Hillary Clinton

Transcript: Hillary Clinton interview with Luis Megid on Al Punto

The Democratic presidential candidate appeared on Al Punto in June and spoke about Donald Trump.
3 Jun 2016 – 4:20 PM EDT

TRANSCRIPT

Luis Megid: Thank you for giving us this time, we’re here in San Diego. We’re a few miles away from the border wall.

Former Secretary Hillary Clinton: Right.

Megid: As you know, Mr. Trump wants to extend that border [wall] coast to coast. Now, how important is it to secure that southern border for you and how would you do it?

Clinton: We have spent a lot of time, effort and money working to secure the border over the last 20, 25 years, and by all of the evidence it is more secure. In part because not as many people are coming across and because there is more surveillance patrolling and the like. I think the idea of building walls as an answer to issues that confront our country is just not the right approach. We should be building bridges, we should be building understanding, because what Donald Trump has done with his insulting of immigrants, particularly immigrants from Mexico, is to really wage a campaign that is based on hate, and bigotry and discrimination. And that’s not who we are as a people.

Megid: If you were elected president, how would you repair the damage made by those comments? How would you improve relations with Venezuela and other countries in the region?

Clinton: Well, I’m not sure we will know how much damage has been done until after the election. That’s one of the reasons I gave a speech today here in San Diego, to point out all of the threats and risks and dangers that a Donald Trump presidency poses. Because people across the world are rattled and worried by what he says. Now I’m confident he will not be our president, but I will pursue diplomacy and outreach, what I’ve always done and what I think is in our best interest.

Megid: You have said Mr. Trump would be dangerous, but yet so many voters find his ideas so appealing. How would you persuade those voters?

Clinton: Well, a lot of voters voted for him in the Republican primary. I have 2 million more votes than he does so as we stand here today, more people agree with me that we want comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. It’s really important that all of your viewers who are eligible to vote in California mail in their ballots come out and vote on June 7 because we want to finish strong here in California so that we can immediately begin the campaign against Donald Trump and defeat him in November.

Megid: We’re five days away from the primary and when the season started, you had a huge advantage over Senator Sanders. Now some polls put the race too close to call. Explain that.

Clinton: Well, the polls go up and down; they are all over the place. I don’t really pay attention to them. I want to campaign hard in California – we have a great campaign going here. We have hundreds of thousands of volunteers and organizers who are working to help us do well on June the seventh. But what’s important is that people know what they are voting for and I represent someone who has always been in favor of immigration reform, unlike my primary opponent and certainly unlike Donald Trump. I’m someone who wants to get guns off the streets, unlike my primary opponent and unlike certainly Donald Trump. So I think when California voters really pay attention to where I stand on the issues and my record of results, I will get a lot of voters to mail in their ballots or come out and vote on Tuesday.

Megid: You’re very close to having all the delegates you need to secure the nomination, yet are you concerned that if this drags on, if Senator Sanders stays in the race, that it will be harder for you to unite the party?

Clinton: I’m sure we are going to unite the party and we’re going to be united going into the convention in Philadelphia, coming out of it and taking on Donald Trump. But the reason I gave a speech today about Donald Trump is because I want people to understand we can’t wait to take him on. We can’t wait to repudiate and rebuke what he is saying because it is hurting us around the world. People are wondering what America stands for. Why is this man, Donald Trump, saying these things? Not just about our country, which he seems to think is weak and failing, which I totally disagree with, but the way he’s insulting people around the world. And his crazy and totally frightening foreign policy comments letting countries have nuclear weapons and the like. We have to stop this now and I want people around the world to hear me, hear the speech that I just gave, to know Donald Trump does not represent the United States of America.

Megid: It’s no surprise he says the same thing about you. He attacks your character repeatedly, he blames you for supporting the Iraq war, and also for the way you handled the emails of the State Department. What do you respond to that?

Clinton: Well, I’m not going to respond to him. I’m going to talk about what he has said and what that would mean to our foreign policy and our national security. I am happy to put my record against his all day every day because I have experience. I understand the tremendous responsibility of being president and being commander-in-chief.

Megid: As you know, you just talked about national security and many voters are concerned about ISIS and terrorism. Would you do anything different from what President Obama is doing right now to fight it?

Clinton: I outlined what I would do many months ago and a lot of it is now being done, so I want to continue to press ISIS where they hold territory in Syria and in Iraq. So I would intensify our efforts and I certainly would work closely with our allies, something Donald Trump rejects, and seems to spend more time attacking our allies than going after our rivals. So I have a very specific plan about how to take on ISIS and I will add to the efforts that I would inherit as president from what President Obama has done, but really intensify them because we must defeat ISIS. We can’t just shrink its territory; we must destroy it.

Megid: What concerns you the most about Donald Trump’s ideas?

Clinton: I think Donald Trump is incoherent, he says things in bizarre ways, he makes rants and threats, he’s very thin-skinned, and he doesn’t seem to be able to take criticism. I’ve been at this for 25 years and when you’re in a position of responsibility – as I was as senator, as secretary of state, as I hope to be as president – you can’t tell people you disagree with, in Congress, in other countries around the world, you’re fired. This is not a reality TV show. This is actual reality and there is so much at stake. I deliberately chose to make this speech in San Diego, one of our great military cities which have sent so many young men and women to defend America and have lost some many. And I think what Donald Trump has said just disqualifies him from being president.

Megid: He [Trump] is gaining some support among Latino voters; there is an NBC poll that puts him at 28 percent, which is more than Mitt Romney got four years ago. Are you concerned about that?

Clinton: No, no, I’m not concerned about that. Polls right now mean absolutely nothing, they just don’t. There is no basis for what they are saying and what will be happening in the fall, so I’m not at all concerned. I’m going to campaign hard with the Latino community and in every community in America because I think my case for being president, my plans for helping Latinos get better jobs, get rising incomes, doing better with education, healthcare and all of the issues that Latino voters talk to me about, I’m going to be really arguing strongly that I know how to deliver those results.

Megid: I’m sure you probably heard about this, the director of Hispanic communication at the RNC resigned. She would not support Donald Trump. What is your take on that?

Clinton: I think it would be very hard for a Latino Republican to be forced to defend Donald Trump. I think it’s hard for a lot of Republicans to defend Donald Trump; he continues to just insult and bully people and after a while its clear he shouldn’t be president. He shouldn’t have any responsibility that would give him the codes to our nuclear weapons, he should not be entrusted with the solemn responsibilities of being president and commander-in-chief and I think people understand that. So whether it’s because he was divisive, his terrible things that he said about immigrants or whether because he is not qualified to be president and commander-in-chief, I think a lot of Republicans are thinking very hard about whether they can support him.

Megid: Thank you very much.

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