Accessibility links

Clinton To Seek 'More Perfect Union' If Elected U.S. President

  • Mike Eckel

U.S. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton questioned whether her Republican opponent, Donald Trump, can be trusted in a dangerous world.

U.S. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton questioned whether her Republican opponent, Donald Trump, can be trusted in a dangerous world.

WASHINGTON -- Hillary Clinton has called for unity, mocked her Republican opponent, and pushed a message of shared prosperity, as she accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination to be president with "determination and boundless confidence in America's promise."

Clinton's July 28 speech was the capstone of the Democrats' four-day convention, and marks the beginning of what many expect to be the costliest and possibly nastiest election in U.S. history.

"Tonight, we've reached a milestone in our nation's march toward a more perfect union. The first time that a major party has nominated a woman for president," she said.

"It is with humility, determination, and boundless confidence in America's promise that I accept your nomination for president," she told cheering delegates chanting "Hillary! Hillary!"

WATCH: Hilary Clinton made history by becoming the first woman to accept the presidential nomination by a major U.S. party. (Reuters)

Her opponent will be billionaire Donald Trump, who has surprised many with his quick rise to the top of the Republican party this year, due in part to an uncanny knack for stealing the spotlight.

Polls show Trump has also tapped into a well of discontent about the country’s uneven economic growth, and fear about terrorism and the threat from Islamic State's radical militants. Earlier this week, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed Trump with a narrow lead over Clinton, in a likely bump from the favorable public exposure he received at last week’s Republican convention.

The convention’s final night saw speeches by a former four-star general who commanded forces in Afghanistan, the father of a American Muslim soldier killed in Iraq, and Clinton's daughter, Chelsea.

Earlier in the week, the gathering featured former Democratic Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, as well as Barack Obama, who defeated Clinton in the Democratic nominating contest in 2008 and then brought her into his administration as secretary of state.

By contrast, at last week’s Republican convention, no former Republican presidents spoke or even attended the event, underscoring how uneasy many Republicans are with Trump's brash style, outsized personality, and lack of experience.

On July 27, Obama told Democratic delegates that Clinton was unrivaled in her qualifications to be president.

"This year, in this election, I'm asking you to join me -- to reject cynicism, and reject fear, and to summon what is best in us, to elect Hillary Clinton as the next president of the United States," Obama said.

The convention, held in Philadelphia, got off to a rocky start this week amid determined resistance from supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders, whom Clinton defeated in state primary elections to secure the nomination.

Many of his supporters, and other protesters, have held demonstrations outside the convention arena all week long, facing off with police officers. The protests, however, have been smaller and less violent than feared.

Philadelphia police officials said 103 protesters had been ticketed and fined as of July 28.

The convention was also stunned at the start by the abrupt resignation of the party’s chairwoman, after e-mails that had been hacked from the party’s computer servers were leaked and published by Wikileaks.

Among other things, the e-mails showed party leaders discussing how to undermine Sanders' campaign, which fueled outrage and resentment among his supporters.

In a statement released earlier on July 28, Trump accused Democrats of living in a "fantasy world" during the convention. He said they ignored economic and security troubles as well as Clinton's controversial e-mail use at the State Department.

In his vision of the world, Trump said, "we will put America first."

The long-running scandal over Clinton's use of a private e-mail server while she was secretary of state has been a major distraction for her campaign, and Republicans have sought to paint her as careless and a liar.

In her speech, Clinton sought to show the breadth and depth of her knowledge and experience, ranging widely across subjects, domestic and foreign.

She touched on economic issues such as stagnant middle-class incomes, and paid homage to Sanders with her call for more affordable college education and less student debt for graduates.

Some delegates who supported Sanders repeatedly heckled and jeered Clinton during her speech, but were drowned out by the larger crowd who chanted "Hillary!" and "U.S.A.!" and "Deal me in!" -- a reference to one of her campaign slogans.

Clinton touched on burning domestic issues such as immigration, raging gun violence, rising health-care costs, and equal pay for women. And she taunted Тrump repeatedly throughout her speech.

"Ask yourself: Do you really think that Donald Trump has the temperament to be commander in chief?" she said.

"He loses his cool at the slightest provocation. When he's gotten a tough question from a reporter. When he's challenged in a debate. When he sees a protestor at a rally," she said.

"Imagine, if you dare, imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons."

Trump and Clinton will face each for the first time on September 26 in the first of several presidential debates before Election Day on November 8.