What Hillary Clinton told The Inquirer

040916_Hillary-Clinton
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Below is a transcript of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's interview Monday with The Inquirer editorial board via conference call. Questions were edited for space. Above each question is an audio player containing both the question and response.

Hillary Clinton:

I am looking forward to your questions. I have a great deal of interest in and affection for Philadelphia and Pennsylvania and I am looking forward to campaigning and talking in detail about how I want to break down all the barriers that are holding Americans back, and frankly holding our country back, in ways that I think will unleash more opportunity and progress.

Question: In the past week or so I've had a lot of correspondence from people who have spoken about your campaign and about you as a candidate. I must be frank. The question that keeps coming up [from readers] - and these are Democrats - is whether or not you are trustworthy to be president. And this has nothing to do with Benghazi or the emails. It's all about the Wall Street connection and the fact that you made speeches and received such large amounts of money for them. So I know you're getting this on the campaign trail as well.. I'm wondering how you are reassuring people that there is no linkage between those speeches and how you would perform as president, and to also ask why you have not been more forthcoming about the content of the speeches you made to some of these Wall Street groups.

Answer: Well, I think the question is a fair one, and what it's really asking is whether money I received from people who worked on Wall Street either for making speeches or for campaign donations had or will influence my decision-making, and there is absolutely no evidence that it either has or that it is or that it will. This originally began in the campaign with people asking, "If you take donations from Wall Street, how can you be independent?" And, you know, I've been very clear when I was a senator from New York. I was outspoken about Wall Street behavior. I fought for ending advantageous loopholes. I was, I think, one of the very few in Congress at the time who warned at the timeabout what risks were being taken with mortgages, and if the standard is whether you can govern independently if you've ever taken any contributions or money from Wall Street, then President Obama is someone who took more contributions in 2008 than I think had ever been given to a Democrat. And he signed the Dodd-Frank bill, which is stronger than any previous legislation. And the proposal that I have made to build on Dodd-Frank, to strengthen it by going after the shadow banking industry, has been praised by many progressive economists, including Paul Krugman. Barney Frank, one of the two authors of Dodd-Frank, has endorsed me; has said that it's pretty telling that my positions are well-known; have been known for years. And why would hedge-fund super PACs have been spending millions of dollars attacking me? So I feel very comfortable and very clear where I stand. And I think people who actually look at the record rather than listening to some of the rhetoric would reach the same conclusion as Barney Frank, Paul Krugman and others.

Q: Did you ever feel when you were offered such large sums for a speech that it might come back to haunt you later because of accusations such as those being made now?

A: Well I have to say; I have a public record. I am not someone who is quiet about these issues.. . .I spoke to a wide group of businesses and groups when I was on the speaking circuit, and I have been remarkably more open than anyone else. You can go back and see I've got 30 years of tax returns [unintelligible]. The last eight years are on my website. That's a standard that Sen. Sanders certainly hasn't met. And I did say that I want to be held to the same standard as everyone. So if everyone running for president now for the very first time has ever been requested to release transcripts of certain speeches that were given, everybody should do that. I have reason to believe that Donald Trump gave speeches for money.. . . I have reason to believethat there are others who have certainly given speeches, and I think that should be the standard. I think it should apply to everyone.

Q: When we met with Sen. Sanders he pointed out correctly that he's polling significantly better in heads to heads against the potential Republican nominees. I was just wondering what your response to that would be?

A: Well I have three responses. First, there have been a wide variety of polls and my opinion are that polls are next to meaningless. I think what you should look at is who has gotten the most votes. And I haven gotten more votes than anyone else running. I've gotten I think nearly 2.5 million more votes than Senator Sanders. I've gotten a million more votes than Donald Trump. And I think that demonstrates the broad base inclusive coalition that is supporting me; that I have put together; that is exactly what will be needed in the general election no matter who the Republicans nominate.

It's also significant to point out that I have been vetted and tested for decades now. And I believe that puts me in a much stronger position to withstand what will be a furious assault by the Republicans against our nominee. They've been after me for 25 years and hear I am still standing. Nobody has attacked - there has not been a negative ad run against Senator Sanders. In fact, all the negative ads that the Republican candidates, the Republican super PACs, the super PACs formed by hedgefund managers have been aimed at me, and I think you have to ask yourself what is a reasonable question; why are they so anxious to try to damage and defeat me, and that's because they know that I am ready to take them on.

