Conservatives Praise Clinton’s “Powerful” Foreign Policy Speech Excoriating Trump

Conservatives are praising Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy speech as “one of her best,” after she called Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee, “dangerously incoherent” and suggested he should “never have the nuclear code.”

Clinton Bashes Trump In Foreign Policy Speech

Reuters:  Clinton Highlighted “Her Approach To Foreign Policy” And “Lambasted” Trump In Speech. Hillary Clinton “lambasted” Donald Trump’s foreign policy proposals  during a June 2  speech, according to Reuters. Clinton referred to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee as “dangerously incoherent” and “thin skin[nned].” Clinton also highlighted “her approach to foreign policy” as well as “her own experience as secretary of state.” From  the June 3 Reuters report:

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton lambasted Donald Trump's foreign policy platform as “dangerously incoherent” in a speech on Thursday that cast her Republican rival as both a frightening and laughable figure.

In remarks that at times resembled a comedy roast, Clinton unleashed a torrent of polished zingers and one-liners to attack Trump's policies and character, suggesting Trump might start a nuclear war if elected to the White House simply because “somebody got under his very thin skin.”


Amid the laugh lines, Clinton cited her own experience as secretary of state, in particular her role advising President Barack Obama during the mission to kill al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, to suggest her approach to foreign policy was the more serious.

“He praises dictators like Vladimir Putin and picks fights with our friends, including the British prime minister, the mayor of London, the German chancellor, the president of Mexico and the pope,” Clinton said, listing some of the allies with whom Trump has verbally sparred in the last year.


Clinton derided these and other positions, promising she would do a better job keeping the United States safe. Standing in front of a backdrop of 19 large U.S. flags, an unusual abundance even by the standards of presidential campaign events, Clinton painted the election as a choice between “two very different visions.”

“One that's angry, afraid and based on the idea that America is fundamentally weak and in decline,” she said, summing up Trumpism. “The other is hopeful, generous and confident in the knowledge that America is great, just like we always have been.” [Reuters, 6/2/16]

Conservatives Laud Clinton’s “Powerful” Speech

Wash. Post’s Jennifer Rubin: Clinton “Aptly Captured” Trump’s “Dangerous Combination Of Ignorance, Instability And Lack Of Impulse Control.” Washington Post conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin exalted the speech as “the best speech of her campaign, if not her career.” Rubin wrote that Clinton “aptly captured” Trump’s “ignorance, instability and lack of impulse control.” Rubin noted the speech should be a “comfort” to Republicans who refuse to vote for Trump. From the June 3 post:    

Hillary Clinton’s speech in California on Thursday dissecting Donald Trump’s foreign policy was arguably the best speech of her campaign, if not her career. For one thing, she was relaxed, obviously enjoying going after Trump and his harebrained ideas.


She aptly captured the dangerous combination of ignorance, instability and lack of impulse control that we’ve come to see in Trump time and again. (“He praises dictators like Vladimir Putin and picks fights with our friends – including the British prime minister, the mayor of London, the German chancellor, the president of Mexico and the Pope,” she recalled. “He says he has foreign policy experience because he ran the Miss Universe pageant in Russia.”)


In sum, her purpose was to paint Trump as a menace to the country and herself as an experienced, sober leader. She succeeded entirely with the former, and to the surprise of many of her critics, made a strong argument for the latter. That should be of comfort to the millions of Republicans and independents who cannot bring themselves to vote for Trump. [Washington Post, 6/3/16]

Commentary’s  Noah Rothman: Clinton’s Speech Showed “A Deft Contrast With Her Republican Opponent.” Commentary editor Noah Rothman praised Clinton’s speech in a National Review article, calling her “a defender of the legacy of Ronald Reagan.” Rothman wrote her speech showed “a deft contrast” between Clinton and Trump, which “conservatives should take to heart.” From the June 3 article:   

Hillary Clinton may seem an odd figure to serve as a defender of the legacy of Ronald Reagan, a champion of the honor of John McCain, and a critic of the economic prescriptions of Depression-era Democrats, but 2016 has been nothing if not surprising.


For Democrats who have spent the past seven years defending Barack Obama’s Keynesian economic interventionism and the efficacy of tariffs on Chinese tires, this attack on the Obama-style Democratic-party policies of the 1930s must have felt like a knife in the gut.

Or, at least, it would have — had Clinton’s speech not struck such a deft contrast with her Republican opponent. Conservatives should take heart in the fact that Clinton’s advisers determined that the most effective way to present herself as the antidote to Trump was to sound like a Republican — at least, the kind of Republican that has been nominated to the presidency for the last 40 years. Gone was the hand-wringing about American post–Cold War supremacy. Her speech was bereft of self-indulgent pretentiousness about the sacred sovereignty of Iran or Guatemala, which were cruelly violated by Dwight Eisenhower’s CIA. Clinton’s speech was, by and large, a defense of America’s current role in the world and a pledge to maintain it through robust and preemptive action. [National Review, 6/3/16]

CNN Military Analyst Col. Peter Mansoor: “It Was A Very Powerful Speech.” CNN military analyst and retired  Army Col. Peter Mansoor called Clinton’s foreign policy speech “powerful” and said it “reinforced [his] viewpoint,” and his decision to vote for her over Trump. From the June 2edition of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360:

ANDERSON COOPER (HOST): Colonel, let me start with you. You’re a lifelong Republican. You plan on voting for Hillary Clinton, should she win the nomination, largely because of Trump’s foreign policy acumen, or lack thereof. Did today’s speech by Clinton bolster your decision?

