- The Washington Times - Monday, July 11, 2016

Declaring himself “the law and order candidate,” likely Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump vowed Monday not only to champion police officers but also to bring justice to minority voters who are fearful of police and buffeted by poverty and violence in American cities.

He called for an end to hostility toward police in the wake of a sniper attack that killed five Dallas police officers Thursday at a Black Lives Matter demonstration, part of a growing protest movement after a series of incidents in which black men died at the hands of police.

“Not only am I the law and order candidate, but I am also the candidate of compassion. But you can’t have true compassion without providing safety for the citizens of the United States,” Mr. Trump said in a speech in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

The speech, delivered with the use of teleprompters, focused primarily on Mr. Trump’s plan to reform the scandal-plagued Department of Veterans Affairs. But he said the unrest in America’s cities demanded to be addressed.

“Every kid in America should be able to securely walk the streets in their own neighborhood. Everyone will be protected equally and treated justly, without prejudice,” said the billionaire businessman. “We will be tough, we will be smart, we will be fair — and we will protect all Americans. Without safety, we have nothing.”

“It is the job of the next president to make America safe again — for everyone,” he said.

SEE ALSO: Bernie Sanders makes sure he leaves his mark on Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Democratic Party

While striking a balance between supporting police and supporting minorities, Mr. Trump questioned likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s ability to help either side.

“Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is weak, ineffective, pandering, and, as proven by her recent email scandal, which was an embarrassment not only to her, but to the nation as a whole, she is either a liar or grossly incompetent,” he said. “Personally, she is both.”

Mrs. Clinton’s response to the Dallas shooting included her plea for white people to put themselves in the shoes of black people who live in fear of the police.

“I’m going to be talking to white people. I think we’re the ones who have to start listening to the legitimate cries that are coming from our African-American fellow citizens,” she said in a CNN interview.

The Trump campaign will be hammering Mrs. Clinton’s character and judgment after FBI Director James B. Comey detailed how she misled the public about her secret email setup as secretary of state and mishandled classified information, including “extreme carelessness” that put U.S. secrets in jeopardy.

The assessment by Mr. Comey, although not recommending criminal charges, threatened to undermine Mrs. Clinton’s chief argument that she has the best experience and judgment to be president.

The outcome of the email investigation also created the appearance that Mrs. Clinton received special treatment in not being charged by the Justice Department, which Republican officials have said will be a message repeated until the November election.

Mr. Trump hit that note in questioning Mrs. Clinton’s ability to fix Veterans Affairs.

“Hillary Clinton’s America is a country where the elite get one standard of treatment and everybody else gets second-class treatment,” he said. “The rigged system refused to prosecute her for conduct that put all of America at risk.”

The Clinton campaign fired back at Mr. Trump by accusing him of proposing to privatize the veterans hospitals by allowing veterans to get treatment at private medical centers. His plan did not call for full privatization, but the Clinton campaign argued that would be the result.

“Fully privatizing the VA — the inevitable result of Trump’s proposals — is not a fix at all; it’s an ideological crusade that will only compound the problem,” said Bishop Garrison, a policy adviser to the Clinton campaign. “It would deprive our veterans of access to the specialized care they require and deserve and leave them at the mercy of a private health care market that’s ill-suited to handle their needs.”

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