U.S. Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton berated Republican Donald Trump for being too friendly with North Korea and too harsh on European allies in a foreign policy speech on Thursday aimed at portraying the billionaire businessman as unfit for the White House.
“I believe the person the Republicans have nominated for president cannot do the job,” she said at a speech in San Diego Thursday.
“Trump’s ideas aren’t just different, they are dangerously incoherent. They’re not really ideas, they’re just a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds and outright lies,” Clinton said.
The speech comes as the former secretary of state seeks to shift her attention to the Nov. 8 presidential election against likely rival Trump and away from Bernie Sanders, the U.S. senator from Vermont who is continuing his long-shot bid for the Democratic nomination.
Clinton criticized Trump’s willingness to sit down with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to try to stop Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
“This is not someone who should ever have the nuclear codes — because it’s not hard to imagine Donald Trump leading us into a war just because someone got under his very thin skin,” Clinton said.
“He is not just unprepared, he is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility.”
Clinton looking to clinch in California
California is among six states holding Democratic nominating contests on Tuesday, and Clinton, who holds a nearly
insurmountable lead over Sanders in the delegate count, is hoping a decisive win there can help her clinch the nomination.
Clinton, a former U.S. senator, has already delivered several speeches on foreign policy and national security. Thursday’s address was not intended to break new policy ground but mainly to respond to recent comments by Trump, her campaign said.
Trump, who has never held elected office, has talked tough on foreign policy. He embraced the use of waterboarding and other brutal interrogation techniques for terrorism suspects and vowed to renegotiate trade deals and ask members of the 28-nation NATO alliance to “pay up” or “get out.”
Clinton highlighted her record of getting allies to “step up” and share defence costs but would not walk away from an alliance she views as important to U.S. efforts on counterterrorism, nuclear proliferation and other issues.
Donald Trump “picks fights” with U.S. “friends” like British Prime Minsiter David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel “and the Pope,” she said.
“I believe he will take our country down a truly dangerous path.”
Clinton’s speech is ‘lies,’ Trump says
At a rally Wednesday night in Sacramento, California, Trump said he had seen a copy of Clinton’s speech and “it was such lies about my foreign policy.”
Trump has criticized Clinton for her handling of foreign policy during her 2009-2013 stint as foreign secretary, including the Sept. 11, 2012, attack by Islamist militants on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. He cites Clinton’s support for the Iraq war — launched by former Republican
president George W. Bush — as another example of her shortcomings.
Using what is now his trademark epithet for Clinton, Trump kept up the assault on Thursday on Twitter, saying: “Crooked
Hillary Clinton has zero natural talent — she should not be president. Her temperament is bad and her decision-making
The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, also weighed in with a statement against Clinton.
“There isn’t a more flawed messenger on national security issues than Hillary Clinton, who as Obama’s secretary of state helped turn Libya into a jihadist playground, spearheaded the dangerous nuclear deal with Iran and secretly called for bringing terrorists from Guantanamo onto U.S. soil,” he said.
In assailing each other’s suitability for the White House, Clinton and Trump are reflecting a negative voter mood ahead of
next month’s party conventions that will choose the presidential nominees.
Both Clinton and Trump are facing record low favourability ratings. A Reuters/Ipsos poll taken Friday through Tuesday shows half of Trump supporters say the primary reason they are going to vote for him is “I don’t want Hillary Clinton to win,” while 41 per cent of Clinton supporters cite their primary reason as not wanting Trump to win.