Yesterday, in the aftermath of yet another gun massacre in this country, this one with the highest number of casualties ever, both Hillary and Donald (as she prefers to refer to him) delivered speeches on how to prevent such attacks, although they were not really speaking on the same topic.
Donald's speech was limited to one variety of attack - the kind that are inspired by or dedicated to jihadist organizations. For Donald, the attacks on a prayer group in Charleston and first graders and their teachers in Sandy Hook were not part of the equation. The shooters came from good American, gun-toting homes after all.
It was hard to discern a proposed solution to the jihad-inspired attacks that were Donald's chosen topic, however. He echoed Hillary's name over and over as if it had magical powers. Apparently keeping certain outsiders out will solve the problem despite the fact that the perpetrators of the Orlando, San Bernardino, and Fort Hood attacks were Americans.
Hillary, in her speech, never mentioned his name and did specifically speak of radical jihadist terrorism. She removed an arrow from Donald's quiver by calling it "radical Islam" - a term he repeatedly has attacked her for avoiding. She proposed a multifaceted approach to combating the threat, but for her, what looms large is the availability of assault weapons. She attacked the gun laws and the dysfunction within government that prevents dots from being connected. She did not directly attack Donald.
Today, on the other hand, she took him on with a right hook and a left upper cut. She called him unqualified and called upon the GOP to get him under control. She assailed his casual relationship with fact and his obsession with words. She wondered, "Is he suggesting that there are magic words that once uttered will stop terrorists from coming after us."
Trump's statements are lies—but he tells them because he has to distract from the fact that he has nothing substantive to say for himself.
"It matters what we do, not just what we say. It didn’t matter what we called bin Laden—it mattered that we got bin Laden." —Hillary
Hillary has a pretty name. Repeating it over and over will not put the genie back in the lamp, though. She did not cause the terrorism, has worked hard to fight it with sanctions and terrorist designations as secretary of state, and, like President Obama, is on the same anti-terror team, although Donald seems to imply differently. Today, Hillary did not refrain from calling out Donald - in very specific and substantive ways - not as a magic word.
Clinton again affirmed her plans to defeat ISIS, to combat homegrown terrorism, to keep weapons of war off our streets and enact commonsense gun safety measures, and to keep our country safe while advancing the values of tolerance and unity.
A full transcript of Clinton’s remarks in Pittsburgh is below:
“Hello! Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you all.
It is so great to be back in Pittsburgh. And it is especially great to be here with the men and women of the IBEW.
I want to thank Mike Dunleavy and IBEW Local 5 for welcoming us to your house. We are happy to be here. And, I want to thank my longtime friend, colleague, advocate, Leo Gerard, who has been a champion, not just for steelworkers, but for working people – fairness, the kind of economy that lifts everybody up, for as long as I’ve known him. I am so grateful to have the support of the steelworkers and IBEW. It means a lot to me because we want to put you all to work. We’re going to have a lot of work to do in our country and nobody can do it better.
I want to recognize your County Executive, Rich Fitzgerald, and thank him for being such a great supporter, but, more than that, leading this county along with Mayor Bill Peduto, who has done such a great job to continue the renaissance of Pittsburgh. I want to join Leo in acknowledging your great Congressman Mike Doyle and your great Senator Bob Casey. There’s another mayor here, Mayor John Fetterman. John is here. John is hard to miss, so he’s here somewhere! I saw him somewhere earlier. I want to thank also City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, and I want to thank Josh Shapiro, your candidate for Attorney General, and a Montgomery County Commissioner, Reverend James Edward Brown, and, all of you for being with us today.
I always love coming to Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania, and it’s especially great to be here after the Penguins clinched the Stanley Cup again! It’s great, quite a record now. They’ve got some ways to go before they match the Steelers in terms of winning it all but they’re on their way. The County Executive and I were talking, and he said something that really struck me. The Penguins did this the old fashion way: teamwork, hard work, and resilience. And that’s what we’re going to do in this election. That’s what we’re going to do in our country.
