NEW YORK: In one of the most hard hitting speeches of her career Hillary Rodham Clinton went straight for the jugular, unleashing a series of biting attacks on Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump who has been attacking her relentlessly.
Clinton warned that Trump should not be let anywhere near the nuclear codes because he could start a war when somebody “got under his very thin skin.”
“He’s not just unprepared — he’s temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility,” Clinton said during the speech in San Diego, California.
Trump fired back while speaking at a rally in San Jose, California, on Thursday night. “I watched Hillary today and it was pathetic. It was so sad to watch,” Trump said, calling it a “political speech” that had nothing to do with foreign policy. “It was a pretty pathetic deal,” he added.
Ms Clinton told voters that Trump’s ideas are a mix of “bizarre rants, personal feuds and outright lies”. She lambasted his “bragging” approach to foreign policy based on a string of “nasty tweets” and accused him of harbouring a “bizarre” affinity for authoritarian leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Communist rulers of China and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un.
“We cannot put the safety of our children and grandchildren in Donald Trump’s hands. We cannot let him roll the dice with America,” Clinton said.
At one point, Clinton imagined Trump composing nasty tweets to respond to her speech. And the combative Republican standard-bearer did not disappoint.
“Bad performance by Crooked Hillary Clinton! Reading poorly from the telepromter! She doesn’t even look presidential!” the presumptive GOP nominee wrote as her address ended. In another tweet, Trump added: “Crooked Hillary no longer has credibility — too much failure in office. People will not allow another four years of incompetence!” But taking a page from Trump’s book, Clinton’s speech contained a string of zingers meant to ridicule the presumptive presidential GOP nominee and render him an unacceptable choice for president.
“He says he has foreign policy experience because he ran the Miss Universe pageant in Russia,” Clinton said. “The stakes in global statecraft are infinitely higher and more complex than in the world of luxury hotels.”
As CNN observed the speech by Clinton marked a significant moment in her campaign, as it was the first real signal of the tactics and attitude she will use to take on Trump and offered a preview of what are likely to be fierce clashes between the rivals at a trio of presidential debates later in the year. It demonstrated the kind of sardonic, unrestrained humour that she often shows in private interactions with friends and reporters but has refrained from displaying in public.
It also appeared to be aimed at Democrats who are spooked by recent polls showing a tight race between Clinton and Trump, and who fear her often-criticised campaigning skills won’t keep up with Trump’s volatile and highly effective off-the-cuff style.
When she argued that Trump’s lack of knowledge on foreign policy and temperament would put at risk decades of Republican and Democratic foreign policy advances, she appeared to be making a pitch for disgruntled national security conservatives who feel unable to put their trust in the Republican nominee, one expert here observed.
Ryan endorses Trump
House Speaker Paul Ryan endorsed Donald Trump’s bid for president on Thursday, bringing an end to the extraordinary public split between the GOP’s presumptive White House nominee and the nation’s top Republican in office.
“I had friends wishing I wouldn’t support him. I had friends wishing I would,” Ryan said in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press.
“I really didn’t feel any pressure, other than my goal is to make sure that were unified so that we’re at full strength in the fall so we can win the election.”
Ryan’s announcement, made in a newspaper column published in his Wisconsin hometown, marks a significant step for a Republican Party trying to come together ahead of a general election matchup against likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
And Ryan made clear he had Clinton on his mind when he decided to join the ranks of Republicans who have slowly come around to backing Trump, the brash billionaire few expected to emerge as the party’s nominee when the campaign began in earnest last year.
“This to me is about saving the country and preventing a third progressive, liberal term, which is what a Clinton presidency would do,” Ryan said.—AP