Speaking today in Pittsburgh, Hillary Clinton further ratcheted up her rhetoric against Donald Trump, calling him "temperamentally unfit and totally unqualified to be commander in chief."
Clinton said she read through Trump’s entire speech on Monday about the Orlando massacre, and said it includes "bizarre rants" and "outright lies" about both President Barack Obama and what led to the attack on the Pulse nightclub.
"Just one day after the massacre, [Trump] went on TV and suggested that President Obama is on the side of the terrorists," Clinton said. "Just think about that. Even in a time of divided politics this is way beyond anything that should be said by someone running for president."
The notion that Trump is unfit to serve isn't new from the Clinton campaign — and it’s not surprising that she'd use his factually challenged speech from Monday to drive that message home.
How Clinton is trying to turn Trump’s anti-establishment rhetoric against him
What was new was Clinton reinforcing that argument by draping herself in the authority of America's law enforcement and intelligence professionals — establishment figures who are typically seen as above partisan conflict.
"Much of [Trump’s] speech was spent denigrating not just the president, but also the efforts of all the brave Americans — service members, law enforcement agents, intelligence officers, diplomats, and others — who have worked so hard to keep our country safe," Clinton said.
Trump had ripped President Obama for allowing the ISIS threat to fester in the US, echoing his calls throughout the campaign that America has become "weak" and "not tough."
But Clinton turned that message into an attack against Trump, seizing on his criticism of American foreign policy to suggest he was also disrespecting the military.
"He says he knows more about ISIS than the generals do," Clinton said, to big laughs. "I don't even know what to say about that."
Donald says our military is a disaster and the world is laughing at us … wrong again. Since 9/11, America has done a great deal at home and abroad to stop terrorists. Thousands of Americans have fought and died; we have worked intensively with our allies engaged in fierce and vital debates about how far, here at home, our government should go in monitoring threats.
Now, Democrats are more accustomed to being on the receiving end of this kind of tactic, as Bush-era conservatives often tried to paint strident criticism of administration policy as criticism of American soldiers. For now, at least, Clinton appears to have found a way to throw it back at them.