20 Jul 2016

'Today has been a very, very special day': Republicans formally nominate Trump

2:35 pm on 20 July 2016

Donald Trump has formally secured the Republican Party's 2016 nomination for the White House.

Donald Trump (R) has named Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate.

Donald Trump, at right, and Mike Pence, his choice for vice presidential running mate. Photo: AFP

His son, Donald Trump Jr, announced the support of New York, their home state, during a roll-call vote at the Republican National Convention, ensuring Mr Trump had the majority of delegates - 1237 - needed to contest the 8 November US presidential election.

Speaking to the convention via videolink from his home in Trump Towers, Mr Trump said it was an unforgettable moment.

"Today has been a very, very special day. Watching my children put me over the top earlier. I mean what we did getting the party's nomination - I'll never forget it. It's something I'll never, ever forget."

Mr Trump said the result was "historic" .

"Together we've achieved historic results with the largest vote total in the history of the Republican Party. This is a movement but we have to go all the way."

He then outlined a series of broad policy goals.

"This is going to be a leadership that puts the American people first. We're going to bring back our jobs, we're going to rebuild our depleted military and take care of our great veterans. We're going to have strong borders, we're going to get rid of ISIS, and we're going to restore law and order - and just so many other things. But most importantly we are going to make America great again."

The party had begun the formal vote to put Mr Trump's name in nomination a day after opponents staged a failed attempt to force a vote opposing his candidacy.

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, an early backer of Mr Trump, placed the New York businessman's name in nomination, calling him "a warrior and a winner".

House Speaker Paul Ryan, the highest ranking elected Republican, ran the meeting and launched the nominating process.

Republicans were also set to place in nomination Indiana Governor Mike Pence, 57, Trump's choice for his vice presidential running mate.

Donald Trump Jr., second left, Ivanka Trump, centre and Eric Trump, right, take part in the roll call at the Republican National  Convention.

Donald Trump Jr., second left, Ivanka Trump, centre, and Eric Trump, right, take part in the roll call at the Republican National Convention. Photo: AFP

Mr Trump's campaign has been marked by frequent controversy over his rhetoric on Muslims, Hispanics, illegal immigration and trade, alarming many in the Republican establishment. Party officials are hoping to use the convention to smooth out some of his rough edges and present him as a job-creator and a strong hand to combat security threats at home and abroad.

Speakers on the first day of the convention put the focus on defeating the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and taking back the White House after eight years under Democratic President Barack Obama.

The theme of the second day was "Make America Work Again," and speakers were to take aim at Mr Obama's record on the economy.

After the roll-call vote of the states, Mr Trump was to receive the blessing on stage of other senior Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Both Mr Ryan and Mr McConnell need Mr Trump to do well in the November election as they seek to preserve majorities in Congress.

Delegates at the Republican National Convention.

Delegates at the Republican National Convention. Photo: AFP

Mr Trump trails Mrs Clinton in many opinion polls after a bruising Republican primary season.

Mrs Clinton is due to be formally nominated at a Democratic convention next week in Philadelphia.

Security forces are on high alert in Cleveland for the convention.

Wright State University, a public university located near Dayton, Ohio, said on Tuesday it had decided not to host the first US presidential debate scheduled for 26 September, citing mounting costs and security concerns.

The event will now be held at Hofstra University in New York.

- Reuters