In a soaring Tuesday-night speech, her first as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton basked in the historic nature of her candidacy and previewed the ugly upcoming battle with Donald Trump.
Clinton relished the historic nature of her candidacy as the first woman to lead a major presidential ticket.
“Thanks to you, we reached a milestone,” she told her supporters.
She opened her speech from Brooklyn with a video of that situated her candidacy at the end of a long quest for women’s equality in the US, noting that she stood under a literal glass ceiling.
“I’m going to take a moment later tonight and in the days ahead to fully appreciate the history we made here,” Clinton said toward the end of her speech.
But Clinton’s speech also looked ahead to the general election, on the same night Trump promised to soon deliver a major speech targeting Clinton.
The former secretary of state took repeated shots at Trump, contrasting her candidacy with his inflammatory rhetoric about immigrants and women.
“When he says let’s make America great again, that’s code for let’s take America backwards,” Clinton said, referencing Trump’s slogan. “Back to a time when opportunity and dignity were reserved for some, not for all.”
She added: “It’s clear that Donald Trump doesn’t believe that we are stronger together. He wants to win by stoking fear and rubbing salt in wounds and reminding us daily just how great he is.”
“We are better than this,” she said later of Trump. “We won’t let this happen in America.”
Clinton also praised her Democratic rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders. He has maintained that he’ll take his fight to the Democratic National Convention, but has increasingly signaled that the future of his campaign is uncertain.
“He has spent his long career in public service fighting for progressive causes and principles and has excited millions of voters, especially young people,” Clinton said. “And make no mistake: Senator Sanders, his campaign, and the vigorous debate we’ve had … have been very good for the Democratic party and for America.”
The newly presumptive Democratic presidential nominee also noted that she understood the feeling of losing a hard-fought presidential election.
“It never feels good to put your heart into a candidate who comes up short. I know that feeling well,” Clinton said.