Hillary Clinton would not call Donald Trump a racist when given the chance to do so on Wednesday — but her campaign did not hold back in blasting the likely Republican nominee.
In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Clinton called Trump “a loose cannon” who would be a “dangerous” president.
The former secretary of state was asked if she agreed with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s assessment that Trump has “built his campaign on racism, sexism and xenophobia.”
“I think that anybody who’s listened to him and how he’s talked certainly can draw that conclusion,” Clinton said.
“Do you think he’s a racist?” Cooper asked.
“I’m going to let people judge for themselves,” Clinton replied.
But Lorella Praeli, national director of Latino outreach for the Clinton campaign, berated Trump for doubling down on his plans for mass deportation and banning Muslims from entering the United States — as he did on Wednesday’s “NBC Nightly News.”
“We were once again reminded that Trump’s hateful rhetoric and bigoted policy proposals threaten to obstruct our path towards a more open and fair country,” Praeli said in a statement. “We simply cannot afford that. Hillary Clinton will not tolerate this divisive and dangerous direction.”
And the Clinton campaign also released a scathing Web video trashing Trump’s vow to unify the GOP, using his former rivals’ words against him.
Republicans agree: Donald Trump is reckless, dangerous, and divisive. https://t.co/fUkISvxMmc
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton)
Earlier Wednesday, Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that it’s not likely he’ll change his tone in a general election because it worked well in felling his Republican opponents.
“We had 17 people, all smart,” Trump said. “One by one, week after week, boom, boom, boom, gone, gone, gone. I don’t maybe want to change so much.”
Clinton scoffed at the notion she’s not ready for Trump’s attacks.
“Oh, please,” she said. “This is, to me, a classic case of a blustering, bullying guy who has knocked out of the way all of the Republicans because they were just dumbfounded. They didn’t know how to deal with him. And they couldn’t take him on on the issues because they basically agreed with him, and they didn’t know how to counterpunch him.”
Clinton also laughed off the suggestion that Trump may use her husband’s history of infidelity against her.
“He’s not the first one, Anderson!” she said. “I can’t say this often enough. If he wants to go back to the playbook of the 1990s, if he wants to follow in the footsteps of those who have tried to knock me down and take me out of the political arena, I’m more than happy to have him do that.”
Clinton added: “I’ve sort of been in the arena for 25 years, and I think nearly everything that can be thrown at somebody in politics and public life has come my way.”
“You feel like you know how to run against him?” Cooper asked.
“Oh, absolutely,” Clinton said. “But I’m not running against him. I’m running my own campaign.”
Her campaign, though, may beg to differ.