Military.com

Clinton Says Protecting US 'Will Be My Highest Priority'

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is joined by her husband Former President Bill Clinton during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 28, 2016. Carolyn Kaster/AP
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is joined by her husband Former President Bill Clinton during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 28, 2016. Carolyn Kaster/AP

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Thursday accepted her party's nomination in Philadelphia, saying "keeping our nation safe and honoring the people who do that work will be my highest priority."

The former secretary of state, senator and first lady criticized her Republican opponent, Donald Trump, for running a campaign that she said offered "dangerous proposals" and "zero solutions."

Trump last week blasted Clinton for what he called her failed tenure as secretary of state while pledging to "defeat the barbarians of ISIS" if elected president.

Clinton sought to detail her strategy for how her administration would "prevail" against the al-Qaida-inspired terrorist group that still controls significant territory in Iraq and Syria even after the U.S. launched airstrikes and deployed troops in both countries.

"We will strike their sanctuaries from the air and support local forces taking them out on the ground," she said. "We will surge our intelligence so we detect and prevent attacks before they happen. We will disrupt their efforts online to reach and radicalize young people in our country. It won't be easy or quick but, make no mistake, we will prevail."

Clinton also mocked Trump's claim that he knew "more about ISIS than the generals do," saying, "No, Donald, you don't." She also questioned whether he has the temperament to be commander in chief, saying, "A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons."

The former senator touted her experience on the Senate Armed Services Committee, described the military as "a national treasure," and praised the service of those who serve in uniform, including the Marine sons of both vice presidential candidates, Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, as well as the late Army Capt. Humayun S. M. Khan, whose father spoke at the convention.

While she acknowledged the threat from terrorism and referenced the recent attacks overseas in France and Belgium and stateside in Florida and California, Clinton didn't use the term "radical Islam" to describe the motivation of the attackers -- a point Trump and other critics have argued represents weakness. "We can't afford to be politically correct anymore," he has said.

During her speech, Clinton defended her role in the Iran nuclear deal. "I’m proud that we put a lid on Iran's nuclear program without firing a single shot," she said. "Now we have to enforce it, and we must keep supporting Israel’s security."

The 2015 pact was meant to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions, though defense hawks at the time expressed concern that the agreement would jump-start the Iranian economy and generate more revenue for the regime's military forces. More recently, the Associated Press this month reported "key restrictions" will ease before the 15-year accord expires, advancing the country's ability to build a bomb.

Clinton said she's "proud to stand by our allies in NATO against any threat they face, including from Russia." Trump has suggested his administration would not automatically defend the member states unless they contributed more to collective defense, comments that triggered alarms in Europe, particularly in the Baltic States.

Clinton also pledged to work to prevent terrorists from getting access to firearms.

"I'm not here to repeal the Second Amendment," she said. "I'm not here to take away your guns. I just don't want you to be shot by someone who shouldn't have a gun in the first place. We will work tirelessly with responsible gun owners to pass common-sense reforms and keep guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists, and all others who would do us harm."

-- Brendan McGarry can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.

Show Full Article