CLEVELAND - Donald Trump gave his official GOP nomination acceptance address to cap off the fourth and final night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Introduced by his daughter Ivanka, Trump took the stage for more than an hour for the convention's grand finale and addressed several topics including the economy, foreign policy and his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. He also spoke about his plans to combat the Islamic State group and reiterated his plans to build a border wall and end illegal immigration.
Trump, again dubbing himself the "law and order" candidate, called on supporters of former Democratic presidential hopeful and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to join his efforts to end what he described as a rigged system. He reached out the LGBTQ community, saying he would protect them from Islamic terrorists. The crowd roared, and Trump thanked them for doing so.
The presidential candidate was on the convention floor and stage with his family earlier in the day doing a walk-through before the big speech. He was seen telling his daughter Ivanka, "this feels good."
Suffolk County Republican Chairman John Jay LaValle said Trump planned to take advantage of the opportunity to speak to the largest audience of his life by reaching out to those not present at the convention hall.
"He's gonna be speaking to the people who are undecided, the independents and some of the softer Democrats," LaValle said.
Trump's speech came on the final night of a Republican convention that has featured twists and turns each day. Monday saw a last-ditch effort by the "Never Trump" faction on the convention floor. On Tuesday, there was controversy over Melania Trump's speech and Wednesday featured the snub "heard 'round the world" when Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a former Republican presidential hopeful, declined to endorse the party's nominee.
Cruz gave another speech Thursday morning in Cleveland to talk about his decision to not endorse Trump. Cruz says he will not endorse someone who attacked his wife and his family.
Hofstra University political analyst Larry Levy said the unconventional convention put even more pressure on Trump.
"In the end it's not about the surrogates, it's not about the distractions and the mixed messages," Levy said. "It's really about what the candidate himself says."
New York delegate and Nassau County GOP Chairman Joe Mondello has attended every Republican convention since 1976. His advice for Trump was to stick with the message that got him to the grand stage in the first place.
Mondello told News 12 that this year's convention was the most out-of-the ordinary experience he can remember. He points out that the unusual nature of the convention has worked out fairly well for Trump.