CLEVELAND (CN) — Donald Trump cast himself as a "law and order" candidate in his hour and a quarter acceptance speech Thursday night, stating with typical bravado: "Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it."
To chants of "USA, USA," in which he joined, Trump accepted the Republican Party's nomination for president and promised to be "the voice" of people who feel left behind in the economy.
The theme of Trump's speech, and to a great extent that of the entire convention, was that President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have left the world dangerous and "rigged," and that Trump alone can bring America back to safety and fairness.
Trump accused Clinton of committing "an egregious crime and getting away with it," apparently referring to her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
He promised to keep Americans safe from terrorists who are running amok, from illegal immigrants intent on doing harm, and to crack down on people targeting law enforcement officers.
"In this race for the White House, I am the law and order candidate," Trump said.
He brought the crowd to its feet several times in the speech — which was longer even than those of the garrulous Bill Clinton — and each time the cheers made it impossible for him to continue, he stepped back from the podium and surveyed the crowd, dotted with "Make America Great Again" signs and hats.
The speech had a softer tone than many of those he gave at the rallies that carried him to nomination. He cast himself as a man of the people who would protect those scared by new economic realities.
"I have visited the laid-off factory workers and the communities crushed by our horrible and unfair trade deals," Trump said. "These are the forgotten men and women of our country. And they are forgotten, but they are not going to be forgotten long. These are people who work hard but no longer have a voice. I am your voice."
On the floor before the speech, some delegates said they hoped to hear more policy from Trump after a week filled with attacks on Hillary Clinton but light on policy proposals. Trump delivered in part, retailing familiar campaign promises such as building a wall across the 1,947-mile-long Mexican border and resisting free trade deals that he says kill American manufacturing and jobs.
But in other areas he was still vague. Though Trump promised to "share my plan," on how to repair the country's economy, he provided few specifics, but promised to "outline reforms" for the economy.
Repeating the theme of the convention, Trump blasted Hillary Clinton repeatedly, calling her unfit to be in the White House, citing the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
"In fact, her single greatest accomplishment may be committing such an egregious crime and getting away with it, especially when others who have done far less have paid so dearly," Trump said.
(The FBI director has said he did not see a reason to charge Clinton with a crime for her use of a private email server.)
Reaching out to supporters of Clinton's primary rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Trump blasted a "rigged system" that favors the rich and powerful and blamed "big business, elite media and major donors" for supporting Clinton to keep that system alive.
He promised that "millions" of Democratic voters would join his fight against "unfair" trade deals, a major fixture of Sanders' platform. And he threatened to walk away from NAFTA if he is unable to negotiate a better "deal" for the country.
Trump criticized Obama's immigration policy, as he has from day one of his campaign. Invoking the story of Sarah Root, a 21-year-old Nebraskan who died in a car accident with a drunk driver who was in the country illegally, Trump accused Obama of indifference.
"I've met Sarah's beautiful family," Trump said. "But to this administration their amazing daughter was just one more American life that wasn't worth protecting. One more child to sacrifice on the altar of open borders."
Chants of "Build a wall!" broke out after Trump claimed that immense numbers of people in the country illegally "are tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens."
Citing the recent shootings of police officers in Baton Rouge and Dallas, he said that Obama's last day in office would bring an end to "the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation."
While most of his speech hit on typical Republican applause lines, Trump reached out to some surprising demographics as well. He appealed to people in inner cities, saying the Obama administration has "failed" them.
"Every action I take, I will ask myself: Does this make life better for young Americans in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Ferguson, who ... have as much of a right to live out their dreams as any other child in America?" Trump said.
He mentioned the LGBTQ people killed in the June massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, saying he would protect them from attacks, and drawing cheers from the crowd.
"I have to say, as a Republican, it is so nice to hear you cheering for what I just said," Trump said.
A protestor briefly caused Trump to stop his address, prompting boos and chants of "USA" from the crowd.
"How great are our police and how great is Cleveland?" Trump asked after the pause, drawing another roar from the crowd.
He ended the speech with his "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan, promising to return the country to its former glory, to which he has alluded throughout his surprising campaign.
"To all Americans tonight, in all our cities and towns, I make this promise: We will make America strong again, we will make America proud again, we will make America safe again and we will make America great again," Trump told the packed convention hall before his family joined him on stage and "All Right Now" by Free blared through the loudspeakers.
Read the Top 8
Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.