KANSAS CITY, Missouri (AP) — Hillary Clinton blasted Donald Trump Thursday for his condemnation of American military generals and his praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying her Republican opponent had “failed” at proving he can be commander in chief.
“Every Republican holding or seeking office in this country should be asked if they agree with Donald Trump about these statements,” Clinton said in a news conference the morning after both candidates appeared at a national security forum.
Trump did not directly respond to Clinton’s critique Thursday. At a speech in Cleveland, he tagged his Democratic opponent with a new nickname — “trigger-happy Hillary” and repeated his incorrect claim that he opposed the war in Iraq “from the beginning.”
Still, Clinton indicated later in the day that she does not want the final weeks to be exclusively focused on Trump, unveiling plans for a series of policy speeches aimed at promoting a positive message. That effort started in Kansas City on Thursday night with an address on faith at the National Baptist Convention. Clinton did take some thinly veiled shots at Trump, but she also made an appeal to African-American voters and reflected on her Methodist faith.
“I’ve made my share of mistakes. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t,” said Clinton. “It’s grace that lifts us up and grace that leads us home.”
The foreign policy discussion followed a Wednesday night national security forum. Clinton was repeatedly challenged on her controversial email use at the State Department and her vote as a senator for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. She also fleshed out several national security priorities if she is elected, including trying to take out the leader of the Islamic State and vowing to defeat the extremist group without putting U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq or Syria.
Trump did little to counter criticism that he lacks detailed policy proposals, particularly regarding the Islamic State group. He both insisted he has a private blueprint for defeating the extremist group and that he would demand a plan from military leaders within 30 days of taking office. But he was also harshly critical of the military, saying America’s generals have been “reduced to rubble” under Obama.
The Republican also renewed his praise for Putin and his disdain for President Barack Obama, arguing that “it’s a very different system and I don’t happen to like the system, but certainly, in that system, he’s been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader.”
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