Donald J. Trump, exuding confidence after his resounding primary victories in the East, promised a foreign policy on Wednesday that he said would put “America first.” He castigated President Obama and Hillary Clinton, a former secretary of state and a possible opponent in the general election, for what he described as a string of missteps that have disillusioned the nation’s allies and emboldened its rivals.
Mr. Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, pledged a major buildup of the military, the swift destruction of the Islamic State and the rejection of trade deals that he said tied the nation’s hands. But he also pointedly rejected the nation-building of the George W. Bush administration, reminding his audience that he had opposed the Iraq war.
America is going to be strong again; America is going to be great again; it’s going to be a friend again,” Mr. Trump said. “We’re going to finally have a coherent foreign policy, based on American interests and the shared interests of our allies.”
For Mr. Trump, whose campaign appearances are often a gleeful exercise in showmanship and off-the-cuff wisecracks, the speech had all the trappings of a serious address. Standing beneath a twinkling chandelier in a Washington hotel ballroom, backed by American flags and facing a sedate, largely gray-haired audience, a measured Mr. Trump read his remarks from a teleprompter, staying almost completely on script.