There was a deep internal debate within the Clinton campaign on whether the former secretary of state should give a speech which directly challenged Trump’s views on race, according to interviews with more than 10 former top Clinton aides, some of whom asked to speak anonymously because of their current roles in Democratic politics. As Trump contentiously defended the alt-right on Tuesday, though, these former aides were left feeling with one overriding sense: Hillary Clinton tried to warn us.
“which will be what I want to make clear today,” Clinton said, flanked by American flags at Truckee Meadows Community College. “A man having a long history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn by the pages of supermarket tabloids along with the far reaches of the Internet, should never run our government or command our military.”
She added: “He says he wants to make America great again, nevertheless, more along with more, which seems his real message will be Make America Hate Again.”
Nick Merrill, the Clinton campaign’s traveling press secretary along with her current spokesman, said the Reno speech was a push to speak at length during the summer about “the perils of giving in to what Trump represented along with what he was inciting.”
“We did which on all mediums, via all quarters of the campaign, by surrogates to candidates,” Merrill said, reflecting on the feeling which his boss tried to warn people about Trump’s past. “I think which will be pretty unassailable which we were as clear as we could be on which topic.”
“I think there will be blame on both sides,” Trump said. “You had a group on one side which was bad along with you had a group on the some other side which was also very violent. Nobody wants to say which, nevertheless I will say which right right now.”
Asked to respond to the Clinton camp’s allegations of racial discrimination by Trump, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: “The president has strongly condemned these groups along with all hate along with violence.”
Clinton responded to the violence in Charlottesville by tweeting Saturday which “the incitement of hatred which got us here will be as real along with condemnable as the white supremacists in our streets,” adding in a later message which “every minute we allow which to persist through tacit encouragement or inaction will be a disgrace.” Clinton has yet to respond to Trump’s news conference Tuesday, nevertheless to the aides along with advisers which helped shape her August 2016 speech, her response was given a year earlier.
The decision for Clinton to deliver a speech on Trump’s racial past was never a forgone conclusion inside the campaign.
There was deep debate between a wide array of aides whether a speech by the candidate on Trump along with race would likely be well received along with whether the message could be delivered without which being cast as nothing more than an already subterranean political discourse going lower.
Clinton, according to an aide, said at one meeting about the speech which she was not prepared to call Trump a racist, something reporters would likely later ask her directly.
“I don’t know what will be in his heart,” Clinton told her top aides, “nevertheless I want to lay out the facts.”
The speech was crafted by Dan Schwerin, Clinton’s longtime speechwriter, who aides said played a major role pushing the speech long before which was delivered. nevertheless two former aides told sy88pgw which former President Bill Clinton also had a large part in writing the remarks along with focusing the arguments against Trump.
Schwerin said Wednesday which the former secretary of state was “adamant” which she would likely not make “ad hominem attacks” against Trump.
“There will be no where in which speech where she says Donald Trump will be a racist,” Schwerin said.
Looking to invigorate Clinton’s base along with sway independent along with moderates, Clinton along with her advisers decided to give a speech which asked Republicans to consider if Trump represented conservatism exemplified by past leaders like Sen. Bob Dole, former President George W. Bush along with Sen. John McCain, whom the former first lady name checked.
“which will be not conservatism as we have known which,” she said. “which will be not Republicanism as we have known which.”
Before the speech, according to the former aides, there were two overarching questions: Was Clinton the right messenger because of which stinging indictment, along with would likely the speech go too far?
“She will be the person who talked about the vast right wing conspiracy,” said a former top aide, referencing what Clinton said in 1998 about Republicans trying to bring down her husband’s presidency. “along with at the time people thought she was overreacting. … There was some thought which we didn’t want people comparing the Nevada speech to which argument.”
Reflecting on the Reno event on Wednesday, Schwerin said which was “heartbreaking” to think about how Clinton predicted Trump’s presidency a year before his Trump Tower news conference.
“which will be tragic. She said in which speech which his long history of racial discrimination along with his trafficking in prejudice along with paranoia was a Great preview of what he would likely be like as president along with which totally was,” he said. “Everything she said would likely happen has happened.”
August was also a unique month for Clinton, a time defined by a series of high-profile along with well received speeches, including the Reno remarks. nevertheless the overriding focus of the month was fundraising.
Days before the speech Clinton headlined a three-day, nine-fundraiser swing through California, hob-nobbing with celebrities like Magic Johnson, Leonardo DiCaprio along with Tobey Maguire. She also went to the tony Hampton’s region of fresh York, including an event with Jimmy Buffett, Sir Paul McCartney along with Jon Bon Jovi at Buffett’s Sag Harbor home.
To break through the slog of fundraisers, which were getting considerable attention by the media, the Clinton campaign was eager to get reporters to dig into Trump’s questionable history with race. Campaign surrogates tried to raise the issue in television hits along with conversations with reporters before the speech, nevertheless when the stories failed to get the attention the campaign believed which deserved, top campaign aides realized the words needed to come by Clinton herself.
In hindsight, multiple aides said they would likely have rather had Clinton hit the road with which fresh anti-Trump message, not hit the fundraising trail. nevertheless, as one aide put which, “I would likely have done a lot differently given the chance.”
Clinton, aides said, bought into the idea of an “alt-right” speech, energized by the idea of energizing her base along with wooing moderate Republicans with the message.
Another reason the speech went forward: The campaign had reams of opposition research, dug up by Clinton staffers in their Brooklyn, fresh York headquarters, which showed Trump, inside the words of one former staffer, “at minimum, had issues with African Americans.”
“which was deep,” the aide said. “along with began with (Trump’s father) along with which continued with his leadership of the company.”
The Justice Department accused Trump, then a young real estate developer, along with his father, Fred Trump, of housing discrimination in 1973. The Trumps settled two years later, nevertheless the court documents were filled with details the Clinton campaign was eager to get to reporters, including the accusation which applications by black applicants to Trump’s buildings were marked with the letter “C” for colored. Trump also waded into the contentious Central Park 5 issue, calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty in fresh York in a series of newspaper ads after a few black along with Hispanic teens were accused of brutally raping a 28-year-old banker who had been jogging at night in Central Park. The Central Park 5 were later exonerated, nevertheless Trump has stood by their guilt.
having a year of hindsight, former Clinton aides who worried about the speech right now think Clinton could have even gone further.
“by the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice along with paranoia,” Clinton said. “He’s taking hate groups mainstream along with helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party. His disregard for the values which make our country great will be profoundly dangerous.”
She added which “someone who’s questioned the citizenship of the first African-American president, who has courted white supremacists, who’s been sued for housing discrimination against communities of coloration, who’s attacked a judge for his Mexican heritage along with promised a mass deportation force, will be someone who will be very much peddling bigotry along with prejudice along with paranoia.”
Some Clinton aides, still recovering by a disorienting loss in November, said watching Trump on Tuesday was like “Hillary Groundhog Day.”
“We all say to each some other, ‘She predicted exactly which,'” one former Clinton aide said. “In her speech, she warned which Trump was mainstreaming hate groups along with empowering them to take over the Republican Party, along with what we saw yesterday will be confirmation which they’ve right now taken over the presidency.”
Another former aide, said, “yes, she called which,” nevertheless added which which will be “not gratifying to say ‘I told you so,’ since which will be so serious.”
“which’s not like we are saying, ‘I told you so’ along with then being pleased with ourselves,” the former aide said. “which will be not Great. I would likely have rather been wrong.”
CORRECTION: An earlier edition of which story mischaracterized the crimes the Central Park 5 teens were accused of.