Short of outright calling him wacko,
on Thursday, characterising her GOP opponent “dangerously incoherent,” “temperamentally unfit,” and a fit case for psychiatrists to examine, as the US presidential election rhetoric turned bitter, toxic, and hostile.
Trump responded by calling Clinton a “disgraceful” criminal who “has to go to jail”. It wasn’t too long ago that the Clintons and Trumps professed to be friends, with Clintons attending Trump’s third marriage, Trump donating to the
and playing golf with the former president, who had appointed Trump’s sister as a circuit court judge. Their daughters were said to be close friends.
All that is now social history, as the two White House aspirants are bidding for a piece of political history. Their supporters are now clashing angrily and violently. A skirmish in San Jose, California on Thursday outside a Trump rally resulted in a barrage of tomatoes, eggs, and heated words.
Hours before that, in what was presented as a major foreign policy speech delivered in
, Clinton let loose a fusillade of scornful putdowns and scorching slights of the kind seldom heard in the higher reaches of US politics, which is generally governed by an unwritten civil code of conduct, broken largely in 2017 by the tempestuous Trump. Clinton hit back forcefully.
“Donald Trump’s ideas aren’t just different – they are dangerously incoherent. They’re not even really ideas – just a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds, and outright lies,” she began at the top of her 30-minute speech, much of which was aimed at demolishing the maverick billionaire’s obvious lack of depth and substance. She added: “He is not just unprepared – he is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility.”
Cautioning Americans that electing Trump to the White House would be a “historic mistake,” Clinton pointed to his testy, knee-jerk, off-the-cuff responses, warning that “This is not someone who should ever have the nuclear codes – because it’s not hard to imagine Donald Trump leading us into a war just because somebody got under his very thin skin.” Trump publicly gets snippy at anyone asking him questions pretty much about anything.
“We cannot let him roll the dice with America… he believes we can treat the US economy like one of his casinos and default on our debts to the rest of the world,” Clinton said, adding, “The stakes in global statecraft are infinitely higher and more complex than in the world of luxury hotels. We all know the tools Donald Trump brings to the table – bragging, mocking, composing nasty tweets – I’m willing to bet he’s writing a few right now.”
Hours later, an obviously stung Trump responded petulantly: “After what she said about me today in her phony speech – that was a phony speech, that was a Donald Trump hit job – I will say this: Hillary Clinton has to go to jail, okay?”
“She has to go to jail. Has to go to jail,” he repeated in a speech in San Jose amid cheers from his supporters.