Donald Trump formally accepts GOP nomination for second term

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump, saying that voters were being offered a clear choice between himself and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, accepted the nomination for a second term at the Republican National Convention on Thursday night.

On the fourth and final night of the convention, Trump delivered his acceptance speech to a live audience from the South Lawn of the White House after the Republican Party canceled plans to hold the majority of its convention in person in North Carolina. Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and a senior White House adviser, introduced her father on the final night of the convention.

Trump said he accepted the nomination “with a heart full of gratitude and boundless optimism.”

“I stand before you tonight honored by your support, proud of the extraordinary progress we have made together over the last four incredible years, and brimming with confidence in the bright future we will build for America over the next four years,” Trump said.

“We understand that America is not a land cloaked in darkness,” Trump said. “America is the torch that enlightens the entire world.”

Trump, at 74, becomes the oldest president to accept a nomination for a second term. Ronald Reagan was 73 when he was nominated for his second term in 1984.

The president opened his speech by discussing the victims of Hurricane Laura, which pounded Louisiana and Texas on Thursday.

“We begin this evening, our thoughts are with the wonderful people who have just come through the wrath of hurricane Laura,” Trump said. “We are working closely with state and local officials in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, sparing no effort to save lives.”