— POLITICO (@politico) August 25, 2016
This already bizarre presidential race now revolves around both major party nominees referring to each other as “bigots.” On Wednesday night, Donald Trump referred to Hillary Clinton with that word, and one rally supporter behind him looked absolutely mortified in response. A bit later, Clinton told Anderson Cooper that Trump’s own history of treating minorities poorly speaks for itself. She did articulate her thoughts that he is “taking a hate movement mainstream,” but reserved most comment for her Thursday speech. And boy, did she unload on him as promised.
Clinton took the stage in Reno, Nevada and slammed the conspiracy theories that Trump gleefully fuels. Lately, this has involved speculation about her health, but attempts to resolve the issue have spawned even more theories. Well, Clinton is tired of the distraction from the issues and addressed what she called Trump’s “latest fever dream” with a “Donald, dream on.” She also accused him of feeding the undercurrent of “prejudice and paranoia” that stems from the white nationalist Alt-Right movement. As she spoke, Twitter fed an explanatory hashtag, #AltRightMeans, while Clinton called out Trump for bringing the movement into the mainstream:
“There’s always been a paranoid fringe in our politics, steeped in racial resentment. But it’s never had the nominee of a major party stoking it, encouraging it, and giving it a national megaphone. Until now.”
Clinton called out Trump for sharing values with David Duke, which further added to the KKK imagery she featured in her newest anti-Trump ad. She also made pointed mention of Alex Jones’ conspiracy-theory culture, which many Trump supporters embrace. And she lumped Trump into that group as “a believer, not a challenger who demands critical thought.” Clinton’s ultimate point was that, by blithely retweeting these theories (and thoughts of white supremacists) to 11 million people, Trump illustrates why he’s unfit to be president. She argued that “bigotry” is no basis upon which to form a campaign platform and warned people not to take his rebranding to heart:
“No one should have any illusions about what’s really going on here. The names may have changed … Racists now call themselves ‘racialists.’ White supremacists now call themselves ‘white nationalists.’ The paranoid fringe now calls itself “alt-right.” But the hate burns just as bright. And now Trump is trying to rebrand himself as well. Don’t be fooled.
“There’s an old Mexican proverb that says ‘Tell me with whom you walk, and I will tell you who you are.’ We know who Trump is. A few words on a teleprompter won’t change that.”
Finally, Clinton took some time to point out how Trump’s constant campaign staff rotations resemble a certain reality television show. She explained how he claims to hire the “best people,” but he fires all his campaign managers and ends up evoking shades of The Apprentice. That had to sting. Naturally, Trump’s expressed displeasure for Clinton’s speech, and his main criticism is that she was “short,” and “she is the only one fear-mongering!”
A longer clip of Clinton’s Reno speech can be viewed below.