Donald Trump said he will institute a foreign policy that puts “America first” and blasted President Barack Obama’s leadership in a speech aimed at showcasing a more presidential image of the Republican frontrunner on Wednesday.
The nearly 40-minute speech in Washington, D.C., hit on many of the broad themes the real estate mogul has stressed in his White House run. But it was delivered in a much more prepared and somber tone than has been common for the often boisterous candidate. And it was a clear appeal to not just Republican primary voters, but the general electorate.
The speech is the latest evolution of a candidate turning his attention to a general election matchup against Hillary Clinton. Trump won all five primaries that took place Tuesday, mathematically eliminating rival Ted Cruz from gaining enough delegates to clinch the Republican presidential nomination ahead of the GOP convention.
“I will seek a foreign policy that all Americans, whatever their party, can support. So important,” Trump said. “And which our friends and allies will respect and totally welcome.”
Trump said that, under his administration, the U.S. will get out of “the nation building business” that “left the Middle East more unstable than ever before.”
Instead, Trump said he will focus on creating “stability” around the globe by defeating ISIS and opening new lines of dialogue with Russia and China.
Though the speech offered few new details of policy specifics, Trump did tick off a number of policies pursued by Obama and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that he called a “complete disaster,” including the 2012 attack in Benghazi.
“If President Obama’s goal was to weaken America, he could not have done a better job,” Trump said.