Wall Street Journal
By Rebecca Ballhaus
June 4, 2016
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton on Saturday issued her most stinging rebuke yet of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s criticism of a federal judge, calling his remarks “dangerous” and “bigoted.”
“He’s trying to distract people by making a prejudiced, bigoted attack on the federal judge who’s hearing the case here in California,” she said, speaking at a rally in Oxnard, Calif., on Saturday. “Now, this is not just another outlandish, insulting comment from Donald Trump, and it is not normal politics. This is something much, much more dangerous.
Mr. Trump, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal earlier this week, escalated his attacks on U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over civil fraud lawsuits against Trump University. In the interview, Mr. Trump said the judge had “an absolute conflict” in presiding over the litigation given that he was “of Mexican heritage” and a member of a Latino lawyers’ association. Mr. Trump said the background of the judge, who was born in Indiana to Mexican immigrants, was relevant because of his campaign stance against illegal immigration and his pledge to seal the southern U.S. border.
On Saturday, Mrs. Clinton defended Mr. Curiel, calling his biography “the story of America.”
“Judge Curiel is as much of an American as I am, and he’s as much of an American as Donald Trump is,” she added.
Mrs. Clinton’s remarks on Saturday came as part of a larger effort by the former secretary of state to ramp up her criticism against Mr. Trump, as she prepares to clinch the Democratic nomination following the June 7 primaries. In a speech in San Diego on Thursday, she railed against Mr. Trump’s foreign-policy proposals, calling them “dangerously incoherent.”
The Oxnard event was part of a five-day swing through California ahead of the June 7 primary. Mrs. Clinton had canceled campaign events in New Jersey to focus her effort on the Golden State as polls show her neck-and-neck with rival Bernie Sanders. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released earlier this week found Mrs. Clinton leading the Vermont senator by just 2 percentage points among likely Democratic primary voters, 49% to 47%, well within the survey’s margin of error.
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