Trump secures delegates to clinch nomination

Ponte Vedra Recorder among media on hand for New York victory speech


Special to the Recorder

Real estate developer Donald Trump formally ended the primary phase of his campaign last week, securing enough delegates to clinch the Republican Party nomination for president of the United States.

“One chapter has closed and now another one begins,” Trump said in a June 7 speech at the Trump National Golf Club in Briar Cliff Manor, New York. Before a standing-room-only crowd of supporters and media from around the world, Trump made a pledge to his audience.

“I will make you proud of your party and of our movement and that is what it is – a movement,” Trump said. “I understand the responsibility of carrying the mantle and I will never let you down. To those who voted for someone else in either party, I will work very hard to earn your support.”

Charging that presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and her husband sold favors and government access in return for millions of dollars in donations to the Clinton Foundation, Trump pledged to put an end to politics as usual in Washington.

“The Clintons have turned the politics of personal enrichment into an art form for themselves,” said Trump, adding he would change that by “putting America first, with a foundation of change that has been missing for a long time.”

Trump spelled out his agenda in the speech, vowing to become America’s champion through his “America First” initiative.

“We are all suffering,” he said. “We are $19 trillion in debt – going quickly to $21 trillion. Our infrastructure is a disaster, our schools are failing, crime is rising, people are scared. The last thing we need is Hillary Clinton in the White House or the extension of the Obama disaster.”

Trump said his “America First” agenda would put America back to work, rebuild its inner cities, strengthen national security and make families safe, secure and prosperous again. He also reached out to supporters of socialist candidate Bernie Sanders, saying he would welcome them “with open arms” and reminding them that both he and Sanders agreed that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) signed into law by Bill Clinton was bad for the American worker.

In the future, Trump said, “If it is not a great deal for our country, I will not sign it. I know some people think I am too much of a fighter, but I fought for my family, I fought for my business, and I am going to fight for you the American people.”

In a post-speech interview with Sean Hannity, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich called the speech a “very big step in the right direction” as Trump makes the transition from the primary campaign to the general election.

“Donald Trump is at his best when he thinks big,” Gingrich said, “offering the kind of infrastructure program that a great builder like Trump could imagine, whether it is ports, highways, railroads – rebuilding America so we are a first rate country again.”

Gingrich also noted that as a businessman, Trump understands the importance of small businesses to the American economy and predicted a President Trump would improve the regulatory processes that can hamper a small business’s growth.

“The contrast between Trump the small business candidate and Hillary the red tape bureaucrat,” he said, “is what this campaign for America will be about.”

As the speech came to a close, Trump ended his primary race with the words that branded his campaign and placed him on top. “We will make our country strong again, ladies and gentlemen. We will make America great again.”