Hillary Clinton said Thursday that Donald Trump’s recent comments about Mexicans were “unacceptable” and an example of rhetoric that could “trigger people who are less than stable to do something” like the Charleston shooting.
“The people who do this kind of dastardly horrible act are very small percentage, but unfortunately the public discourse is sometimes hotter and more negative than it should be, which can, in my opinion, trigger people who are less than stable to do something like what we’ve seen,” Clinton said during an interview with journalist Jon Ralston in Las Vegas, referring to the killing of nine men and women in a church in Charleston on Wednesday.
When asked what she would do about, Clinton then turned her comments to Trump, the business magnate and newly minted Republican candidate who said in this announcement this week that some of the Mexicans who come to the United States “are rapists.”
Clinton said people need to “speak out against” rhetoric like that.
“For example, a recent entry into the Republican presidential campaign said some very inflammatory things about Mexicans,” Clinton said, “Everybody should stand up and say that’s not acceptable. You know, you don’t talk like that on talk radio.”
Ralston followed up, “You can name him.”
To which Clinton replied, “You don’t talk like that on the kind of political campaigns. But I think he is emblematic, so I want people to understand it’s not about him, it’s about everybody.”
Although Clinton and Trump are now lined up on opposing sides of the political spectrum, the two have been close in the past. According to media reports, Clinton was at Trump’s 2005 wedding and the real estate magnate has donated to her family foundation.
Clinton was in Nevada for a speech to the National Association of Latino Elected Officials in Las Vegas and a roundtable on veteran’s affairs in Reno.
At the speech to Latino elected officials, Clinton reacted to the shooting in Charleston, calling it a “terrible tragedy” and invoking Martin Luther King Jr. when she told the people of Charleston “you do not walk alone.”
Clinton also said the shooting should be a call to action on guns.
“How many innocent people in our country from little children to church members to movie theater attendees how many people do we need to see cut down before we act,” Clinton said, later telling the audience that the United States had to “face hard truths about race, violence, guns and division.”
In her interview with Ralston, Clinton went further in calling for action on guns.
“Let’s just cut to the chase,” Clinton said. “It’s guns and we have to have a better balance.”
She added, “I think you’ve got to build it from the bottom up and the top down and we shouldn’t do one without the other because it won’t work. We need to put people on notice in the states and being to show you can survive by voting for something that the (National Rifle Association) doesn’t like and we’ve got to talk to people who care deeply about the second amendment, that there is a way to protect second amendment rights that can be balanced with protecting people from those who should not have guns.”