SIMI VALLEY, CA - MARCH 11:  Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton follows the casket during funeral and burial services for former first lady Nancy Reagan at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on March 11, 2016 in Simi Valley, California. The first lady is being buried at the library next to her husband, who died on June 5, 2004. Nancy Reagan died of heart failure at the age of 94. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
David McNew/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
SIMI VALLEY, CA - MARCH 11: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton follows the casket during funeral and burial services for former first lady Nancy Reagan at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on March 11, 2016 in Simi Valley, California. The first lady is being buried at the library next to her husband, who died on June 5, 2004. Nancy Reagan died of heart failure at the age of 94. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:57
Clinton responds to Trump rally violence
CBS
Now playing
01:43
Hillary Clinton defends Bill not resigning
CNN
Now playing
02:12
Clinton: Kavanaugh ceremony a political rally
Now playing
01:48
Clinton laughs at Kavanaugh's comment
CBS
Now playing
01:00
Hillary Clinton makes cameo on 'Murphy Brown'
hillary clinton amanpour impeachment_00014522.jpg
hillary clinton amanpour impeachment_00014522.jpg
Now playing
01:47
Clinton: Impeachment 'will be left to others to decide'
hillary clinton republicans amanpour intv vpx_00000000.jpg
hillary clinton republicans amanpour intv vpx_00000000.jpg
Now playing
03:04
Clinton: Civility starts by electing Democrats
Now playing
00:55
Clinton ends Franklin tribute with smartphone
CNN
Now playing
01:49
Clinton rejects Trump comparisons to her husband
Schomburg Center
Now playing
01:58
Bill Clinton: I apologized for Lewinsky scandal
US President Donald Trump (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a meeting in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)        (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a meeting in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
04:21
Fact check: Hillary Clinton's misleading comments
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the Eighth Annual Women in the World Summit at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on April 6, 2017, in New York City.
Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the Eighth Annual Women in the World Summit at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on April 6, 2017, in New York City.
Now playing
00:39
Hillary Clinton goes after al-Assad, Putin
AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 17:  Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton signs copies of her new book 'What Happened' at BookPeople on November 17, 2017 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Rick Kern/WireImage)
Rick Kern/WireImage/WireImage
AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 17: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton signs copies of her new book 'What Happened' at BookPeople on November 17, 2017 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/WireImage)
Now playing
01:29
Clinton: Trump parrots what Putin says
TV3
Now playing
01:01
Clinton: Children treated as political pawns
Broadway Video/Universal Television
Now playing
01:15
Miley Cyrus tears up thanking Hillary Clinton
RBG on sexism and HRC_00010727.jpg
RBG on sexism and HRC_00010727.jpg
Now playing
01:50
RBG says Clinton was criticized worse than men

Story highlights

Hillary Clinton on Saturday accused Donald Trump of inciting violence at his rallies, one day after fights and protests led to the cancellation of a Trump rally in Chicago

"If you play with matches, you're going to start a fire you can't control," Clinton said

(CNN) —  

Hillary Clinton on Saturday accused Donald Trump of inciting violence at his rallies, one day after fights and protests led to the cancellation of a Trump rally in Chicago.

Clinton said at a campaign event outside St. Louis that the “ugly, divisive rhetoric we are hearing from Donald Trump and the encouragement of violence and aggression is wrong, and it’s dangerous.”

“If you play with matches, you’re going to start a fire you can’t control,” Clinton said about Trump at a caucus kick-off event at a local YMCA. “That’s not leadership. That’s political arson. The test of leadership and citizenship is the opposite. If you see bigotry, oppose it. If you see violence, condemn it. And if you see a bully, stand up to him.”

Clinton acknowledged the “anger” that is motivating people on the left and the right of the political divide but said the way to bridge the gap “is to stand together against the forces of division and discrimination that are trying to divide America between us and them.”

Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, has made knocking Trump a regular part of her stump speech, blasting the businessman for comments he has made against Mexicans, women and Muslims. She regularly touts herself as the first candidate to call out his rhetoric.

But at the outset of the Republican race, many inside Clinton’s campaign saw Trump as an interesting sideshow, not someone who could credibly capture the Republican nomination.

That has changed. Clinton’s top aides now view Trump as the favorite to win the Republican nomination, and Clinton has started to go after the brash billionaire with more directness.

“You don’t get the chance to make America great by getting rid of everything that made America great,” Clinton said, parroting Trump’s campaign slogan. “No, our values, our diversity, our openness, these are strengths, not weaknesses.”