When I planned this trip, I intended to give a different talk today. About how we make our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top, how do we reduce the economic inequality that’s threatening not just our economy, but our democracy. How we rebuild our infrastructure, stand with our steelworkers against illegal dumping by China. And I wanted to talk too about how unions like yours, IBEW, and the steelworkers, and so many others, helped build the greatest middle class in the world. If anybody has a chair you can use it because don’t worry, the folks behind you have sat down and everybody is seated. That’s great.
You see, I draw from our history that labor is central to whatever we want to achieve. I’m going to be a strong partner and advocate for the American labor movement, for working people, for your rights and your opportunities to make the very best possible living in the greatest country on earth. These are the issues that are in my heart. I will be talking about them in the weeks ahead. They’re really at the center of my campaign.
But today, there are different things on my mind – and probably on yours, too, as Leo said.
We are all still reeling from what happened on Sunday in Orlando. Another terrorist attack – not overseas, but here at home. So many Americans killed and wounded. A hate crime at an LGBT nightclub, right in the middle of Pride Month. The deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States.
The losses stretch all the way to Pennsylvania. Two of the victims were from this state. Akyra Murray, a high school basketball star from Philadelphia, was killed; she was just 18 years old. And her friend Patience Carter, also from Philadelphia, was shot. It’s a poignant reminder that even in a country as big as ours, we are all connected. And our hearts are with Patience and Akyra’s families, and all the families who are grieving now.
Since Sunday, we’ve been trying to make sense of what happened, and what we can do together to prevent future attacks.
Yesterday in Cleveland, I once again laid out my plan for defeating ISIS and the broader radical jihadist movement, around the world and online and for combating radicalization here at home, including a special focus on detecting and preventing so-called ‘lone wolf’ attacks like we saw in Orlando and San Bernardino. These attacks are carried out by individuals who may or may not have any direct contact with an organization like ISIS, but are inspired, primarily over the internet, by its twisted ideology.
I reemphasized the importance of working with Muslim communities here at home, who are often the most likely to recognize radicalization before it’s too late. After the attacks in Paris, Brussels and San Bernardino, I met with homeland security officials and Muslim community leaders in Minneapolis and Los Angeles, to hear their ideas for building stronger partnerships. We need to lift up voices of moderation and tolerance.
I also said something I’ve been saying from the very beginning of this campaign: I believe we Americans are capable of both protecting our Second Amendment rights while making sure guns don’t fall into the wrong hands. The terrorist in Orlando was the definition of ‘the wrong hands.’ And weapons of war have no place in our streets.
So the questions being debated this week about how we deal with the threat of terrorism are some of the most charged and important issues we face. And there are bound to be differences of opinion. In a country as diverse and complex as ours, I think that’s a given.
But I believe that despite those differences, on a deeper level, we are all on the same team. We may not see eye to eye on everything, but we are all Americans. And there is so much more that unites us than divides us. I have said many times, I think it’s appropriate for us, not to consider ourselves on the Republican team or the Democratic team, on the red team or the blue team, but to be on the American team. And after a terrible event, like Orlando, that’s clearer than ever.
That’s what we’re seeing in Orlando and across America – people of different faiths, backgrounds, sexual orientations, and gender identities coming together to say with one voice, we won’t let hate defeat us.
If we can count on that kind of unity and solidarity from each other – if even the families of the Orlando victims are speaking out right now against hate and division – we should certainly expect that from our leaders.
And I am sorry to say that is not what we are hearing from Donald Trump.
Donald Trump wants to be our next Commander in Chief. I think we all know that is a job that demands a calm, collected, and dignified response to these kinds of events. Instead, yesterday morning, just one day after the massacre, he went on TV and suggested that President Obama is on the side of the terrorists.
Just think about that for a second.
Even in a time of divided politics, this is beyond anything that should be said by someone running for President of the United States. And I have to ask – will responsible Republican leaders stand up to their presumptive nominee? Or will they stand by his accusation about our President?
I am sure they would rather avoid that question altogether. But history will remember what we do in this moment.
What Donald Trump is saying is shameful. It is disrespectful to the people who were killed and wounded, and their families. And it is yet more evidence that he is temperamentally unfit and totally unqualified to be Commander in Chief.