COL. PETER MANSOOR: I think it reinforced my decision. She hit upon many of the points I’ve been making for the past couple of days and that I’ve been thinking about for the past six to nine months, the lack of temperament and character to hold the highest office in the land, his endangerment of our alliances and our allies around the world, his diminishment of America's moral standing with his stances on torture and bombing of civilians, and so forth, so I think it was a very powerful speech, and yes, it reinforced my view point. [CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, 6/2/16]

Fox’s Dana Perino: “It Was One Of Her Best Speeches.” Fox host and former press secretary for President George W. Bush, Dana Perino, praised Clinton’s speech as “one of her best.” From the June 2 edition of Fox News’ The Five:

GREG GUTFELD (CO-HOST): What did you make of it, Dana?

DANA PERINO (CO-HOST): Well, agree with most of what's been said. Including with Juan. I thought it was one of her best speeches and I do think she had made the pivot to take Donald Trump on directly as he's been doing with her. He has the luxury of doing that because he was able to dispense of his opponents early on. She tried ridicule without malice, and she didn't yell.


PERINO: So this is, this is a speech to appeal to her base and to say this is how I would take Donald Trump on. And I thought if you're a Democrat, judging it by that standards, I thought it was a good speech. [Fox News, The Five, 6/2/16] “This Was A Very Tough Speech.” Townhall’s Guy Benson praised Clinton for portraying Trump as a “clownish punchline” and “know-nothing man.” Benson wrote that “this was a very tough speech” and predicted that it will be “fairly effective” with voters. From the June 2 article:  

Her tone walked a fine line between serious, informed adult-in-the-roomism, and contemptuous “are you serious?” mockery of the presumptive Republican nominee.  She framed her longtime friend and donor as a clownish punchline crossed with a know-nothing madman.  Make no mistake, this was a very tough speech, and I suspect its construction and themes will be fairly effective -- and that we'll hear much more of this sort of material in the coming months.


As I said on the air, pounding away at Trump's foreign policy incoherence and whiplash-inducing shifting -- and that's what it is, on anti-ISIS ground troops, on ordering illegal torture, on the seriousness of the Muslim ban proposal, etc. -- is fair game for Hillary.  These issues are in her wheelhouse, and they're substantive.  Trump is allergic to substance. Peppering those criticisms with sharp jabs at his temperament would also be smart; polling shows that he's hugely vulnerable on that front.  [, 6/2/16]  

HotAir:  Clinton’s “Indictment Of Trump” Was “Especially Bruising.” HotAir’s conservative blogger Allahpundit lauded Clinton’s “indictment of Trump,” which was “especially bruising.” The article called Clinton’s criticism of Trump  “right,” noting that this is “not a minor thing to be right about.” From the June 2 post:  

The indictment of Trump early on is especially bruising.


It’s easy to imagine Trump blustering his way into a standoff somewhere in which he’s forced to either act or lose face and concluding that a strongman simply can’t afford to lose face. She’s right, and it’s not a minor thing to be right about. Like I said last night, if Hillary manages to turn this election into a referendum on whom voters would rather see with their finger on the button, she wins in a waltz. Voters will take the crook over the hothead narcissist. The fact that she’s already hammering that point this early in the campaign means that it is likely to be part of her core message. [, 6/2/16]

The Federalist’s Tom Nichols: The Worst Part Of Clinton’s Speech Was “Having To Agree With Her.” The Federalist’s Tom Nichols wrote of Clinton’s speech in an op-ed for the New York Daily News, asserting that the “worst part” of the speech was “having to agree with her when she’s right.” Nichols wrote that her criticisms of Trump were “right” in that he “is not, in any way, qualified to be commander in chief.” Nichols said the speech made Clinton seem like “a far more plausible commander in chief” than Trump. From the June 2 article:   

What’s the worst part of having to sit through a Hillary Clinton speech? Is it the smug delivery, the random adoption of cornpone accents, the attempts to mimic normal human reactions?

No. It’s having to agree with her when she’s right. And in her speech on Thursday — one of her best in this campaign — she was right. Donald Trump is not, in any way, qualified to be the commander in chief of the United States of America.


Trump’s policies, as Clinton said, are not even policies. They are just a series of “bizarre rants, personal feuds and outright lies.”

None of this will matter to Trump’s supporters, who think that sweaty-faced bellowing into a microphone is the same thing as a policy. But Clinton raised the one image that should give everyone else outside the Trump Cult serious pause: the idea of Trump in the White House Situation Room, “making life or death decisions on behalf of the United States.”


Clinton would never have been my choice for President. But when the alternative is a raging narcissist with impulse-control problems, the woman who spoke in San Diego on Thursday is a far more plausible commander in chief. And that’s all that matters now. [New York Daily News, 6/2/16]

National Review’s Charles C. W. Cooke: “If Hillary Runs Like This She Will Win Big.”

[, 6/2/16]

RedState’s Ben Howe: Clinton Was “Not Wrong” To Go After Donald Trump Because “He’s The Biggest Foreign Policy Threat We Face.”

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