Donald Trump Accuses Hillary Clinton of 'Copying' Him

Trump’s latest attack is that his Democratic opponent is a copycat.

ByVeronica Stracqualursi and Adam Kelsey
September 20, 2016, 7:32 PM

— -- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s latest attack against his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton is that she’s a copycat.

At a campaign rally in Kenansville, North Carolina, on Tuesday, Trump accused Clinton of sounding a lot like him on the issue of vetting immigrants.

“All of a sudden she’s got "extreme vetting" and she’s got all of these terms,” Trump said.

“I used the term -- I made it up,” Trump added. “Now Hillary is copying it!”

Earlier in his speech, Trump accused Clinton of wanting an open-border policy and predicted that the former secretary of state would pivot on the issue of immigration at Monday’s first presidential debate.

“Hillary is all of sudden going to get tough,” Trump said. “The debate comes and she’ll say, ‘I want strong borders.’ I believe she meant the term extreme vetting. Where did you hear extreme vetting before? Only from me, because I made up the term.”

Clinton’s policy calls for border enforcement and focusing resources on “detaining and deporting” individuals who “pose a violent threat.”

Yesterday, Clinton said she has long held the view that the the U.S. should apply “tough vetting” toward immigrants. She did not use the phrase Trump prefers, “extreme vetting.”

“There are millions of law-abiding peaceful Muslim Americans," Clinton said. "This is the kind of challenge that law enforcement can be and is prepared and can address, namely going after anyone who would threaten the United States,” she said as she took questions from the press on the tarmac of the Westchester County Airport in New York.

Clinton added, "I am absolutely in favor of and have long been an advocate for tough vetting, for making sure that we don't let people into this country -- and not just people who come here to settle, but we need a better visa system.”

Clinton expressed a similar sentiment at a campaign rally in Dallas, Texas, last November, but without using the words “tough” or “extreme.”

“And now you know with this new refugee crisis, of course we have to have a lot of vigilance and we have to vet people, and I would depend upon our defense and intelligence professionals to guide us in doing that,” Clinton said. “But we can't act as though we’re shutting the doors to people in need without undermining who we are as Americans and the values we have stood for.”

Trump’s remarks at his evening rally marked the second time in one day that he accused Clinton of imitating him.

“Do people notice Hillary is copying my airplane rallies -- she puts the plane behind her like I have been doing from the beginning," Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday morning.

Many Twitter users were quick to note that the idea was not entirely original and posted images of other politicians -- from presidents Obama, George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Dwight Eisenhower, to candidates Mitt Romney, John McCain, John Kerry and Bob Dole -- giving campaign speeches from airport hangars and taxiways with similar backdrops.

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