As she accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination Thursday, Hillary Clinton drew upon memories from her childhood, recalling that her mother, Dorothy, once told her that she needed to stand up to bullies. Clinton suggested that’s exactly how she would tackle the general election against GOP nominee Donald Trump.
“Like so much else, I got this from my mother, she never let me back down from any challenge. When I tried to hide from a neighborhood bully, she literally blocked the door. ‘Go back out there,’ Clinton said at the convention in Philadelphia.
“And she was right. You have to stand up to bullies,” she continued. “You have to keep working to make things better, even when the odds are long and the opposition is fierce.”
Clinton first questioned whether the country could stay true to its motto, “out of many we are one,” under Trump. She went on to argue that Trump laid out a dark vision for the country at his own speech at the Republican National Convention last week.
“He wants to divide us from the rest of the world and from each other. He’s betting that the perils of today’s world will blind us to its unlimited promise,” she said. “He’s taken the Republican Party a long way from ‘morning in America’ to midnight in America. He wants us to fear the future and fear each other.”
She went on rip apart Trump’s speech, particularly his line that he alone could fix the country.
“Don’t let anyone tell you that our country is weak, we are not. Don’t let anyone tell you we don’t have what it takes, we do,” she said. “And most of all, don’t believe anyone who says I alone can fix it.”
“Americans don’t say, ‘I alone can fix it,’” she added, “We say, ‘we’ll fix it together.’”
Clinton drew sharp contrasts between her family and Trump’s, acknowledging the fact that he has his name plastered on many of his buildings.
“The family I’m from, no one has their names on big buildings. My family were builders of a different kind,” she said, before describing her relatives as hard-working, religious people who had to work their way up in their communities.
Clinton took another dig after outlining policy proposals including expanding Social Security and protecting women’s rights to health care.
“Now, you didn’t hear any of this from Donald Trump at his convention. He spoke for 70-odd minutes. And I do mean odd,” Clinton said, adding that he offered “zero” solutions.
She took direct aim at his image as a thriving businessman, criticizing him for stiffing some of his employees and contractors on previous projects. Clinton also noted that Trump made many of his branded goods outside of the United States.
“Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again – well, he could start by actually making things in America again,” she said.
Clinton argued that Trump, who once said he knew more about the Islamic State “than the generals do,” didn’t have the experience to be commander-in-chief or have access to the nuclear codes.
She name-dropped Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), and her own, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), when she said that a president should respect people like their sons, who are both Marines.
“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,” she said.
This post has been updated.