Clinton to Criticize Trump on American Exceptionalism in Speech
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will receive the endorsement of a former defense official in a Republican administration on Wednesday, and then make a case for American exceptionalism in a speech at the American Legion’s national convention in Cincinnati, according to her campaign.
James Clad, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense under President George W. Bush, will announce he is endorsing Clinton, the campaign said. He joins other national security officials backing Clinton, including Brent Scowcroft, who served as national security adviser under former Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.
“There is no choice,’’ Clad said in a statement released by the campaign. “In razor sharp contrast to her opponent, Secretary Clinton is ready, steady and prepared. With a proven preference for bipartisanship, she must win this election.’’
In making her case for American exceptionalism, Clinton will criticize Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the same way some Republicans questioned President Barack Obama’s commitment to the idea of the U.S. and its democracy ideals as unique.
“She will argue for maintaining America’s strong commitment to the alliances that keep us safe, the values that make us great, and the men and women in uniform who represent the best of our country,’’ the campaign said.
Trump has rejected the idea of American exceptionalism because he has questioned U.S. involvement in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization if other member countries don’t pay more for U.S. protection, and he has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin’s criticism of that phrase, Clinton’s campaign said.
During her speech at the American Legion convention, Clinton will talk about her experience as the daughter of a World War II veteran, a senator on the Armed Services Committee, and as secretary of state under Obama.
Clinton, who has been asking for Republicans to support her on grounds that Trump isn’t fit for the presidency, also will cite the letter released earlier this month by 50 Republican national security officials. It faulted Trump on his understanding of global affairs and said he “lacks the character, values and experience to be President.’’ It also said he had “dangerous qualities’’ and “would be the most reckless president in American history.’’
Trump is scheduled to speak to the convention on Thursday.