BRIARCLIFF MANOR — Donald Trump laid out his vision for “putting America first” Tuesday at his Westchester County golf course with an unusually staid speech that emphasized the need for a united front.
The presumptive GOP presidential nominee, who has more typically delivered lengthy, off-the-cuff remarks laced with combativeness toward the press, spoke with the aid of a teleprompter amid his latest round of primary victories. He was declared the winner in New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota based on early returns.
Trump appeared to be preparing for the upcoming general election battle, extending an olive branch of sorts to mainstream members of the Republican Party as well as supporters of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, who has effectively lost his bid for the nomination to Hillary Clinton.
“I will never ever let you down,” Trump said. “I will make you proud of our party and our movement.”
He spoke alongside his wife and adult children and before hundreds of supporters who had squeezed into the clubhouse of the Trump National Golf Club here.
The candidate said he prefers peace over fighting, but is unwilling to back down from a cause in which he believes.
“I’m going to be your champion. I’m going to be America’s champion,” Trump said. “Because, you see, this election isn’t about Republican or Democrat, it’s about who runs this country, the special interests or the people, and I mean, the American people.”
For the real estate mogul, the 15-minute speech was a rare use of prepared remarks and a teleprompter, and the Westchester setting of his news conference was a departure from his preferred venue, the atrium of Manhattan’s Trump Tower. The location was not far from Clinton’s Chappaqua home.
Trump criticized Clinton and former President Bill Clinton, for “selling access, selling favors, selling government contracts.”
Hillary Clinton as secretary of state did not prioritize the safety of the United States when it came to Libya, the Islamic State and other missions, Trump charged.
He outlined, but did not detail, how he would reverse the trend that he denounced as helping foreign countries to America’s detriment.
“We can turn this all around. We’re going to do it by putting America first,” the billionaire businessman said to sustained cheers. “It means on foreign policy, we will never enter into any conflict unless it makes us safer as a nation.”
He added that he would not sign trade agreements unless they are beneficial to the country.
Trump also said he would protect the jobs of Americans, “whether first or 10th generation,” and uplift inner cities by taking “care of our African-American people who have been mistreated for so long.”
Trump made no mention of the controversy over his comments about the judge trying the San Diego court case against Trump University. His campaign had sent a statement earlier Tuesday saying Trump would no longer discuss U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel or the alleged fleecing of students of his real estate seminars.