SAN DIEGO, June 2 (UPI) — Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton made a full frontal assault on her likely general election opponent Donald Trump on the issue of foreign policy Thursday, calling his grasp of world affairs “dangerously incoherent.”
Leaning on her experience as a former secretary of state in front of a friendly audience in San Diego, home to a large contingent of active and retired military, Clinton struck a blunt, at times sarcastic tone, describing Trump’s sometimes unorthodox foreign policy proposals.
“Like many around the world, I believe the person the Republicans have nominated for president cannot do the job. Donald Trump’s idea aren’t just different, they are dangerously incoherent.”
At the heart of her criticism is Trump’s unpredictability, a fact he has touted as a virtue rather than a vice, saying America needs to be more agile in foreign policy to surprise countries and gain strategic advantage in negotiations over foreign affairs.
Clinton turned that idea around, saying national security decisions should not be made without careful consideration.
“He is not just unprepared. He is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility,” Clinton said. “This is not someone who should ever have the nuclear codes because it’s not hard to imagine Donald Trump leading us into war because someone got under his very thin skin.”
Recounting the tense debate between high-ranking members of President Barack Obama‘s national security team in the days prior to authorizing a Navy SEAL raid to kill Osama bin Laden, Clinton said presidential leadership is needed most on questions of national security.
“Unlike [Trump], I have some experience dealing with the hard work of statecraft,” Clinton said. “I have sat in the situation room and advised the president on some of the toughest choices he faced. I’m not new to this.”
Speaking directly about Trump’s comments about the possibility of open warfare on the Korean peninsula, Clinton said: “I wonder if he even realizes he’s talking about nuclear war?”
On Trump’s criticism of NATO as outdated, Clinton said: “If Donald gets his way, they’ll be celebrating in the Kremlin. We cannot let that happen. That’s why it’s no small, passing thing when he talks about leaving NATO.”
Clinton also hit at Trump’s signature issue: illegal immigration and his proposal to build a wall on the southern border.
“It’s no small thing when he calls Mexicans rapists and murderers. We’re lucky to have two friendly neighbors on our land borders. Why would he want to make one of them an enemy?” Clinton said.
Trump turned to Twitter to pan Clinton’s speech Thursday afternoon.
“Bad performance by Crooked Hillary Clinton! Reading poorly from a teleprompter. She doesn’t even look presidential,” Trump said.
Clinton’s official account responded, retweeting Trump’s criticism with a closing line from Clinton’s speech: “Imagine if he had not just his Twitter account at his disposal when he’s angry, but America’s entire arsenal.”