Q: Back on campaign finance, can you give us two or three specific examples of times when contributors have asked you to do something and you said no?

A: Well, let me reverse the question first, and then I'll answer yours. The New York Times and others have dug very deeply and found absolutely no evidence that I have ever done anything in the bidding of any donor.And I think that is a pretty strong affirmation, because they're well familiar with my service in New York. They have access to all the information and to many of the people who supported me. I don't always agree with the New York Times, but I certainly was gratified to see their conclusion. And there have been many instances.I've gotten so many donations over so many years that and I'm very grateful for. People have been supporting me over my political life since 1999, and I can't tell you specific examples because there have been many where people have said, "Would I look into this." I always say I will look into something, but I always tell people there is no guarantee that if I look into something that you are going to like my answer, and that's been my practice.

Q: As a followup, I guess I'm a little disappointed you can't give us a specific, but as a followup, we don't know if Congress is going to pass any kind of tough disclosure or finance limit, but there are administrative techniques that you can use as president to rein in the influence of money in politics. Can you give us a sense of where you would start? What you would do, just as an executive?

A: Well first of all, I'm not going to give up on trying to change the campaign finance system because the real threat to our democracy is Citizens United. And I'm sure you know Citizens United was another right-wing attack on me. They were going after me with, you know, some phony documentaries, making up more ridiculous allegations about me and they were told they could not run it close to an election. I believe it was in Wisconsin. And the Wisconsin law basically said, no, no, you can't, and refused it. So they sued. And the Supreme Court wrongly, in my opinion, equated speech with money. So I have said from the very earliest days of this campaign I have a personal commitment to reversing Citizens United. I feel very strongly that it was a terrible decision. And so the Supreme Court justices that I would appoint and the effort that I would make to try to bring about its reversal, both by making public arguments and by appointing someone who understands how wrongly decided it was. If that is not successful, I have said I would lead a constitutional amendment, because with the existing Supreme Court decisions - Citizens United and the Buckley case - even administrative action will be litigated. So yes, I want to make it clear that we're going to be looking at several contractors; people who do business with the federal government; about more transparency, more disclosure, which is still permitted under the law but not particularly well enforced. So I care deeply about this issue and we've got to end the dark money in politics by requiring more public disclosure. We don't even know who these groups or individuals are that are contributing not just to super-pacs, but to 501c(4) supposed nonprofit, and in fact one-third of independent spending by groups in 2014 was not required to disclose donors. And so we're going to work to see what we can do through executive action to see if we can influence and push on the Federal Elections Commission and to rein it in, but we're going to have to change the Supreme Court decision if we're going to be successful.

Q: I want to come back to those lunches, especially since you just used the words, "public disclosure." I'm really unsatisfied with your saying that you won't disclose the transcripts of those lunch speeches, for which you earned more money than most Americans make in several years, because your rival candidates, who you feel are less qualified to be president than you, won't show us theirs, especially in light of many Americans having an issue, you know, in many a public opinion survey, with your trustworthiness. I really want to know what was said at those lunches and I would love you to either release those transcripts or convince me as a journalist in this trade for more than 30 years, that when a major public official refuses to give full disclosure of a transcript like that, that that official or that leader has something to hide...

A: Well, I can only say this: Let's make sure everybody is already as transparent as I. I'm sure you pressed Sen. Sanders to release his tax returns, because, of course, he hasn't.

Q: With all due respect, the question is, will you disclose the transcripts of your lunches.

A: No, I want to make a broader point, because I've already told you what my answer is. When everybody meets the same standards, so will I. You know, I have to be very clear with you. I believe that the American people have more information about me than anyone who has ever run for president. I believe there has been a concerted effort to tear me down, to attack me, to criticize me, and there certainly has been a double standard between me and others who run.And at some point, you know, I have to say, look, let's meet the same standards. Let's start with tax returns. That has been the standard. I have more than met that standard. People have been pouring over my tax returns going back 30 years. And as I said, eight years I posted on my website. That is a very clear difference between me and Sen. Sanders; between me and Donald Trump. And I frankly always a little bit bewildered. Everybody keeps asking me to do more and more and more. And I have said, let's have the same standards. And I will be happy to do the same.

But when you have transparency demands that only I meet, and others running do not, you know, it kind of raises a question in my mind, will people ever be held to the same standards that I've been held to. So I've been clear for months. When people release transcripts of speeches they gave, I will release mine. But in the meantime, I want to see their tax returns. That's been the standard for decades, and they should meet that standard.

