Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy speech was more of an evisceration of Donald Trump, using the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s own words to make the case that he is “temperamentally unfit” to be president.
Trump countered Thursday evening, telling an audience “My temperament is so much tougher, so much better than hers.”
Standing in front of 15 American flags, Clinton used her 35-minute speech to tout her experience and successes as Secretary of State while reminding the audience of Trump opinions and statements. She made a point of saying “America is an exceptional country” while criticizing Trump for his “Make America Great Again” since, in her words, “America is great, just like we’ve always been.”
Clinton still has unfinished business in her quest for the Democratic nomination. She and Bernie Sanders will face off in six primaries next Tuesday that should deliver the requisite number of delegates for Clinton, barring overwhelming victories for Sanders.
If Thursday’s speech is any indication, a Clinton-Trump presidential match-up will be no holds barred.
Hillary Clinton Rolled out the Anti-Trump Argument that Could Deliver a Landslide
Matthew Yglesias – Vox
The essence of the argument is simple. You may not agree with everything she says or everything she’s done or will do, but you can at least be sure that a Clinton presidency won’t lead to some enormous unforeseen cataclysm. With Trump, there’s no such guarantee.
Over the course of the past year, Clinton has been talking primarily to Democratic Party primary voters. This argument — and this speech in general — is not one that will be especially appealing to them.
What she’s offering instead is an argument aimed at a much broader audience. It’s an argument that acknowledges, implicitly, that there are tens of millions of right-of-center Americans who’ve never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate but didn’t support Trump in the primary. Clinton is pitching an argument aimed at those people — one designed to offer little ideological or policy content in hopes of appealing to 70 percent of the population rather than 51 percent.
Hillary’s Trump Rant
Editorial Board – Boston Herald
She called Trump’s foreign policy pronouncements “dangerously incoherent,” adding, “They’re not really ideas, just a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds and outright lies.”
Frankly it’s hard to disagree. But it’s also a discomforting sight to see a former U.S. senator and a former secretary of state descend into a similar rant.
And yet when she insists “they’ll be celebrating in the Kremlin” if Trump is elected, Clinton is treading on dangerous ground. Remember the Russian “reset?” So how’s that working out, Secretary Clinton?
Bad performance by Crooked Hillary Clinton! Reading poorly from the telepromter! She doesn't even look presidential!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 2, 2016
What Kind of Commander in Chief Would Hillary Clinton Be?
Peter Bergen – CNN
Clinton, unlike Trump, has an extensive foreign policy record to examine based on her four-year tenure as secretary of state, which can help us understand how she might operate as commander in chief.
As secretary of state, for example, she presided over the effort in 2010 to significantly tighten sanctions on Iran, which helped to bring the Iranians, eventually, to the negotiating table on their nuclear program….
This move highlights what could perhaps be most distinctive about Hillary Clinton as president: her refusal to be typecast as either hawk or dove. Instead, she has long been resolutely both, advocating for military interventions in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Syria while also being unafraid to express her support…for critiques of the use of force.
Crooked Hillary no longer has credibility - too much failure in office. People will not allow another four years of incompetence!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 2, 2016
On Foreign Policy, Hillary Clinton Exploits the GOP Identity Crisis
Noah Rothman – National Review
For Republicans, their bind is that Clinton’s hypocrisy matters little when weighed against Trump’s contention that the Islamic State should have a “free zone” in Syria, that America’s multilateral alliances should be dissolved, that individual allies should provide Washington recompense for the privilege of a mutual-defense treaty, or that nuclear proliferation is not only unpreventable but desirable. His brand of retrenchment is and has been a traditionally Democratic value since at least the Vietnam War.
Republicans should have no illusions about how Hillary Clinton would govern as president. Nor should they be shocked by how she will conduct America’s foreign affairs. If the last quarter century is any guide, conservatives will probably find her tenure suboptimal….If Hillary Clinton plans on running an optimistic campaign in defense of a bright future in which American hegemony is unapologetically preserved, the Republican party’s identity crisis is far from over.
Hillary Clinton Just Kicked Trump in the Shins
Fred Kaplan – Slate
For those who thought Hillary Clinton needed proxies or a running mate to attack Donald Trump with the savagery required of a long-slog campaign, her Thursday speech in San Diego should be a mind-changer.
The all-but-inevitable Democratic nominee showed that she’s fit to be her own attack dog, mauling her ill-matched Republican foe to shreds without getting muddy in the process.
In Crooked Hillary's telepromter speech yesterday, she made up things that I said or believe but have no basis in fact. Not honest!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2016
A Vote Against Trump Is Not a Vote for Hillary
Dov S. Zakheim – The National Interest
Hillary Clinton offered a compelling case against voting for Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential election. But the arguments she made on her own behalf were far weaker….
Where Clinton fell short, however, was when she began to extol her own virtues and those of the Obama administration. She vigorously defended the Iran nuclear agreement (formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), claiming that it was she who led the way in imposing “crippling sanctions” that brought Tehran to the table. In fact, she and her administration colleagues resisted the imposition of additional sanctions until they were virtually forced by the Congress to accept them….
Clinton had nothing to say about the Libya fiasco—what could she say?—nor about her inability to bring about any movement in the moribund Israeli-Palestinian “peace process.”