Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton blasted her Republican rival, Donald Trump, during counterterrorism speech Wednesday.
Taking aim at Trump’s recent comments on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation being obsolete, Clinton said that turning our back on the alliance “would reverse decades of bipartisan of American leadership and send a dangerous signal to friend and foe alike.”
Trump has said in recent days that NATO is costing the US too much money and has suggested rethinking the alliance.
“I think NATO may be obsolete,” Trump said in a Bloomberg interview. “NATO was set up a long time ago, many, many years ago. Things are different now. … We’re paying too much. As to whether or not it’s obsolete, I won’t make that determination.”
Clinton advocated for the opposite approach, saying the US needs to strengthen its alliances. She said that turning our back on NATO partners would be playing right the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Putin already hopes to divide Europe,” Clinton said in her speech at Stanford University. “If Mr. Trump gets his way, it will be like Christmas in the Kremlin.”
“It will make America less safe and the world more dangerous,” she added.
Clinton noted that after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, America’s allies within the alliance supported the US.
“On 9/11, NATO treated an attack against one as an attack against all,” Clinton said. “On September 12, headlines across Europe … proclaimed we are all Americans. … Now it’s our turn to stand with Europe. We cherish the same values and face the same adversaries, so we must share the same determination.”
She also called NATO “one of the best investments America has ever made.”
Earlier in the speech, Clinton repeated previous attacks on one of Trump’s rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
“It would also be a serious mistake to begin carpet bombing populated areas into oblivion,” Clinton said, referring to Cruz’s calls for carpet bombing terrorists in the Middle East.
She added: “Loose cannons tend to misfire. What America needs is strong, smart, steady leadership to wage and win this struggle.”
Clinton’s speech came a day after terrorist attacks hit Belgium. Attackers bombed a Brussels airport and metro station, killing 30 people and wounding more than 230. The terrorist group ISIS (also known as the Islamic State, ISIL, or Daesh) claimed responsibility for the attacks.
NOW WATCH: Watch a former death row inmate who spent 39 years in prison question Clinton on the death penalty
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.