Q: So you won't tell us what you said during those lunches?

A: Well you know, I've talked about my experience as secretary of state..I've talked about the world we live in.. I talked about global challenges. That's what I talked about in all that I gave. That's why they asked me to come. As they asked Colin Powell; as they asked Condi Rice; ask they asked Madeline Albright. Because when you come out of being secretary of state, all kind of people, from auto dealers to banks to health-care professionals are interested in your views about the world. And I probably told the story of the Bin Laden raid maybe 25 times, because that's what they were interested in.

Q: Madam Secretary, I'd like to ask you how you would describe you foreign policy philosophy. Everybody has been looking for different labels for the various candidates. Are you a liberal internationalists? A muscular multilateralist? How do you describe yourself and differentiate yourself from Senator Sanders and your leading Republican opponents?

A: I think that I have demonstrated that I am committed to advancing American values, furthering our interests and protecting our security along with that of our friends, our allies, and our partners. And I chose to say when I became secretary of state that I wanted to practice smart power, meaning I wanted to elevate diplomacy and development to defense. Because I think that the Bush administration militarized our foreign policy to our detriment. And we needed to be much more broadly based in responding to the challenges and seizing the opportunities that we possess. So I believe that we have to continue to lead the world. It is clear to me that the idea of building walls is not in America's interest globally. We have to be clear that anyone running for president has to meet the task of having to protect the American people. But I am also very committed to the slow, patient use of diplomacy. A perfect example of this is the Iran sanctions. When I became secretary of state, I was very clear that under the Bush administration, the Iranians had mastered the nuclear fuel cycles. They had build facilities and stacked them with centerfuges. And they were whirling away towards a nuclear weapon. And all of the sanctions that I had voted for when I was in the Senate for eight years had not disrupted that. And therefore I said, look, we have to face a very hard choice. I do not want Iran Iran to have nuclear weapons. I do not want to see the race for nuclear weapons take hold in the Middle East. We already know how dangerous that is. So I went to work to put together an international coalition to impose sanctions on Iran that could do what America alone was unable to do. And I was successful in that. It included Russia and China and then I spent about a year and a half traveling the world to enforce them. And at the end of it, I started the negotiations that were completed by Secretary Kerry for the agreement. But I also made it clear that we've got to enforce it. My view is to trust [unintelligable] because if the Iranians violate even a lesser provision, there needs to be consequences. It's the best way to avoid both conflict and proliferation, and I think it gives you an example of how I try to combine using smart power in a way that gets to good results for America and the world.

Q: A followup on use of force, Madam Secretary, what lessons did you learn from the U.S. involvement in Libya, and I don't mean Benghazi, about what should be avoided in the future. Is humanitarian intervention a bad idea? Should we eliminate the words "regime change" from our policy tool kit?

A: Well, look, I want to start by saying that we did our due diligence on our intervention. And I was very careful and focused on a evaluating what the Europeans, led by the British and the French, and the Arabs, led by the Arab League, were asking for. What they were asking for was American assistance and support to prevent what would have been a terrible massacre by the mercenaries loyal to Ghaddafi. And these were people who had committed troops to our efforts in Afghanistan; not just the Europeans through NATO; but also several of the Arab countries. And when they came to me and asked me to take a hard look at this, I did. And I said I wanted to meet the people who were leading the opposition in Libya. I wanted to know exactly what the Europeans, NATO and the Arabs would be willing to do. And at the end of that review, I did recommend to the president that he consider providing unique abilities that only the United States had to support the Arab campaign that was going to be carried out primarily by NATO partners and Arabs. After a very careful consideration, the president made the decision to do so.

Now, I would just offer that what happened after afterward evoked a lesson for all of us, but also not yet a total failure. I think there are some positives to be taken: Number one, the Libyan people had two internationally evaluated elections that were found to be both fair and came out with outcomes that voted for more moderate leaders. A lot of nations haven't done that yet no matter how they govern themselves. So there was a very strong commitment by the Libyan people to be able to chart their own path after 42 years after dictatorship. Secondly, there is still an ongoing effort led by the United Nations to try to support that.

