Hillary Clinton launched her most direct volley of hits at her GOP rival today in a foreign policy speech that stressed “it’s not hard to imagine Donald Trump leading us into a war just because somebody got under his very thin skin.”
Backdropped by 19 American flags at an auditorium in San Diego, Clinton acknowledged active duty and retired service members in the friendly audience before beginning her assessment of “a choice between a fearful America that’s less secure and less engaged with the world, and a strong, confident America that leads to keep our country safe and our economy growing.”
The former secretary of State vowed “to keep America’s security at the heart of my campaign.”
“Donald Trump’s ideas aren’t just different — they are dangerously incoherent. They’re not even really ideas, just a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds, and outright lies. He is not just unprepared. He is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability, and immense responsibility. This is not someone who should ever have the nuclear codes,” Clinton said.
“…If you really believe America is weak, with our military, our values, our capabilities that no other country comes close to matching, then you don’t know America. And certainly don’t deserve to lead it.”
Clinton touted her foreign policy record, adding “we are not a country that cowers behind walls.”
“And if America doesn’t lead, we leave a vacuum. And that will either cause chaos or other countries will rush to fill the void. Then they will be the ones making the decisions about your lives and jobs and safety. And trust me, the choices they make will not be to our benefit. That is not an outcome we can live with,” she said. “…If Donald gets his way, they’ll be celebrating in the Kremlin. We cannot let that happen.”
She noted “there is no risk of people losing their lives if you blow up a golf course deal,” but “it doesn’t work like that in world affairs.”
“So the stakes in global state craft are infinitely higher and more complex than in the world of luxury hotels. We all know the tools that Donald Trump brings to the table: bragging, mocking, composing nasty tweets. I’m willing to bet he’s writing a few right now.”
Indeed, Trump was tweeting during her speech:
Crooked Hillary no longer has credibility – too much failure in office. People will not allow another four years of incompetence!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 2, 2016
Bad performance by Crooked Hillary Clinton! Reading poorly from the telepromter! She doesn’t even look presidential! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 2, 2016
Trump has used a teleprompter for his foreign policy speeches to AIPAC in March and at the Mayflower hotel in April.
Clinton said she doesn’t understand Trump’s “bizarre fascination with dictators and strongmen who have no love for America.”
“He praised China for the Tiananmen Square massacre. He said that it showed strength. He said, you’ve got to give Kim Jong-un credit for taking over North Korea, something he did by murdering everyone he saw as a threat, including his own uncle, which Donald described gleefully like he was recapping an action movie. And he said, if he were grading Vladimir Putin as a leader, he’d give him an A,” she said.
“Now, I will leave it to the psychiatrists to explain his affection for tyrants. just wonder how anyone can be so wrong about who America’s real friends are, because it matters. If you don’t know exactly who you are dealing with, men like Putin will eat your lunch.”
Clinton declared that Trump and his proposal to block Muslim immigration “would embolden ISIS” and “defeating global terrorist networks and protecting the homeland takes more than empty talk and a handful of slogans.”
“It takes a real plan, real experience and real leadership,” she added. “Donald Trump lacks all three.”
“We need to stay true to our values. Trump says over and over again the world is laughing at us. He’s been saying this for decades. He didn’t just start this year. He bought full-page ads in newspapers across America back in 1987 when Ronald Reagan was president, saying that America lacked a backbone and the world was, you guessed it, laughing at us.”
Clinton noted that during the raid to kill Osama bin Laden “when every second counted our SEALs took the time to move the women and children in the compound to safety — Donald Trump may not get it but that’s what honor looks like.”
“And you know what?” she continued. “It also matters when he makes fun of people with disabilities, calls women pigs, propose — proposing banning an entire religion from our country or plays coy with white supremacists. American stands up to countries that treat women like animals or people of different races, religions or entities as less human.”
She urged people to “imagine Donald Trump sitting in the situation room.”
“Imagine if he had not just his Twitter account at his disposal when he’s angry but America’s entire arsenal,” Clinton said. “Do we want him making those calls? Someone thin skinned and quick to anger who lashes out at the smallest criticism.”
Electing Trump would be a “historic mistake,” she added, that “would set back our standing in the world more than anything in recent memory and it would fuel an ugly narrative about who we are — that we’re fearful, not confident, that we want to let others determine our future for us instead of shaping our own destiny — that’s not the America I know and love.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued a statement after Clinton’s speech saying he agreed with the Trump slams, but not her foreign policy.
“We cannot forget that Secretary Clinton voted for the war in Iraq, the worst foreign policy blunder in modern American history, and that she has been a proponent of regime change, as in Libya, without thinking through the consequences,” Sanders said.
“We need a foreign policy based on building coalitions and making certain that the brave American men and women in our military do not get bogged down in perpetual warfare in the Middle East. That’s what I will fight for as president.”