Former President Bill Clinton took a subtle shot at Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Monday.
During his first stop as a campaign surrogate for his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the former president criticised Trump’s plan to temporarily ban Muslims from coming to the US.
“It’s important that we not be chumps when we decide what security provisions should be employed to check people’s background,” Clinton said without mentioning Trump by name.
He continued: “But we don’t want to run away from the place we’ve been. And America is a place that welcomes all people who are willing to treat people the way they want to be treated, willing to follow the law, willing to create a common community.”
The former president implied that Trump and perhaps other Republican candidates were unfairly demonizing Muslims. Clinton cited a story in the New York Daily News, in which a local Muslim shop clerk thwarted several armed robbers.
“That guy is more representative of Muslims in America than what happened in San Bernardino,” Clinton said.
The former president also ruminated on how he was not nearly angry enough to “fit in” with the current roster of presidential candidates on the Republican side.
“Sometimes I follow this debate in the presidential elections — especially when I watch the other guys debating. And I think I don’t fit anymore,” Clinton said. “First of all, I’m a happy grandfather. I’m not mad at anybody. And secondly, I thought an election was supposed to be a job interview.”
For his part, Trump has amplified his criticism of Clinton as he prepared to hit the 2016 campaign trail. Among other things, Trump repeatedly cited Clinton’s past marital infidelities as proof that his wife is a hypocrite on women’s issues:
If Hillary thinks she can unleash her husband, with his terrible record of women abuse, while playing the women’s card on me, she’s wrong!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2015
Hillary Clinton has announced that she is letting her husband out to campaign but HE’S DEMONSTRATED A PENCHANT FOR SEXISM, so inappropriate!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 27, 2015
Clinton reportedly declined to respond to Trump’s tacks on Monday:
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