Thirdly, my opponent, Sen. Sanders, voted for the resolution that set forth the framework for what we did in Libya, and it included going to the United Nations' Security Council to get a resolution in support, which we did. Fourthly, if we had failed to support our European and Arab partners, I think it would have been a sign of American refusal to acknowledge their contributions to the conflict that we had been engaged in Afghanistan, including loss of life of their soldiers. And finally, the better alternative to look at, because yes, there are competing forces within Libya, there is a continuing threat from terrorist groups, the loss of life in Libya is far, far less than what we have seen in Syria, and the failure thus far of terrorist to establish the kind of basis they have in Syria because of the vacuum that was created when Assad began slaughtering his people, I think is also a object lesson. Finally, I would say as many of been analyzing this , we did try to help the Libyans in addition to supporting their election, we had a number of high level of visitors going to Libya talking about helping them with their security, we help rid them of some chemical weapons that Qaddafi had acquired. We immediately sent a new ambassador, offered security assistance and because they were not yet able to really govern themselves and to ask for the help we were offering, they did not, in my opinion, really develop as strong a foundation as they needed to. I know the administration is working, United Nations is working, countries in Europe are working to try to help them. There are a number of lessons, not just one, that can be drawn from Libya.

Q: Assuming the Republicans retain control of the House, how would you break the logjam that has gripped Washington for the last eight years?

A: Well look, I think we are going to work very hard to take back the Senate. I think we have a good chance to do that. I am to work to help elect Democrats. You see, I've been a Democrat a very long time. I believe someone running for president, serving as president should help elect Democrats. I going to be clearly working for Senate candidates and I'm going to even be working for House candidates, governors candidates and others, because I think it's going to be important to try to take back not just the congress but the state legislatures like yours, which has proved to be such a blockade against Gov. Wolf's efforts. If we take back the Senate, my leverage as president improves dramatically. I will certainly utilize it. You know, I will go anywhere and talk to anyone to find common ground. I did it as first lady, I did it as secretary of state and senator, and I will certainly do it as president. I think we always have to keep looking for ways to solve the problems that confront the American people.

I will also be making it clear to the electorate what I'm trying to do. I think it is important to tell people what you want to do, what you are trying to do and talk about whether you have achieve it. Just as I did as a senator in New York, when I was ran in 2000, there were so many attacks against me similar to what I'm hearing today, I was elected. I worked hard, by the time I ran again in 2006, I was elected by 67 percent of the vote. And if you go back and look at how I'm covered when I'm actually doing a job, including secretary of state, I have high approval ratings, I have trust ratings, high voter approval ratings. I actually feel that being president will give me the opportunity to reach out and bring the American people along with me as we confront the Congress on these various issues. I have pretty substantial archive of the Republicans saying they enjoy working with me, which I'm sure at some point you will see for yourself.

Q: I have a political question about the Democratic primary, which has in recent days turned more vitriolic. Sen. Sanders has defended himself a couple of times by saying he hasn't raised the issue of your emails, he hasn't raised the issue of the Clinton Foundation funding, do you think that's an act of political judo, where he raises those issues without having to take responsibility for them?

A: I think you're an experienced political reporter. I think you can probably answer that for yourself.

Q: I'd much rather hear your answer.

A: Well, I think what's been happening is that Sen. Sanders is finding himself being asked really tough questions, and I think he is having a very tough time answering those questions. So he first said I wasn't qualified, now he's moved on to my judgment, I don't know what it's going to be tomorrow. But here's what I think: He's facing the tougher questioning here in New York and I assume in Pennsylvania. And he's first the first time being shown to be unable to respond to basic questions about his own core message... about breaking up the banks, or basic questions on foreign policy, so instead he's lashing out at me. I think voters will see through that, I hope the press will keeping demand answers from him. It's not just good enough to stick with the rhetoric and not be able to answer questions about that rhetoric, people want to know what you're offering, what your plans are, what your record of getting results is, I think that's what should be expected of him as well.

Q: One of your surrogates, President Clinton, was here in the city the other day, and confronted by a couple of Black Lives Matter protesters who brought up the crime bill, the welfare reform bills President Clinton signed into law, he became agitated and responded they were trying to protect the crack dealers that were sending 13-year-olds out on the street to sell drugs and die. I wonder if someone asked you about the crime bill and the welfare reform bill, how would you have responded differently?

