ST Louis, US: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton today clashed with Republican rival Donald Trump on his plans to ban Muslims, saying it will be “shortsighted” and “dangerous” to engage in his “demagogic rhetoric” about the community.
In a presidential debate that turned nasty from the start over Trump’s 2005 video of lewd and sexually explicit remarks against women, Clinton did not shake hands with the 70-year- old reality TV star as the two rivals walked on the stage at the Washington University here for the second presidential debate – a clear sign of the escalated rivalry between them.
In the second segment of the town-hall style debate, the two clashed on Obamacare, taxes and Islamaphobia and Trump repeatedly slammed the 68-year-old former secretary of state for her “bad judgement”, pointing fingers at her as he paced the debate floor while answering the questions.Gorbah Hameed, a Muslim, asked the two nominees on how they will help people like her deal with the consequences of being labeled as a threat to the country after the election.
When pressed on whether Muslim ban is no longer his position, Trump said the ban in “some form has morphed into an extreme vetting from certain areas of the world”.
“It’s called extreme vetting. We are going to areas like Syria where they’re coming in by the tens of thousands because of (US President) Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton wants to allow a 550 per cent increase over Obama.
“People are coming into our country like we have no idea who they are where they’re from what their feelings about our country is and she wants 550 per cent more. This is going to be the great Trojan horse of all time,” he said.
Trump said he does not want to see hundreds of thousands of people coming in from Syria “when we know nothing about them, we know nothing about their values, and we know nothing about their love for our country”.
Clinton shot back, saying: “We are not at war with Islam.”
She said Trump’s “extremely unwise” and “even dangerous” comments about Muslims are used to recruit terrorists.
Clinton said as president she will not let anyone into the country who she thinks poses a risk to America but a lot of refugees, mostly women and children, cannot be refused entry in the US just because they are Muslims.
“But we will have vetting that is as tough as it needs to be from our professionals, our intelligence experts, and others. But it is important for us as a policy not to say as Donald has said, we’re going to ban people based on a religion.
“How do you do that? We are country founded on religious freedom and liberty. How do we do what he has advocated without causing great distress within our own country? Are we going to have religious tests when people fly into our country? And how do we expect to be able to implement those?” she asked.
“It’s also very shortsighted and even dangerous to be engaging in the kind of demagogic rhetoric that Donald has about Muslims. We need American Muslims to be part of our eyes and ears on our front lines,” she said.