- The Washington Times - Friday, September 9, 2016

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton promised Friday to be a serious leader and craft a bipartisan strategy to defeat the Islamic State, then accused Republican nominee Donald Trump of turning the campaign into a “reality television show.”

Emerging from a meeting in New York with bipartisan group of national security experts, Mrs. Clinton promised to redouble the type of strategy used by President Obama, with an emphasis on U.S. air strikes and U.S. support for Arab and Kurdish fighters on the ground in Iraq and Syria.

She also promised a strategy to disrupt recruitment of terrorists in the U.S. and around the world, including increased efforts to bring Muslim Americans into the anti-terror effort.

At the event that had all the trappings of the presidency, Mrs. Clinton made the remarks in a somber tone and presented herself as the more serious alternative to Mr. Trump.

“No conversation about our national security would be complete unless we acknowledge that the nominee on the other side promises to do things that will make us less safe,” said Mrs. Clinton. “National security experts on both sides of the aisle are chilled from what they hear from the other nominee.”

She said the threat of a Trump presidency is what made this election possibly “the most important one in our lifetimes.”

“So I’m not waiting until November, I’m bringing Democrats and Republicans together now because I plan to get right down to work on Day One. The stakes are too high and the issues too serious for anything less than that level of preparedness,” she said. “Americans should be able to count on their president and commander in chief to provide rational, confident and even-keeled leadership, especially in tumultuous times like these.”

Later, in response to a reporter’s question about Mr. Trump, Mrs. Clinton laughed and said that “everyday that goes by this becomes more and more of a realty television show.”

She said that Mr. Trump’s remark at the forum that Russian President Vladimir Putin was a better leader than Mr. Obama showed that this “is not a serious presidential campaign.”

The Trump campaign responded with a statement from retired Maj. Gen. Bert Mizusawa, a military advisor to Mr. Trump:

“What we learned from Hillary Clinton’s press conference today is that she once again fails to take responsibility for the results of her failed tenure as Secretary of State. As our top diplomat, her malpractice wasted the bloody victories of our armed forces, and the expenditure of billions of our taxpayer dollars, in the war against radical Islamic terrorism by allowing even more radical terror groups to take root in the vacuum left behind,” he said.

Clinton’s failed policies allowed threats to us and our allies to thrive around the world, including emboldening Iran and North Korea to accelerate their development of nuclear capabilities with impunity. Finally, Clinton fails to take responsibility for the fact that anyone in uniform who handled classified material the way she did would be a candidate for court-martial, not promotion,” said Maj. Gen. Mizusawa.

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