Clinton Slams Trump For Insulting Mexico In American Legion Speech

Aug 31, 2016
Originally published on August 31, 2016 6:31 pm
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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

While Donald Trump was on his way to Mexico, Hillary Clinton was speaking to a veterans group in Ohio. She told the American Legion's national convention it'll take more than a quick photo op in Mexico City for Trump to repair frayed ties with America's southern neighbor. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: The Clinton campaign billed this as a speech about America's role in the world. But domestic politics was also front and center as Clinton questioned - not for the first time - whether her Republican rival has the temperament to sustain America's alliances. After all, Trump has suggested that America might not defend some of its NATO allies or that Japan and South Korea should think about building their own nuclear weapons.

(SOUNDBITE OF AMERICAN LEGION NATIONAL CONVENTION)

HILLARY CLINTON: You don't build a coalition by insulting our friends or acting like a loose cannon. You do it by putting in the slow, hard work of building relationships.

HORSLEY: The former secretary of state contrasted that patient diplomacy with Trump's hastily planned visit to Mexico. She says today's visit is unlikely to reverse the damage Trump has done by calling Mexican border-crossers rapists and insisting Mexico should pay to build a wall between the countries.

CLINTON: It certainly takes more than trying to make up for a year of insults and insinuations by dropping in on our neighbors for a few hours and then flying home again. That is not how it works.

HORSLEY: Clinton also reminded her audience of veterans that Trump once questioned the heroism of former POW John McCain and clashed with the family of a Muslim army captain who died serving in Iraq.

CLINTON: I will never, ever disrespect Gold Star families who've made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.

(APPLAUSE)

HORSLEY: Trump gets his chance to address the American Legion convention tomorrow. Scott Horsley, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.