A: Well, I've certainly answered this question many many times in the last year. I think what my husband was saying is that we need to actually talk about these issues and put them into a broader context. He said the NAACP last summer, there were things about the crime bill that remember that people in every community were asking for, that help to deal what then was a dramatic upsurge in crime, often affecting the community of people of color and poor people. I think if you're going to look at this, here's how I would have answered. Number one, Sen. Sanders voted for the crime bill, I did not have a vote, I supported efforts, both to try to reverse the tide of time, but also to go against crime against women, get rid of assault weapons, give kids something to say yes to with more after-school activities, and as we have seen it played out both at the federal and then the state, which took their lead from it, we have learned that there were too many people being sent to prison for low-level nonviolent offenses, the very first speech I gave back in this campaign back in April was calling for criminal justice reform, calling to end the era of mass incarceration and of course, I am calling for common sense gun safety measures to protect people.

So I have a very robust agenda, we have learned what we need to be doing to divert people from the criminal justice system. We need to attack systematic racism because there is no doubt that African Americans are often arrested, charged, convicted and incarcerated for doing the exactly the same thing as white Americans do. So I take this whole set of issues very seriously. I've talked about it at length in many different settings. I've met with activists and leaders and concerned citizens and I'm going to tackle it when I'm president.

Q: Are you disappointed at all in any of the aspects of welfare reform as they have turned out over the past 20 years or so?

A: Well I am disappointed because the framework that was put into place was not followed under the Bush administration and a number of states took action that were against in my view, both the [inaudible] and the law of welfare reform. I do think we have to take a hard look at it. One issue I'm particularly concerned about is the 5 year limit, which I do not think should be applied during economic down turn like we just went through with the great recession. So I am very committed to that. But again, if someone is going to be judging anyone's record, let's look at the totality, during the 90s more people were lifted out of poverty than at any time in our recent history. We had incomes going up for everyone, not just people at the top. We had a median family income increase of 17 percent and median African American increase of 33 percent, I think what happened is that when the Republicans came in, they reversed much of what had been put into place in order to create the structure that continued that kind of progress.

And they obviously didn't regulate the financial markets, or regulate the mortgage markets, but they also went back to trickle-down economics on steroids, and when President Obama came in, he inherited the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and I don't think he gets the credit he deserves for digging us out of it.

I am someone who beliefs in a public position you have to be constantly evaluating what works, where is the evidence on what works, and I will do everything I can to make that that original intension of welfare reform is followed through, but where we need to make fixes because we have now learned that some states have ignored what we were trying to achieve there, I will take action.

Q: I wanted to ask you have the historical nature of this particular campaign doesn't have the same resonance at this point anyway among women voters as Barack Obama had with African American voters eight years ago. Is that your sense of things? Or maybe I'm wrong, and if so, why do you think that's true?

A: Well that is not my sense of things. There was a Gallup poll recently that I don't think got very much coverage, but there a pretty well-known, reputable poll, which showed that my voters are much more enthusiastic than Sen. Sanders' voters. And a lot of them are women who are enthusiastic about breaking that highest and hardest glass ceiling. And certainly the events I go to, the turnout and excitement is really palpable and I going to keep doing what I've been doing which is to campaign on the agendas that I've put forth to demonstrate clearly that I'm the person best prepared to take on the job and to try build that broad-based coalition. The fact that I have gotten nearly 2.5 million more votes than Bernie Sanders suggests something very important, that in the big contest people are turning out in big numbers and they are supporting me. I think that will continue. And obviously I have to do the same for the general election.

Q: As you know on the Republican side, there race has been driven a lot by frustration particularly by white blue collar men and women, but especially men, and that's not a group you tend to do very well with on the polling. And I'm thinking ahead to the general election, and to your possible presidency next January, what would you do to address their growing sense in the blue-collar communities that no one is listening to their voices?

A: I think they have a case to make. You may remember when I campaigned in '08 I did very well in a lot of those communities in places like Pennsylvania, I talked a lot about what we could do to try to get the economy working again for everybody. I am the only one in this campaign who has a laid out a comprehensive economic strategy, for more infustructure jobs, for bringing back advanced manufacturing, for using the threat of climate change to incentive more job than businesses in clean renewal energy. To really be focused of using tools like my husband did, the new market tax credit and empowerment zone to try to really zero in on places that do feel left out and left behind. I'm the only candidate that has an agenda for trying to revitalize coal country, which I do think deserves national attention.

I've laid out plans, but I do need to make it clear for people that are frustrated and disappointed and may not support me now, I am going to support them. That's what I think a president should do, I want to be a president for the struggling and striving, not just the successful. That means individuals and that means communities. And I'm going to do everything I can to help, I have some experience doing that from my years as senator in New York.

