In a preview of the type of rhetoric still to come when the general election heats up in earnest this summer, Hillary Clinton on Wednesday in San Diego unleashed a scathing attack on presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. In a sweeping foreign policy speech that was co-written by at least four people in addition to herself, Clinton painted Trump as a juvenile, thin-skinned authoritarian who is unfit for the highest office in the land. Electing Trump, Clinton declared, would be a “historic mistake.” In one of the speech’s most convincing passages, Clinton invoked her role in President Obama’s decision in 2011 to send an elite Navy SEAL unit into Pakistan on a covert night time mission to kill Osama bin Laden. “Imagine Donald Trump sitting in the Situation Room, making life-or-death decisions on behalf of the United States,” Clinton said, a chorus of “No!” cascading from the audience. “Imagine if he had not just his Twitter account at his disposal when he’s angry, but America’s entire arsenal.” Clinton deployed a scorched earth strategy, not only assailing Trump’s temperament, but also firing stinging shots at his business record and foreign policy proposals. “He believes we can treat the U.S. economy like one of his casinos and default on our debts to the rest of the world, which would cause an economic catastrophe far worse than anything we experienced in 2008,” she said. “He has said that he would order our military to carry out torture.”
In true Trump form, the presumptive nominee wasted no time in firing back. Trump slammed her for “Reading poorly from the teleprompter!” in one of multiple posts on Twitter. The counterpunches came after Clinton had speculated that Trump was “composing nasty tweets” about her as she spoke. Indeed he was. In addition, while she was speaking, Trump was giving an interview to The New York Times in which he pushed back against her accusations that he’s “thin-skinned.”
“I’m not thin-skinned at all,” he told a pair of reporters from the Gray Lady. “I’m the opposite of thin-skinned.” Watch Clinton’s complete speech below:
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