Of course, he is a leader of the birther movement, which spread the lie that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States. I guess he had to be reminded Hawaii is part of the United States. This is the man who claimed a distinguished federal judge born and raised in Indiana can’t do his job because of his – quote –‘Mexican heritage.’ I guess he has to be reminded Indiana is in the United States.
So maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. But it was one thing when he was a reality TV personality. You know, raising his arms and yelling, you’re fired. It is another thing altogether when he’s the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee for president.
Americans don’t need conspiracy theories and pathological self-congratulations. We need leadership, common sense and concrete plans.
Because we are facing a brutal enemy. In the Middle East, ISIS is attempting a genocide of religious and ethnic minorities. They’re slaughtering Muslims who refuse to accept their medieval ways. They are beheading civilians, including executing LGBT people; murdering Americans and Europeans; enslaving, torturing, and raping women and girls.
The barbarity we face from radical jihadists is profound. So I would like to have a worthy debate on the best way to keep our country safe. That’s what Americans deserve.
I read every word of Donald Trump’s speech yesterday. And I sifted through all the bizarre rants and the outright lies.
What I found, once you cut through the nonsense, is that his plan comes down to two things.
First, he is fixated on the words ‘radical Islam.’ I must say, I find this strange. Is Donald Trump suggesting that there are magic words that, once uttered, will stop terrorists from coming after us? Trump, as usual, is obsessed with name-calling. From my perspective, it matters what we do, not just what we say. In the end, it didn’t matter what we called bin Laden – it mattered that we got bin Laden.
I have clearly said that we face terrorist enemies who use a perverted version of Islam to justify slaughtering innocent people. We have to stop them, and we will. So if Donald suggests I won’t call this threat what it is, he hasn’t been listening.
But I will not demonize and declare war on an entire religion.
Now that we’re past the semantic debate, Donald is going to have to come up with something better.
He’s got one other idea. He wants to ban all Muslims from entering our country. And now he wants to go even further, and suspend all immigration from large parts of the world.
I’ve talked before about how this approach is un-American. It goes against everything we stand for as a country founded on religious freedom. But it is also dangerous. First, we rely on partners in Muslim countries to fight terrorists; this would make it harder. Second, we need to build trust in Muslim communities here at home to counter radicalization; and this would make it harder. Third, Trump’s words will be, in fact they already are, a recruiting tool for ISIS to help increase its ranks of people willing to do what we saw in Orlando. And fourth, he’s turning Americans against Americans, which is exactly what ISIS wants.
Leaders who’ve actually fought terrorists know this. General Petraeus said recently that ‘demonizing a religious faith and its adherents’ will come at a great cost, not just to our values but to our men and women in uniform and our national security.
Commissioner Bill Bratton of the New York Police Department said this kind of talk makes his job harder. He has Muslims in his police force, he has Muslims in the community, he needs everybody working together against any potential threat.
But Donald won’t listen to any of this. Not experts like General Petraeus or Commissioner Bratton, because he says he knows more about ISIS than the generals do. It’s almost hard to think of what to say about that claim.
But in this instance, Donald’s words are especially nonsensical. Because the terrorist who carried out this attack wasn’t born in Afghanistan, as Donald Trump said yesterday. He was born in Queens – just like Donald was himself. So Muslim bans and immigration reforms would not have stopped him. They would not have saved a single life in Orlando.
Those are the only two ideas Donald Trump put forward yesterday for how to fight ISIS.
Beyond that, he said a lot of false things, including about me. He said I’ll abolish the Second Amendment. Well, that’s wrong. He said I’ll let a flood of refugees into our country without any screening. That’s also wrong.
These are demonstrably lies. But he feels compelled to tell them – because he has to distract us from the fact that he has nothing substantive to say for himself.
Much of the rest of his speech was spent denigrating not just the President, but the efforts of all the brave American service members, law enforcement agents, intelligence officers, diplomats and others who have worked so hard to keep our country safe. Donald says our military is a disaster and the world is laughing at us. Wrong again.
Since 9/11, America has done a great deal at home and abroad to stop terrorists. Thousands of Americans have fought and died. We have worked intensively with our allies, engaged in fierce and vital debates here at home about how far our government should go in monitoring threats. We have vastly increased security measures at airports, train stations, power plants and many other places. And the American people, we have all become more vigilant, even while we have carried on living our lives as normally as possible.
