Hillary Clinton slams Donald Trump during national security speech at Balboa Park
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke for approximately 40 minutes to supporters gathered in Balboa Park at The Prado, focusing on her plans to strengthen America’s national security and global diplomacy. Many of her arguments were constructed by taking aim at Republican nominee Donald Trump, using statements he’s said regarding a wide array of topics as reasons to question his ability to lead America.
"It’s a choice between a fearful America that’s less secure and less engaged with the world, and a strong confident America that leads to keep our country safe and our economy growing," Clinton said of what voters will decide on November’s election.
Clinton didn’t make mention of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders despite their race for the presidential nominee still hanging in the balance. Sanders has been campaigning tirelessly through California, hoping to produce a victory in the primary on June 7 that can give his run for the nominee momentum heading into the Democratic National Convention. Hillary instead focused her words around her campaign and why she feels Trump isn’t capable of securing America’s national security.
"Americans aren’t just electing a president in November, we’re choosing our next Commander-In-Chief. The person we count on to decide questions of war and peace, life and death," Hillary said. "I believe the person the Republicans have nominated for president cannot do the job."
"[Trump] is not just unprepared, he is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility," Clinton said of Trump. "This is not someone who should ever have the nuclear codes."
Trump’s campaign has been centered around making America great again, with the Republican presidential nominee pointing to several areas he feels the country has begun falling short. Trump’s speech in San Diego focused on how he’d turn those issues into areas of strength for the United States, rebuilding America to be great once again. Clinton took issue with the notion that America isn’t great in the present.
"Trump believes America is weak. An embarrassment. He called our military a disaster. He said we are, and I quote, a ‘third world country.’
Those are the words, my friends, of someone who doesn’t understand America or the world," Clinton said.
"I believe, with all my heart, that America is an exceptional country."
Clinton went on to discuss what she believes America needs to do in order to maintain and improve national security.
"First, we need to be strong at home. That means investing in our infrastructure, education and innovation. The fundamentals of a strong economy"
Investing in infrastructure has been a platform point for Trump, Clinton and Sanders as they’ve burned through the campaign trail.
"We need to reduce income inequality because our country can’t lead effectively when so many are struggling to provide the basics for their families."
"We need to break down the barriers that hold Americans back, including barriers of bigotry and discrimination."
"We need to stick with our allies. America’s network of allies is part of what makes us exceptional," Clinton said. She elaborated on how Trump becoming the President of the United States could compromise the country’s ability to maintain alliances and that the Kremlin would "celebrate" the problems that could arise from his presidency.
"Making Donald Trump our Commander-in-Chief would be a historic mistake. It would undo so much of the work that Republicans and Democrats alike have done, over many decades, to make America stronger and more secure. It would set back our standing in the world more than anything in recent memory, and it would fuel an ugly narrative about who we are. That we’re fearful, not confident."
"We need to embrace all the tools of American power, especially diplomacy and development. To be on the frontlines, solving problems before they threaten us at home. Diplomacy is often the only way to avoid a conflict that could end up exacting a much greater cost," Hillary said.
Clinton was clear she does not believe Trump would be capable of maintaining a diplomatic global presence, and that his temperament would be a huge issue should he become President.
"The temperament it takes to be Commander-in-Chief. Every president faces hard choices every day. With imperfect information and conflicting imperatives. That’s the job," she said.
"Making the right call takes a cool head and respect for the facts. It takes a willingness to listen to other people’s points of view with a truly open mind. It also takes humility, knowing you don’t know everything because if you’re convinced you’re always right, you’ll never ask yourself the hard questions," Clinton added.
"Imagine Donald Trump sitting in the situation room, making life or death decision on behalf of the United States. Imagine him deciding whether to send your spouses or children into battle. imagine if he had not just his Twitter account at his disposal when he’s angry, but America’s entire arsenal," she said.
"This election is a choice between two very different visions of America. One that’s angry, afraid and based on the idea that America is fundamentally weak and in decline. The other is hopeful, generous and confident in the knowledge that America is great just like we always have been," Hillary said as she began wrapping up her speech.
"So, let’s resolve that we can be greater still. That is what I believe in my heart," she said. "I love this country and I know you do too. It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve America, and I’m going to do everything I can to protect our nation and make sure we never lose sight of how strong we really are."