Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSuper PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump I voted for Trump in 2020 — he proved to be the ultimate RINO in 2021 Neera Tanden tapped as White House staff secretary MORE blasted Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' MORE on Wednesday, saying the Republican presidential nominee has diminishing the nation’s standing in the world by being critical of “American exceptionalism.”
Speaking at the American Legion national convention in Cincinnati, Clinton refused to use Trump’s name, saying only that her “opponent” has argued in favor of a smaller U.S. role in the world.
“My friends we are so lucky to be Americans,” Clinton said. “It is an extraordinary blessing. It’s why so many people from so many places want to be Americans too. But it’s also a serious responsibility, the decisions we make and the actions we take ... affect millions even billions of lives.”
“You may wonder how anyone can disagree,” Clinton continued. “But in fact my opponent in this race has said very clearly that he thinks American exceptionalism is insulting to the rest of the world.”
Trump has said that he finds the term “insulting” because foreign leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin don’t want to hear about how the U.S. is better than their own country.
President Obama has also said that other countries may find the term insulting because they view themselves as exceptional.
“In fact, when Vladimir Putin of all people criticized American exceptionalism, my opponent agreed with him, saying, ‘If you’re in Russia, you don’t want to hear that America is exceptional.' ” Clinton continued. “Maybe you don’t want to hear it ,but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. My opponent misses something important — when we say America is exceptional, it doesn’t mean that people from other places don’t feel deep national pride like we do. It means we recognize America’s unique and unparalleled ability to be a force for peace and progress.”
The term “American exceptionalism” has largely been the domain of Republican officials who have accused Democrats of putting their allegiances to multiculturalism, globalism and foreign countries ahead of U.S. interests.
Clinton’s speech can be seen as her latest outreach to Republicans who cannot support Trump.
Earlier in the day, the Clinton campaign rolled out its latest Republican endorsement, this one from James Clad, who served as deputy assistant secretary of Defense for former President George W. Bush.
Clinton on Wednesday also sought to draw a contrast with Trump’s grim depiction of a U.S. in crisis.
The Democratic nominee made the case that the U.S. must continue to be a global leader militarily and diplomatically by spreading U.S. ideas around the world.
Trump has been criticized by Democrats for painting a sinister picture of the state of the nation that focuses on crumbling infrastructure, mass unemployment and rampant crime.
Central to the GOP nominee’s pitch is that Washington lawmakers have reduced the nation to rubble and that only an outsider with executive experience like himself will up-end the status quo and return the country to greatness.
Clinton’s speech on Wednesday comes as she has spent the much of August out of public view and content to allow Trump to hog the spotlight.
The Democratic nominee has been holding private campaign fundraisers and preparing for next month’s presidential debate, appearing only occasionally for rallies, speeches or interviews.
The Trump campaign has sought to highlight Clinton’s absence from the campaign trail, raising questions about her physical health, using the hashtag “HidingHillary,” and drawing attention to the fact it has been nearly 10 months since she last held an impromptu press conference.
Trump will address the American Legion on Thursday to cap a busy week in which he’ll hold a rally in Washington, meet with the president of Mexico in Mexico City, and give a much-anticipated speech on immigration in Arizona.