Clinton nods to populist fervor in first response to Brexit

Now is time for 'steady, experienced leadership'


Posted: 6:22 PM, June 26, 2016
Updated: 7:36 PM, June 26, 2016

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN – JUNE 26: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses the U.S. Conference of Mayors June 26, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Clinton discussed her vision for American cities. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

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INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (CNN) – Hillary Clinton, responding for the first time to the United Kingdom voting to leave the European Union, argued that the vote shows now is a time for "steady, experienced leadership," not "bombastic comments in turbulent times."

While Clinton did not directly mention presumptive Republican candidate Donald Trump, her argument was clear: Trump is not the kind of leader that could guide the United States through all the complications and economic uncertainty that comes with this kind of international incident.

"Our priority now must be to protect Americans families and businesses from the negative effects of this kind to tumult and uncertainty," Clinton said. "We need leaders… who understand how to work with other leaders to manage risks, who understand that bombastic comments in turbulent times can actually cause more turbulence and who put the interests of the American people ahead of their personal business interests."

Trump, while traveling to tout his golf resorts in Scotland last week, held a press conference the day after the vote and argued that the economic turmoil could be a good thing for him because it would spur more business at his golf courses.

"When the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly," he said.

Clinton's campaign announced a television ad this morning hitting Trump for the comment. The ad will begin airing nationally this week.

"We need leaders who recognize that our alliances and partnerships are among our greatest national assets now more than ever," Clinton said, adding that "no one should be confused about America's commitment to Europe — not an autocrat in the Kremlin, not a presidential candidate on a Scottish golf course."

In acknowledging the Brexit, though, Clinton also nodded to the populist, nationalistic fervor that forced the vote. While Clinton did not comment on how that feeling may impact her race against Trump, she did pledge to address it during the campaign.

"Just as we have seen there are many frustrated people in Britain, we know there are frustrated people here at home, too. I have seen it, I've heard it, I know it," Clinton said. "That is why I have worked hard to find solutions to the economic challenges we face."

Clinton, acknowledging the fact that the group of mayors she was addressing included Democrats and Republicans, did not mention Trump by name.

But in building up the group, she clearly took on the Republican leader.

Clinton said the leaders actually have to do things for your constituents. "You can't respond with a snarky tweet," she added to laughs.


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