- REUTERS/Adrees Latif
Hillary Clinton is set to deliver a major foreign-policy speech in California on Thursday, and the Democratic presidential frontrunner will focus much of it on setting herself apart from her likely rival in the 2016 general election, Donald Trump.
Clinton plans to cast Trump as different from any other nominee in recent history and “fundamentally unfit” for the role of commander in chief.
“Clinton’s critique will go beyond specific policies and she’ll make clear that the choice in this election goes beyond partisanship: Donald Trump is unlike any presidential nominee we’ve seen in modern times and he is fundamentally unfit for the job,” Jake Sullivan, a senior policy adviser for the Clinton campaign, said in a memo sent to Business Insider.
Clinton will present herself as a levelheaded alternative to the bombastic real-estate mogul who has called for a ban on Muslims entering the US, suggested that South Korea and Japan should be able to obtain their own nuclear weapons, posited that the NATO alliance is “obsolete,” and said he would “bomb the s— out of” the terrorist group ISIS. Those ideas have come under constant scrutiny from both sides of the political aisles.
She’ll project a “confidence in America and our capacity to overcome the challenges we face while staying true to our values – a strong contrast to Donald Trump’s incessant trash-talking of America,” according to Sullivan’s memo.
Clinton, who is close to locking up the Democratic nomination over Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, has begun preparing for a general-election matchup with Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee.
Trump’s campaign has been built around the slogan “Make America Great Again” – he often tells voters that the US has been taken advantage of by other countries and needs a tough negotiator in the White House to restore America to its former glory. He has built his foreign policy on similar themes, promising an “America first” approach.
The Clinton campaign has been trying to tear down the perception of Trump as a tough businessman.
At a Wednesday rally, Clinton trained her fire on the for-profit school Trump University, which is the subject of several lawsuits. She called Trump a “fraud” and said he was “trying to scam America the way he scammed all those people at Trump U.” She’s likely to use similar tactics in her foreign-policy speech on Thursday to make the case against Trump as a protector of America’s security.
“Clinton will speak extensively about the reasons why Donald Trump is unqualified to be our commander-in-chief,” Sullivan said in the memo. “She will rebuke a litany of dangerous policies that Trump has espoused, ranging from nuclear proliferation to endorsing war crimes, from denouncing NATO to banning Muslims.”
The Republican Party has tried to get ahead of Clinton’s speech and accompanying attacks on Trump’s commander-in-chief readiness with a memo headlined, “Hillary Clinton: A Disaster For US National Security.” A line at the top of the memo reads, “A Failure As Secretary Of State Who Defends The Weak Obama Administration Foreign Policy Cannot Be Trusted With Our Security.”
The memo quotes a series of news articles about Clinton’s foreign policy and defines “top takeaways,” including Clinton’s refusal to “categorize the terrorist threat as ‘radical Islam,'” Clinton’s support of President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran that “legitimizes and empowers” the “hostile” nation, and Clinton’s support for the US military intervention in Libya, which is now “a safe haven for terrorists and has become an ISIS stronghold.”