Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took aim at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a Brooklyn campaign rally Tuesday, calling his policies “dangerous” and divisive.”
“The fellow who is from New York, I wish he’d get out of one of his towers and actually walk the streets and spend time with the people of this city, because peddling prejudice and paranoia is not the New York way,” Clinton said to cheers from an audience of more than 300 people at Medgar Evers College in Crown Heights.
Clinton said Trump’s call to block Muslims from entering the United States temporarily was “dangerous” because it threatened America’s ties with Arab state allies.
“We have someone who is running for president who is making it harder to protect ourselves,” Clinton said, noting that her experience as former U.S. Secretary of State made her aware of “how hard it is to form coalitions.”
Clinton faces Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in the April 19 New York primary.
The Clinton event was billed as a town hall forum on women’s issues. Instead of taking questions from the crowd, Clinton spoke for an hour about her plans to give “women the keys to their own future.” She cited her proposals to promote equal pay for women, and to increase investments in minority- and women-owned small businesses.
Clinton repeatedly took shots at Trump and GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
“I believe the values of New York are the values of America,” Clinton said, referring to remarks made by Cruz at a January GOP debate, when he said that Trump “embodies New York values.”
Clinton told the audience “don’t be misled. . . . Donald Trump may be the most outrageous” of the GOP candidates, but “he is saying what they all believe. He just committed the sin of telling people what they think.”
Clinton mentioned Sanders in passing, questioning the feasibility of his plan to offer free public college tuition to all U.S. students. She said the plan calls for states to contribute funding and said she did not believe Republican governors would commit to such a plan.
Reached for comment, a Sanders campaign spokesman defended the plan in an email, saying Sanders “believes it is unconscionable that hundreds of thousands of bright young people cannot afford to attend college — and that millions more have to shoulder a mountain of debt for decades.”
Clinton touted her proposal to make college tuition affordable. It includes $25 billion in funding for students attending historically black and Hispanic universities.
Clinton was joined at the event by the city’s first lady, Chirlane McCray, and New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, who both championed Clinton’s work for women and communities of color.
“For the first time in a while New York has a big role to play in the primary process,” McCray said. “There is more at stake than ever, especially for women, women of all ages, women of all ethnicities.”
The Trump and Cruz campaigns did not immediately return requests for comment. Trump is holding a campaign rally in Bethpage on Wednesday.
Clinton and Sanders are scheduled to participate in a debate on April 14 in Brooklyn.