Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton attacked the two leading Republicans candidates on Tuesday as she sought to set her foreign policy credentials apart from her rivals.
Clinton went after real-estate mogul Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in her foreign policy address at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis.
Speaking on US counterterrorism efforts, Clinton said that “waging and winning this fight will require serious leadership.”
“We can’t afford another major ground war in the Middle East,” she said. “That’s exactly what ISIS wants from us.”
Clinton then said that “shallow slogans don’t add up to a strategy” and went after Cruz.
“Promising to carpet bomb until the desert glows doesn’t make you sound strong, it makes you sound like you’re in over your head,” she added.
Earlier this month, Cruz said that he would “carpet bomb” the terrorist group ISIS (also known as the Islamic State, ISIL, and Daesh) “into oblivion” and quipped that “I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out.”
After her takedown of Cruz, Clinton seemed to go after Trump, saying that “bluster and bigotry are not credentials for becoming commander in chief.”
Trump is known for making grand pronouncements about his abilities and for suggesting outlandish policies like barring all Muslims from entering the US. Trump also has repeatedly said he would “bomb the s— out of ISIS.”
“Every day that’s wasted on partisan gridlock could put Americans in danger,” Clinton said Tuesday. “So yes, we need a serious discussion, and that’s why in a speech last month before the Council on Foreign Relations I laid out a three-part plan to defeat ISIS and the broader extremist movement.”
In that speech, Clinton listed the three pillars of her plan as:
- Defeat ISIS in Syria, Iraq, and across the Middle East;
- Disrupt and dismantle the growing terrorist infrastructure that facilities the flow of fighters, financing arms, and propaganda around the world; and
- Harden our defences and those of our allies against external and homegrown threats.
Trump and Cruz are at the top of recent polls for the Republican nomination for president. Both have talked tough on national security during a time when Americans are listing terrorism as the top issue facing the US today.
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