Hillary Clinton is ready for Donald Trump.
At a campaign event on Monday night, the confident former Secretary of State repeatedly invoked the Republican front runner’s rhetoric and positions as she turns toward a general-election battle.
“I gotta tell you, I’m looking forward to those debates” against the Republican nominee, Clinton said to cheers at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. “Because at some point you can’t just say whatever pops into your head if you want to be the President of United States!”
Though she never mentioned Trump’s name, it was clear throughout Clinton’s remarks that she was challenging the flamboyant billionaire who is leading the Republican field. Trump in recent days has insulted Senator Marco Rubio for the size of his ears and his water-drinking habits.
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Clinton portrayed Trump as unfit to be Commander in Chief and referred to his comments about barring Muslims from the U.S. and calling Mexicans rapists and criminals. “When you’ve got somebody running for President who’s insulting people, insulting their religion, I’ll tell ya, that makes a hard job even harder,” Clinton said. “We’ve got to pay attention to what is said because everybody else in the world pays attention. And it has consequences.”
Clinton is primed for a series of victories on Super Tuesday, where polls show her far outstripping Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in states like Texas, Alabama, Georgia and here in Virginia. Confident of a coming victory for the nomination, she is turning toward addressing the Republicans, and most specifically, Trump, her increasingly likely opponent in the general election.
On Monday night she did not mention Sanders, making only one vague reference to him in her discussion about health care.
Otherwise, her sights were on November and the GOP.
“I really regret the language that is being used by Republicans,” Clinton said. “Scapegoating people, finger-pointing, blaming. That is not how we should behave toward one another, that is not how we want to be treated.”
Trump, Clinton suggested, does not have the character to be President. “When you go to work tomorrow, you’ll be voting for a President and a Commander in Chief. We need somebody who has experience and the temperament to deal with what’s going on in the world,” Clinton said.
Clinton’s supporters are hopeful about a general election against Trump. Trump, they say, is an easy target in a general election.
And they had other thoughts about Trump as well.
“If you compare an orangutan with a really loud mouth spouting hateful rhetoric vs. Hillary, there’s no contest,” Anh Phan, who will vote in Virginia on Tuesday, said in an overflow room outside the event. “It’s Hillary all the way.”