Clinton directly targeted Trump for his recent comments that the U.S. should limit its involvement with NATO -- warning such a move would only be a boon for Russian President Vladimir Putin, “who already hopes to divide Europe."
“If Mr. Trump gets his way, it’ll be like Christmas in Kremlin,” the Democratic front-runner said during her remarks here at Stanford University. "It will make America less safe and the world more dangerous. When it comes to the struggle against ISIS, we need our allies as much as ever. We need them to be strong and engaged for they are increasingly on the front lines.”
Drawing contrast with Trump, Clinton specifically called out London, Paris, Madrid, Brussels and Istanbul -- cities that have all been hit by terrorist attacks in recent years -- as places with which the U.S. should strengthen its ties. She also described NATO as "one of the best investments America has ever made.”
The former secretary of state then turned her sights on Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who on Tuesday called for patrolling Muslim neighborhoods in the United States as a way of combating ISIS.
“When Republican candidates like Ted Cruz call for treating American Muslims like criminals, and for racially profiling predominantly Muslim neighborhoods, it's wrong, it's counterproductive, it's dangerous,” Clinton said today, adding herself to the chorus of law enforcement officials and Democratic leaders who have criticized Cruz for this proposal.
"One thing we know that does not work is offensive inflammatory rhetoric that demonizes all Muslims,” she added. “These Americans are a crucial line of defense against terrorism.”
Clinton also blasted the Republican field of candidates for condoning torture as a means of fighting terrorists.
"Another thing we know that does not work, based on lots of empirical evidence, is torture,” she said. "If I’m president, the United States will not condone or practice torture anywhere in the world.”
Donald Trump was quick to respond to Clinton’s attacks.
Just watched Hillary deliver a prepackaged speech on terror. She’s been in office fighting terror for 20 years- and look where we are!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2016
“Just watched Hillary deliver a prepackage speech on terror. She’s been in office fighting terror for 20 years -- and look where we are!” he tweeted.