By Jonathan Easley
May 23, 2016
Hillary Clinton on Monday cast Donald Trump as a reckless bully whose policies will crush struggling middle class workers and rip immigrant families apart.
Speaking at the annual gathering for the Service Employee International Union in Detroit, Mich., Clinton test drove several mocking attacks aimed at her likely Republican rival for the general election.
“We need a president who will use the bully pulpit to stand up for the American people,” Clinton declared. “But we don’t need a bully in the pulpit.
“Trump economics is a recipe for lower wages and more debt,” she added. “He will bankrupt America like he’s bankrupted his companies. Ask yourself - how could anyone lose money running a casino? Really?”
But the bulk of the distinctions Clinton drew with Trump pertained to immigration.
Clinton warned that Trump would assemble a “deportation force” that she said would kick-in doors at schools and homes to “round up moms and dads, grandparents, and even children.
“He’s talking about ripping families apart,” Clinton said.
Trump last week launched an Hispanic outreach effort meant to repair his relationship with a key voting bloc in the fall.
Trump has been embroiled in controversy for describing illegal immigrants as criminals and rapists, and has been criticized for his proposal to build a wall along the Southern border of the country that he says he’ll make Mexico pay for.
Trump has not said explicitly how he’ll deal with the estimated 11 million who are already in the country illegally.
But he has said he supports the “mandatory return of all criminal aliens” and will triple the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers focused on enforcement and removal.
Clinton on Monday said she’d introduce comprehensive immigration reform in her first 100 days in office, and sought to characterize Trump as eager to destroy “mixed status” families, in which some are natural born citizens but others are here illegally.
“When he talks about ending birthright citizenship, he’s talking about kicking children born here out of the only country they know,” Clinton said. “When he calls immigrants rapists an murderers, he’s talking about your families.”
“What kind of a country would we be if we let Donald Trump rip our families apart?,” Clinton continued. “We have to reject his wrong vision for America.”
Clinton on Monday also sought to draw a distinction between their competing economic policies, accusing Trump of supporting a vision that benefits the wealthy at the expense of lower and middle class workers.
She mentioned Trump’s comments from a GOP debate last November in which he said American wages are “too high.”
“He’s actually talked about getting rid of the national minimum wage altogether,” Clinton said.
“A lot of Republicans are themselves saying that Donald Trump is a disaster waiting to happen for America,” Clinton continued. “He would run up the debt, start trade wars and let Wall Street run wild. Trump economics is a recipe for lower wages and more debt. It could all cause another crash.”
While the bulk of Clinton’s focus was on the presumptive GOP nominee, she also nodded to her Democratic primary challenger, Bernie Sanders, who continues to campaign fiercely even as Clinton stands on the precipice of securing the nomination.
Many Democrats worry that the party won’t unify behind Clinton in the fall over bitter feelings held by Sanders and his supporters over how the Democratic National Committee has handled the primary process.
Clinton on Monday thanked Sanders and his supporters for the vigorous primary challenge.
“We are coming to the end of the Democratic primary and I applaud Sen. Sanders and his supporters for challenging us,” she said.
Clinton vowed to make Sanders’s pet issues – income inequality and the corrupting influence of money in politics – centerpieces in her general election fight.
“We are going to unify the Democratic party and stop Donald Trump,” she said.
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