Clinton Takes Down Trump In Latest Foreign Policy Address

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Hillary Clinton has stepped up her game.

A speech that was announced to be a major foreign policy address instead  turned into a scathing, mocking takedown of Donald Trump,  CNN reports.

In one of the most memorable – and surprising – speeches of her political career, the former secretary of state did away with the carefully cultivated diplomacy typical of her previous national addresses and instead, unleashed a tirade against Trump. This included a warning that the businessman-turned-politician should not be allowed anywhere near the nuclear codes as he could start a war when anybody “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 remarked bitingly during the speech, held in San Diego, California just days before Tuesday’s primary in the state concludes the season and officially confirms her as the presumptive presidential nominee for the Democrats over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Trump answered Clinton with some choice words of his own at a rally in San Jose, California on Thursday night, saying, “I watched Hillary today and it was pathetic. It was so sad to watch.” He added that her “political speech” had nothing to do with foreign policy. “It was a pretty pathetic deal.”

This speech marked an important milestone in Clinton’s campaign, as it was the first insight as to how she is likely to handle Trump in what are likely to be a series of strong clashes and fierce debates between the two rivals. Clinton’s sardonic, unrestrained sense of humor is often displayed during private interactions but has not quite reared its head in public before.

Clinton’s speech also seemed to be aimed at fellow Democrats who fear that her campaign skills, which are frequently criticized, are not a match for Trump’s passionate, man-on-the-street outbursts that have proven to be effective.

In her argument that Trump’s lack of knowledge on foreign policy and his famous temper would risk both Republican and Democratic foreign policies, Clinton appeared to be appealing to the national security conservatives who are disgruntled with Trump.

This new strategy has its risks, as majority of Trump’s GOP primary competitors who have tried to take him on have failed. The question comes down to whether she will be more successful, a goal that might be helped by planting a not-quite-flattering picture of Trump in voters’ minds as early as now.

Clinton called Trump’s ideas a mix of “bizarre rants, personal feuds and outright lies,” seeking to convince the election audience of his inability to run the country. She scoffed at his “bragging” regarding foreign policy due to some “nasty tweets” and accused him of having a “bizarre” fixation on authoritarian world leaders like President Vladimir Putin of Russia, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un and Communist leaders in China.

“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 in the speech, Clinton half-joked that Trump was composing tweets in response to her speech. Trump did not disappoint, posting a series of tweets that said, “Bad performance by Crooked Hillary Clinton! Reading poorly from the teleprompter! She doesn’t even look presidential!” and “Crooked Hillary no longer has credibility – too much failure in office. People will not allow another four years of incompetence!”

Clinton, taking her cues from the Republican standard-bearer, contained even more brutal zingers meant to make fun of Trump’s candidacy and paint him as unfit for the presidency.

“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.”

“I will leave it to the psychiatrists to explain his attraction to tyrants,” Clinton said, before starting in on Trump’s claims that his business background gives him a significant edge in global knowledge. “You know, there’s no risk of people losing their lives if you blow up a golf-course deal. But it doesn’t work like that in world affairs.”

“He also says, ‘I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me.’ You know what? I don’t believe him,” Clinton added, as the audience cheered.

Clinton’s aides said that she never intended the speech to be a former foreign policy one, but rather a stinging putdown of Trump. She had watched and read Trump’s speeches in preparation, and gave an outline of what she wanted to say to speechwriters Megan Rooney and Dan Schwerin. Rooney and Schwerin worked with foreign policy advisers Jake Sullivan and Laura Rosenberger on the first draft. Rooney and Schwerin then went back and forth with Clinton to streamline and finalize the speech.

In terms of foreign policy, much of what Clinton discussed had already been said in previous, more formal policy addresses. She did, however, put focus on the more controversial areas of the foreign policy Trump had laid out.

“This is a man who said that more countries should have nuclear weapons, including Saudi Arabia. This is someone who has threatened to abandon our allies in NATO, the countries that work with us to root out terrorists abroad before they strike us at home,” Clinton said. “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. He has said that he would order our military to carry out torture.”

Clinton’s speech is a preview of what is expected to be a heated foreign policy debate in the general election – something that will allow her to poke holes in Trump’s plans and take aim at his perceived inexperience and lack of knowledge. However, these debates would also mean she has to defend her own policies from Republican criticism, including the post-Libya NATO intervention and the Obama administrations’ “reset” of relations with Russia.

She must also address her “email scandal,” where she supposedly put American national security at risk by using a personal email server to conduct official business when she was secretary of state.

Trump has already done his share of firing at Clinton’s foreign policies. “She doesn’t have the temperament to be president. She’s got bad judgment. She’s got horribly bad judgment,” he said. “If you look at the war in Iraq, if you look at what she did with Libya, which was a total catastrophe.”

The presumptive Democratic nominee ended her speech with a look at how she intends to respond to similar attacks from Trump’s side: turning the heat back to him and his supposed lack of qualifications to serve as president.

“Imagine Donald Trump sitting in the Situation Room, making life-or-death decisions 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.

“Do we want him making those calls — someone thin-skinned and quick to anger, who lashes out at the smallest criticism?” she pointed out. “Do we want his finger anywhere near the button?”

A full transcript of her speech can be found on

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