It has been a long and difficult effort. We’ve had successes, and we’ve also had failures. But one thing’s for sure: the fight against terrorism has never been simple.
We need a Commander-in-Chief who is up to these challenges – who can grapple with them in all their complexity – someone with real plans and real solutions that actually address the problems we face. And we need someone with the temperament and experience to make those hard choices in the Situation Room – not a loose cannon who could easily lead us into war.
One more thing. Donald Trump has been very clear about what he won’t do. He won’t stand up to the gun lobby.
The terrorist who killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in Orlando did it with two guns: a handgun and a Sig Sauer MCX rifle. If you don’t know what that is, I urge you to Google it. See it for yourself.
This man had been investigated by the FBI for months. But we couldn’t stop him from buying a powerful weapon that he used to slaughter Americans in large numbers.
Let’s get this straight. We have reached the point where people can’t board planes with full bottles of shampoo – but people being watched by the FBI for suspected terrorist links can buy a gun with no questions asked. That is absurd.
It just seems like western Pennsylvania common sense, if you’re too dangerous to get on a plane, you’re too dangerous to buy a gun.
Enough is enough. Now is time for seriousness and resolve.
We need to go after ISIS overseas, we need to protect Americans here at home, counter their poisonous ideologies, support our first responders, take a hard look at our gun laws and we need to stand with the LGBT community and peaceful Muslim Americans, today and always.
In the days and weeks ahead, I will have more to say about how we will work together to keep our country and our citizens safe and take the fight to the terrorists. None of this will be easy. And none of it will be helped by anything that Donald Trump has to offer.
This is a time to set aside fear and division, and reach for unity. America is strongest when we all feel like we have a stake in our country. When we all have real chance to live up to our God-given potential, and we want others here to have that chance, too.
We’ve always been a country of ‘we,’ not ‘me.’ And we’ve always been stronger together.
We are stronger when people can participate in our democracy, share in the rewards of our economy, and contribute to our communities.
When we bridge our divides and lift each other up, instead of tearing each other down.
Here in Pennsylvania, and across America, I have listened to so many people tell me about the problems that keep you and your families up at night. Despite all the progress we’ve made, there’s not yet enough growth, which creates good jobs and raises incomes. There’s not yet enough economic fairness, so that everyone who works hard can share in the rewards. We need both – a ‘growth and fairness’ economy. Where profits and paychecks rise together.
So many people have talked to me about how the bonds that hold us together as one national community are strained – by too much inequality, too little upward mobility, social and political divisions that have diminished our trust in each other and our confidence in our shared future.
As your president, I will work every day to break down all the barriers holding you back and keeping us apart. And I will be on your side.
I’ll have the back of every steelworker getting knocked around by unfair competition. Of every working mom trying to raise her kids on minimum wage or unequal pay. Of every union member struggling to keep going in the face of concerted attacks on workers’ rights – because ‘right to work’ is wrong for workers, and we need to stand strong with unions.
Together, I want us to forge a new sense of connection and a shared responsibility to each other and our nation.
I know that’s possible, because I have seen it throughout our history – including just this week.
Some of you may have noticed a letter that went viral on the internet over the past few days. The letter is from George H.W. Bush’s presidential library. I hadn’t read it in a long time – until yesterday. And it moved me to tears, just like it did all those years ago.
It’s the letter that President Bush left in the Oval Office for my husband, back in January of 1993. They had just fought a fierce campaign. Bill won, President Bush lost. In a democracy, that’s how it goes.
But when Bill walked into that office for the very first time as President, that note was waiting for him. It had some good advice about staying focused on what mattered, despite the critics. It wished him happiness. And it concluded with these words:
‘You will be our President when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well. Your success is now our country’s success. And I am rooting hard for you. George.’
That’s the America we love. That is what we cherish and expect.
So let us come together, we can disagree without being disagreeable, we can root for each other’s success. Where our President is everyone’s President, and our future belongs to us all.
Let’s make this once again the big-hearted, fair-minded country we all know and love. Thank you all very much.”