- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 25, 2016

Donald Trump said Thursday that Hillary Clinton’s attempt to cast him and his supporters as racists smacks of desperation and is intended to distract voters from how her policies have devastated minority communities and the nation’s inner cities.

Mr. Trump, speaking during a campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, said Mrs. Clinton is playing the race card because she can’t defend her “horrible record” and warned that she will turn her back on black and Hispanic voters after the November election.

“So what does she do when she can’t defend her record?” Mr. Trump said, eliciting cries of “she lied” from the crowd.

“That is right,” Mr. Trump said. “She lies and she smears and she paints decent Americans, you, as racists. She bullies voters who only want a better future and tries to intimidate them out of voting for a change. I am for change. She doesn’t want change.”

Mrs. Clinton planned at a rally in Nevada Thursday to link Mr. Trump to the so-called “alt right” movement that includes white nationalists and that has embraced the GOP presidential nominee’s vows to build a wall along the US-Mexico border and to apply stricter screening on Muslims entering the country.

“It is the oldest play in the Democratic playbook,” Mr. Trump said. “When Democratic policies fail, they are left with only this one tired argument: ‘You’re racists, you’re racist, you’re racists.’ They keep saying it, ‘You’re racist.’

“It is a tired, disgusting argument, and it is so totally predictable,” he said. “They are failing so badly. It is the last refuge of the discredited Democrat politicians. They keep going back to the same well, but you know what? The people are becoming very smart. They have heard it too many times before — the well is dry, the well is dry.”

Mr. Trump said that people who want to secure the nation’s border are not racists and the people concerned about the threat of radical Islam and refugees are “not Islamophobes.”

“They are decent Americans citizens who want to uphold our value as a tolerant society and who want to keep the terrorists the hell out of our country,” he said. “If the choice is between saving lives or appeasing politically correct censors in Washington, D.C., that is the easiest choice you or I will ever have to make. We will always chose saving American lives.”

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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