Hillary Clinton lobbed attack after attack at presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump for what she called “the most divisive campaign in our lifetime” during a speech Thursday afternoon.
“This (election) is different, isn’t it?” the presumptive Democratic nominee said. “We’re not just choosing a president and a commander-in-chief this fall. The choice we’ll make will say a lot about who we are and whether we understand and celebrate the diversity of the country that makes us all the stronger.”
Clinton made the remarks during a luncheon hosted by the League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, one of the largest Latino organizations in the country. She also highlighted her plans for her first 100 days in office – focusing on passing immigration and education reform – if she were to be elected in November.
Why would someone running for president want to do that?
Hillary Clinton, on some of Donald Trump’s remarks
Clinton targeted Trump for his past comments about Hispanics, going after him for accusing a federal judge of bias because of his Mexican heritage and describing Mexicans as rapists and criminals. Trump later said the comments about the judge had been misconstrued.
“It was a cynical, calculated attempt to fan the flames of racial division, and also to undermine people’s faith in our judicial system,” Clinton said. “Why would someone running for president want to do that?”
Trump’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
“Those were her best lines,” said Donovan Trott, a 31-year-old student at George Washington University who attended the luncheon. “It makes sense. If nothing else, he’s fertile ground for attack.”
Roberto Tellez, a 28-year-old paralegal from Laredo, Texas, said the comments made by Clinton about Trump were necessary. Tellez expressed concerns about Trump’s proposed idea to round up immigrants and have them deported.
“Do we really want to make the Immigration Customs and Enforcement agency like the Gestapo, like Nazi Germany? Track down all of these people just to deport them?” Tellez asked. “(Trump) has said it with his own words.”
Trump has at times backed off some of his harshest rhetoric about immigration in the United States.
In Clinton’s speech Thursday, she discussed various policy plans, focusing largely on education and immigration reform.
The thing that attracts me to Hillary is her pragmatism.
Donovan Trott, a 31-year-old student at George Washington University
Trott said he was concerned about Clinton’s plans to make community college free and public universities debt-free, if elected, and her promise to introduce comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship.
To him, it seemed like an impractical promise from someone whom he has always viewed as a practical politician.
“The thing that attracts me to Hillary is her pragmatism,” he said. “The idea that we can make that happen for free it seems a bit, to me, unrealistic in the short-term. In the long-term, maybe. But we’ll see.”
Others viewed her comments about eliminating tuition – or at least decreasing debt – as representing a meaningful compromise with Vermont senator and former Democratic presidential rival Bernie Sanders, who endorsed the former secretary of state earlier this week.
Danielle Edmonds, a 20-year-old student at the University of Texas at Dallas, drove for 24 hours from Texas to attend the LULAC events this week, a trip she said was made worth it by hearing Clinton’s speech Thursday and Sanders’ speech Wednesday.
“Her platform has definitely become stronger with Senator Sanders,” Edmonds said. “It seemed like she was building off of a lot of what his speech was yesterday.”