run toward danger? Doctors and nurses who care for us? Teachers who change lives? Entrepreneurs who see opportunity in every problem. Mothers who lost children to violence and who are building a movement to keep other kids safe. He’s forgetting every last one of us.
“Americans don’t say I alone can fix it. We we’ll fix it together!”
Clinton was also careful to praise her former opponent in the primaries, Bernie Sanders, early and often.
“Bernie, Bernie, your campaign has inspired millions of Americans, particularly the young people who threw their hearts and souls into our primary,” she said. “You’ve put economic and social justice issues front and center where they belong. And to all of your supporters here and around the country I want you to know I’ve heard you. Your cause is our cause.”
Clinton vowed to take on gun violence while protecting the 2nd Amendment.
“And if we’re serious about keeping our country safe, we also can’t afford to have a President who’s in the pocket of the gun lobby,” she said. “I’m not here to repeal the 2nd Amendment. I’m not here to take away your guns. I just don’t want you to be shot by someone who shouldn’t have a gun in the first place.”
While she vowed to work for “common sense” reforms to gun laws, she did not say what those would be.
Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, introduced her and shared stories of the former secretary of state as a funny, loving mother and grandmother.
“My mom can be about to walk on stage for a debate or a speech and it just doesn’t matter,” Chelsea Clinton said. “She’ll drop everything for a few minutes of blowing kisses and chugga-chugga choo-choo with her granddaughter.”
Her parents, Chelsea said, challenged her and taught her to think for herself.
“I loved that my parents expected me to have opinions and be able to back them up with facts,” she said.
Her mother never forgets who she’s fighting for, she said.
She is “the progressive who will protect our planet from climate change and our communities from gun violence,” Chelsea Clinton said. “And who knows that LGBT rights are human rights. At home and around the world.”