Thursday Donald Trump promised veterans his focus will be on “celebrating America” and ending “the era of nation-building” — contrasting his America-first world view at the American Legion convention with rival Hillary Clinton’s message of global engagement.
“We will stop apologizing for America, and we will start celebrating America.”
Trump said in his address in Cincinnati.
“We will be united by our common culture, values and principles, becoming one American nation, one country under one Constitution saluting one American flag . . . The flag all of you helped to protect and preserve, that flag deserves respect, and I will work with the American legion to help to strengthen respect for our flag.”
Trump also referenced his previous day visit to Mexico, where he met with President Enrique Pena Nieto.
“Should I have the honor of serving as president, we’re also going to start facing the world with confidence again,” he said. “We are going to uphold the laws of the nation and defend our sovereignty and security, and we are going to defend our border.”
“We agreed in the meeting on the need to stop the illegal flow of guns, drugs, cash and people across the border and to take out the cartels,” he said of the sit-down.
The GOP nominee zeroed in on Clinton for wanting “a 550 percent increase in refugees” from Syria, saying he proposes instead a “safe zone overseas and use the money saved to invest in America.”
“It’s time to create a new American future for you, your children, and all American children yet to come,” Trump said, calling for that society to be “inclusive… one that offers hope and opportunity to every part of this country, including our inner cities.”
“In this future, we will have an honest government that includes an honest State Department, not pay for play. [Clinton] probably didn’t mention that to you yesterday,” he added.
Trump also hit on themes he’s focused on all during his campaign, including forging better trade deals.
“We will fight for every last American job, and we will have friendships with other countries, but they will not take advantage of us any longer,” he said. “We’re going to show ourselves and the world again what a strong and growing American economy can look like.”
And he ticked off his previous plans to “rebuild our depleted military and pursue a state-of-the-art missile defense,” “total reform of the Veterans Administration,” and improved health care that will ensure “people are not going to die waiting on line to see a doctor.”
In Clinton’s address to the convention Wednesday, she attacked Trump for his rejection of the notion that the United States is “exceptional” among world nations.
Without naming him, Clinton also criticized his visit to Mexico, saying he was “trying to make up for a year of insults and insinuations by dropping in on on our neighbors for a few hours . . . That’s not how it works.”