Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMcCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Bill Clinton hospitalized with sepsis We have a presidential leadership crisis — and it's only going to get worse MORE slammed Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMcCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Biden's Supreme Court reform study panel notes 'considerable' risks to court expansion Bennie Thompson not ruling out subpoenaing Trump MORE for his comments on Mexican immigrants in the first national interview of her presidential campaign.
“I'm very disappointed in those comments, and I feel very bad and very disappointed with him and with the Republican Party for not responding immediately and saying, 'Enough, stop," Clinton said in the interview with CNN's Brianna Keilar.
Clinton was referring to Trump's comments attributing rampant crime to illegal immigrants from Mexico, which sparked a firestorm.
Clinton sought to link Trump, a GOP White House hopeful, to the Republican Party as a whole on immigration, saying "They are all in the same general area on immigration."
At a public event attended by several hundred supporters at the Iowa City Public Library earlier in the day, Clinton blasted Republicans for opposing a pathway to citizenship for those in the country illegally.
"I don't care how many people running for president on the Republican side try to demean immigrants, insult immigrants, cast aspersions on immigrants," Clinton said. “We are not going to deport 11 or 12 million people. ... The Republican candidates, and it’s not just the ones who are most vitriolic, none of them support a path to citizenship. All of them would basically resign them to a life as second-class citizens.”
Clinton said that if elected president, she would return to the immigration bill passed by the Senate in 2010 that died in the House.
“That would be my starting point,” Clinton said. “You voted for it once. Let's vote for it again."
In her CNN interview, Clinton was asked about former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a leading candidate for the GOP nomination.
"He doesn't believe in a path to citizenship," she responded. "If he did at one time, he no longer does."
Clinton also pushed back on suggestions, backed by polling, that a significant segment of the public distrusts her.
She described such attacks as "a theme that has been used against me, and my husband, for many, many years." She added that she trusted the electorate to make up its own mind.
Clinton took a question about the rise of Vermont Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Biden: We will fix nation's problems Left doubles down on aggressive strategy MORE (I) in stride, saying she “always thought this would be a competitive race.”
Sanders has been pulling crowds of thousands of supporters and has cut into Clinton’s previously huge leads in the early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire. On Monday, Clinton Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri called Sanders “a serious force” her team is worried about.
But on Tuesday, Clinton touted the strength of her organization in Iowa, where she continues to lead Sanders by more than 20 points, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls.
“I feel very good about where we are in Iowa we are signing up thousands of volunteers, people committed to caucus for us, a committed supporter in every one of the 1,600 precincts, and one of lessons I learned last time is organize, organize, organize,” Clinton said. “You’ve got to get people committed and then you bring more people. So I feel very good about where my campaign is."
This developing story will be updated.