“I’m with you, I am your voice!” shouted Donald Trump Thursday night on the final evening of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland as the businessman-turned-politician accepted the Republican nomination just 13 months after his longshot bid for the White House took off.
In Trump’s acceptance speech — the longest ever delivered by a presidential nominee at 74 minutes — he described a nation in chaos and himself alone as the solution. The crowd below on the convention floor cheered as Trump delivered his now-famous slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
It was a unified end to a chaotic and controversial convention week. On the very first night, Trump’s wife Melania faced much criticism for similarities between her speech and one given by First Lady Michelle Obama in 2008 at the Democratic National Convention.
Trump’s running mate, former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, gave his acceptance speech at the convention Wednesday night. Pence’s position as a traditional conservative contrasts Trump’s outsider identity.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s speech on Monday evening also stirred up controversy. In his speech, the governor laid out a series of charges against Democratic nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, prompting the crowd to shout “Guilty!” after each charge. Eventually, at one point the crowd began to chant “Lock her up!” in the middle of Christie’s speech.
Another chaotic moment came from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who surprised the convention by refusing to endorse Trump in his Wednesday night speech. Cruz was promptly booed off the stage during his speech.
“Vote your conscience,” Cruz said to the audience.
Given Trump’s history in reality television and showbusiness, some celebrities also had speaking roles. Willie Robertson of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty,” and actors Scott Baio, Antonio Sabato Jr. and Kimberlin Brown all expressed support for Trump at the convention.
As is typical for candidates after their political conventions, Trump gained a boost in the polls following his speech. One Reuters/Ipsos poll found Trump and Clinton 38 and 41 percent, respectively, which is nearly even given the plus or minus four margin of error. That has Trump up nearly 10 points from before the RNC.