(Bloomberg) — Hillary Clinton continued outlining her case against Donald Trump on Friday, charging he “has no idea what’s best for women” during a speech to a key progressive group.
“Do we want to put our health, our lives, our futures in Donald Trump’s hands?” the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee asked a Washington gathering of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “These questions are not hypothetical.”
Clinton’s address was a sharply symbolic choice for her first public appearance since Tuesday’s victory speech after clinching the nomination: a predominantly female crowd, waving bubblegum-pink signs bearing her name, defending a women’s health group that’s under constant threat from Republicans.
Running against Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, this election isn’t just about the usual partisan contrasts, it’s “about who we are as a nation,” she said.
Drawing on a rhetorical tool she effectively used a week ago during her San Diego foreign policy speech, Clinton sought to use Trump’s own words against him. In March, he said “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who have abortions, a statement that Clinton challenged at the time and that drew hisses from the Planned Parenthood crowd as Clinton recalled it.
“Anyone who would so casually agree to the idea of punishing women like it was nothing to him, the most obvious thing in the world, that’s someone who doesn’t hold women in high regard because if he did he would trust women to make the right decisions,” she said.
Clinton also assailed Trump’s comments on paid family leave and pay equity for women. “He says if women want equal pay, they should just, and this is a quote, ‘do as good a job as men,’” Clinton said. “As if we weren’t already.”
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While Clinton saved her harshest words for Trump, other Republicans weren’t spared. “If right-wing politicians actually cared about protecting women’s health, they’d join me in calling for more federal funding for Planned Parenthood,” she said.
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