How Long Was Donald Trump's RNC Speech? The Newly Minted Nominee Had A Lot To Say
Donald Trump isn't known for underwhelming behavior. The Republican National Convention that officially nominated him for president this week featured a glamorous stage and plenty of drama (see: Ted Cruz). Despite all of the glitz and hype, Trump's long RNC speech stole the show — as literally as a show can be stolen.
Trump wasn't just the last speaker of the convention, but he was also the speaker with the most to say. Trump's primetime speech on Thursday night lasted for around an hour and 15 minutes. Throughout that time, Trump seemed slightly more refined than in his primary speeches. He spoke with a teleprompter in front of him — and based on leaked transcripts from earlier in the day, he stayed pretty much on message. He started with a plain acceptance of his party's nomination:
Friends, delegates and fellow Americans: I humbly and gratefully accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.
For the next hour and change, Trump went on and on about the problems that he sees in the country. As he did throughout the primaries, he relied on numbers. "The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50 percent compared to this point last year," he said. "The number of new illegal immigrant families who have crossed the border so far this year already exceeds the entire total from 2015."
Much of Trump's speech followed that same, dark pattern. For the most part, he blamed the negative statistics on the Democratic party, and he vowed to make things right under his administration. He covered foreign and domestic issues, including the GOP's beloved Benghazi and Libya talking points. Above all else, Trump painted himself as the voice of the downtrodden American people.
Trump's speech didn't just seem long — it was long. In fact, he spoke longer than any other nominee in at least four decades. According to C-SPAN, Bill Clinton previously held the record for longest speech at nearly 65 minutes long. Reportedly, the average length of Democratic convention speeches is 44 minutes, while the average length for Republicans is 48 minutes. On Thursday, Trump more than doubled those averages.
The closing portion of Trump's RNC speech was a play on Clinton's "I'm with her" slogan. "I'm with you," Trump said. What he lacked in jovial language throughout the speech, he made up for several-fold in the amount of time that he spent on stage. Given the deeply divided state of the Republican Party as of late, though, perhaps the extra time was warranted.