Clinton, who spoke from a union hall, hit Trump for being simplistic on fighting terrorism
Clinton also turned her focus to Trump's most controversial idea: Banning Muslims from entering the United States
Hillary Clinton on Tuesday offered a point-by-point rebuttal to Donald Trump’s plan to combat terrorism, accusing the presumptive Republican nominee of peddling “lies” because “he has to distract us from the fact he has nothing substantive to say.”
Americans, Clinton argued here, “don’t need conspiracy theories and pathological self-congratulations, we need leadership, common sense and concrete plans.”
Clinton, who spoke from a union hall, hit Trump for being simplistic on fighting terrorism and, she said, having only two ideas to address the problem: Using the term “radical Islamic terrorism” and banning Muslims and people from countries with terrorism ties from entering the United States.
“First he is fixated on the words radical Islam. Now I must say, I find this strange. Is Donald Trump suggesting that there are magic words that once uttered will stop terrorists from coming after us?” Clinton said, mocking Trump before saying that she believes “it matters what we do, not just what we say.”
Trump has repeatedly slammed Clinton and President Barack Obama for not using the term and did so again on Monday.
“If Donald suggests I won’t call this threat what it is, he hasn’t been listening,” Clinton added. “What I will not do is demonize and declare war on an entire religion.”
Trump quickly lashed into Clinton on Twitter, writing, “Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.”
Clinton’s speech comes two days after a ISIS-inspired terrorist stormed into a gay nightclub in Orlando and killed 49 people. Both Clinton and Trump responded to the attack on Monday, with the former secretary of state delivering a speech that largely ignored the GOP standard-bearer and Trump with a speech that repeatedly hit Clinton.
On Tuesday, Clinton also turned her focus to Trump’s most controversial idea: Banning Muslims from entering the United States.
“It goes against everything we stand for as a country founded on religious freedom,” Clinton said, before telling the audience that it would hurt relations with Muslim nations, make it harder to combat radicalization at home and help ISIS recruit other terrorists.
Clinton said Trump’s plan to ban Muslims was “especially nonsensical” in this instance because the shooter in Orlando – Omar Mateen – “was born in Queens, New York, just like Donald Was himself.”
“So Muslim bans and immigration reforms would not have stopped him,” Clinton said. “They would not have saved a single life in Orlando. And those are the only two ideas Donald’s Trump put forward yesterday for how to fight ISIS.”
After the shooting on Monday, Trump went on Fox News and suggested that Obama was sympathetic to ISIS.
“(Obama) doesn’t get it, or he gets it better than anybody understands,” Trump said. “It’s one or the other. And either one is unacceptable.”
Clinton said that even in a time of divided politics, “This is way beyond anything that should be said by someone running for president of the United States.”
“And I have to ask, will responsible Republican leaders stand up to their presumptive nominee or will they stand by his accusation about our president?” Clinton asked, adding, “History will remember what we do in this moment.”
Clinton finished the speech, which was notably partisan, with a call for a bipartisan response to Trump. The former first lady referenced a letter that recently went viral online written by outgoing President George H.W. Bush and left for the new president, President Bill Clinton, on the day he took office in 1993.
The letter, which came after a heated campaign between the two party leaders, wished Clinton the best and added “your success is now our country’s success and I am rooting hard for you.”
“It had some good advice about staying focused on what matters despite the critics,” an emotional Hillary Clinton said of the letter. “It wished him happiness and it concluded with these words, ‘You will be our president when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well. Your success is now our country’s success and I am rooting hard for you, George.’”
“That,” Clinton concluded on Tuesday, “is the America we love.”