Hillary Clinton called for unity, outreach to Muslims and the passage of gun-control measures in the wake of Sunday’s terror attack in Orlando, while also rebuking presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.
Speaking calmly and enunciating deliberately, Clinton opened her first public appearance since the shootings at a gay nightclub in Orlando with remarks intended to show how she would handle a terror attack as president.
“This is a moment when all Americans need to stand together. No matter how many times we endure attacks like this, the horror never fades,” she said, in a speech at a Cleveland company. “Now we have to steel our resolve to respond.”
Trump and Clinton each have postponed a rally and fundraisers because of the Orlando events.
Clinton tweeted condolences toward those affected by “this horrific act” and said she was waiting for more information.
Clinton called in a statement for Americans to “stand together” against an “act of terror” and an “act of hate. She is an ally of the LGBT community, she said, and she supports gun control. She wants to keep “weapons of war” off the the streets, she said.
On Monday, Trump continued his attacks on Clinton and Obama, saying the president “has no clue” and describing Clinton as “a weak person.”
But Clinton rebuked that approach in an interview, saying: “It’s a time for statesmanship, not partisanship. I think our fellow American citizens expect that,” she added, noting that the country came together after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Clinton sought to strike a balance between toughness — she vowed to hunt down terrorist sympathisers — and restraint by cautioning against a backlash against American Muslims, saying that will only fuel the problem of “self-radicalisation.”
During her remarks, Clinton hearkened back to the unity that emerged after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
“Americans from all walks of life rallied together with a sense of common purpose on Sept. 12,” she said.
She also cited President Bush’s trip to an Islamic center after 9/11, aimed at sending a message to the nation that the nation was not at war with Islam.
“It is time to get back to the spirit of those days – the spirit of 9/12,” Clinton said.