She named Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich calling their conservative views on reproductive rights “dead wrong for 21st America,” pledging her campaign is “going forward, we are not going back.”
“Extreme views about women, we expect them from some of the terrorist groups, we expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world, but it’s a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States, yet they espouse out-of-date and out-of-touch policies,” Clinton said.
Clinton specifically named Rubio’s position to make all abortions illegal even in case of rape and incest and Bush’s position—along with many of his GOP opponents—to defund Planned Parenthood.
"I would like these Republican candidates to look the mom in the eye who caught her breast cancer early because she was able to get a screening for cancer or the teenager who didn't get pregnant because she has access to contraception," Clinton told the crowd. "Or anyone who has ever been protected by an HIV test."
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Republicans immediately pounced on the comments, with the Republican National Committee sending out a statement calling her comments a “new low” and calling on her to apologize.
“For Hillary Clinton to equate her political opponents to terrorists is a new low for her flailing campaign. She should apologize immediately for her inflammatory rhetoric,” RNC national press secretary Allison Moore said.
Jeb Bush tweeted that Clinton “compares pro-life Americans to terrorists, but defends despicable PP treatment of unborn? Her priorities are totally wrong.”
A Clinton spokesperson responded to the backlash. "Instead of trying to manufacture outrage by twisting Hillary Clinton's words, Republican presidential candidates should stop pushing extreme policies that would limit women's reproductive healthcare choices," Christina Reynolds said in a statement.
Clinton mentioned Kasich in her riff as well and he released a statement touting his poll numbers and calling the attack “misleading.”
In her remarks in the general election swing state she also mentioned Wednesday’s murder of two journalists saying “we have got to do something about this.” “It’s time to come to grips with this,” Clinton said.
“I know politics are hard, I’ve got the scars to prove that and I know that when it comes to gun violence… a lot of people just basically say, ‘It’s just too hard, we’re not going to try this again.’ I’m gonna keep going," she said. "I am not giving up. I’m not going to sit by while more good people die, make it 24 or 48 or 72 hours of TV coverage and then we all just say there’s nothing we can do until the next time people are murdered by gun violence.”
Clinton was interrupted at times by Black Lives protesters, but said “We’ve got to come to terms about some hard truths about race and justice in America. Just like we have to come to terms about the truth about guns in America.”
A new poll from Quinnipiac University released Thursday showed her still with a broad lead against her opponents, but with her lowest number among Democrats in any national poll this cycle, 45 percent.