Q: In 2012, you took a more hawkish stand on Syria than President Obama. What is your strategy now for ending the Syrian civil war and uprooting ISIS?

A: Well, Trudy, you're right. I have been focused on this and speaking out against this for a long time, and when I was still secretary of state, I joined within then-Gen. [David] Petraeus, director of the CIA, and Leon Panetta, secretary of defense, to present a plan to try and do more to support the opposition to Assad because I feared then, that if Assad followed through on what seemed to be his approach, by basically calling everyone that opposed him a terrorist, that we would end up with real live terrorists in a lot of foreign sectors inside Syria. And indeed, you know so well that has happened.

I think we have to continue to work as hard as we can to try push a political solution, and that means getting the opposition, such as they are, to the table, but I am not at this moment, optimistic, I have a great deal of respect for the UN negotiator, Staffan de Mistura, who is conducting these negotiations, but I think we are going to have to have to work on two tracks at the same time... continue the diplomatic efforts but to intensify our military actions against ISIS. I have said repeatedly: number one, we need to have a very robust air coalition to take out their infrastructure, their leadership, take out their headquarters and the like. We need to continue to look for a way to impose a no-fly zone and my answer to people who say, "Well, the Russians would never believe that," is to say, "How do you know if you don't negotiate it?" My thinking today is it is actually more likely to happen now, for reasons of Russia's own assessment, than it was in the past, even though I believe then I would have a chance to get that accomplished.

I want a no-fly zone, in part to try to find safe zone for those fighters, Arab and Kurdish fighters, I want to train and equip them, they have proven their willingness to go after ISIS fighters. I want safe zones so that refugees can stay in Syria and not add to the horrible refugee crisis we are facing. I want us to continue to support the Kurdish and Arab fighters in Syria with special forces, I want to continue to support our efforts to train and help direct the Iraqi army. They were successful in Ramadi, they're going to have to eventually take on ISIS in Mosul. We have about 4,000 American soldiers there now, who are doing training an equipped mission. We have included in there special forces, helping to call in air strikes, helping to demonstrate and lead some of the action inside Iraq and they are in Syria. I think it is also important that we keep pushing Muslim majority nations to be part of this fight, now there's a preoccupation with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and Yemen. But they need to be more involved in our efforts against ISIS as well. And I think we need fight ISIS from the air and support those fighting from the ground, the Kurds in my opinion, despite objections from Turkey and others, but we also have to keep Iran and Russia from going any further than they already have in support of ISIS. And we have to take on and defeat ISIS online, you know they are sophisticated savvy user of the internet where they recruit, where they radicalize, where the plot and they plan, and we can't let them have the entire internet to do that. And just let me quickly add, it is important that we do everything we can, working with our partners to make them safer from ISIS attacks, and we've got to get our European friends to more of what we have learned we have to do. The EU needs to more with the sharing of intelligence, passport information, border crossing, and I worked on this when I was secretary of state, we wanted their airline manifest and passport information, which we were eventually able to get because we need their intelligence information to keep us safe in America from potential terrorist attacks. I have a very broad comprehensive approach about how best to defeat ISIS, how to deal with what the situation is currently is in Syria is what I am going to currently advocate.

Q: Since Donald Trump is sort of waking it back up as an issue, where are you at on waterboarding?

A: He has been saying things that are outrageous and dangerous, including his call to return to torture, which is an unbelievable breach on our own law and international law, but his dangerousness goes much further. Let me just end with these two points: He needs to be objected and repudiated at every turn. His call to prevent Muslims from coming to the United States complicates our efforts to defeat ISIS. His comments are actually being used by terrorist groups to recruit which is troubling and dangerous. Ted Cruz's comments about religious profiling and having special police patrol, it's not only offensive, it's dangerous. We need to have a united front and to get information from everywhere we can to prevent terrorist attacks.

But Trump as gone even further, he is calling for the breakup of NATO, he has no idea what NATO does and how we are trying to modernize it, to take on the threats we face today and what an important partner it has been to the United States since 9/11. He has even gone so far as to basically call for an end to the American policy to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons by recklessly saying that he doesn't care if Japan and South Korea gets nuclear weapons. That would end our whole bipartisan policy to try to keep the world safer from the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It is a core component of effort to promote nuclear security, so what Trump says and to a lesser extent Cruz, is offensive and often shameful, but I want to underscore dangerous. They should be held to account for what they are saying.

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