Minutes after reciting the Oath of Office on Friday afternoon, Donald Trump introduced himself to the world as the 45th president of the United States with a brief, forceful and unconventional inaugural address. Below are key moments from the speech.
Trump thanks now-former President Barack Obama and now-former First Lady Michelle Obama for their help in the transition, also offering a nod to the other former presidents present: George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. It was an inclusive, formal and polite note to open the address, and it was followed by…
Trump slams Obama’s performance as president. The new president bemoaned the state of the nation, describing a nation descending into poverty and danger at home and flashing weakness on the foreign stage. The people suffered, Trump said, while “elites” in Washington prospered. “Their victories have not been your victories,” he said. “Their triumphs have not been your triumphs and while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land. That all changes starting right here and right now because this moment is your moment. It belongs to you.” He also made a promise: “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”
Trump pivots to offer “a new vision will govern our land.” Speaking in grim terms about the current state of affairs in America, Trump pledged to improve the nation by putting America and its people first. “From this day forward,” he said, “it’s going to be only America first.”
Trump returns to the language of his campaign, promising America will “win again.” Without offering specific plans details, he pledges his administration will bring back jobs, borders, dreams and wealth. He promised new infrastructure and to get Americans off of welfare. “I will fight for you with every breath in my body, and I will never, ever let you down,” he said. “America will start winning again. Winning like never before.”
Trump promises “empty talk is over,” saying: “We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action constantly complaining but never doing anything about it,” Trump said. “The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action.” He urged Americans not to allow anyone to convince them that something can’t be done and vowed that the U.S. “will not fail.” Rather, “our country will thrive and prosper again,” he said.
And then, 16 minutes after he began, Trump finished. After a campaign of long speeches and an inaugural address best measured in hours, Trump delivered an inaugural address far shorter than those of most of his predecessors. Following the address, the 45th President of the United States — flanked by a smiling Obama, trailed by new Vice President Mike Pence and now-former Vice President Joe Biden — down the Capitol Steps and toward a White House that is his new home.