Clinton: US "trying to elect a president, not a dictator"

AP News
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Posted: Jun 03, 2016 10:59 PM
Clinton: US "trying to elect a president, not a dictator"

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — Hillary Clinton is keeping the heat on Donald Trump, saying "we are trying to elect a president, not a dictator."

The likely Democratic nominee for president addressed an enthusiastic crowd in San Bernardino, California, Friday night, where she continued to question her likely Republican opponent's qualifications.

"At some point you have to ask yourself: Is this nothing but a political stunt? Calling Americans terrible names?" Clinton said. "And look what he's doing now. He is personally attacking a federal judge who was born in Indiana. Last time I looked, that's part of America."

Looking toward the general election, Clinton made her goals very clear: "I am determined that I am going to expose Donald Trump's lack of qualifications to be the president of the United States and the commander in chief."

Clinton also again hit Trump for the controversy surrounding his now-defunct Trump University, a real estate education program that some participants said made fraudulent promises, calling it "a total con job."

Trump University is the target of two lawsuits in San Diego and one in New York that accuse the business of fleecing students with unfulfilled promises to teach secrets of success in real estate. Trump has maintained that customers were overwhelmingly satisfied with the offerings.

During a rally earlier Friday in Westminster, California, Clinton attacked Trump for saying the federal judge presiding over a case has a conflict of interest because he is "of Mexican heritage."

"The judge is doing his job. That's what he got appointed to do," Clinton said "And Donald Trump wants to change the subject like he does all the time. So instead of facing up to the facts that are coming out ... he is attacking a distinguished jurist."

Clinton also joked that if Trump got into the White House, "he's going to Trump you!"

Just 70 delegates shy of clinching the Democratic nomination, Clinton now leads rival Bernie Sanders by 268 pledged delegates and her advantage grows with the superdelegates, party officials who can back any candidate. Both Clinton and Sanders were campaigning aggressively in California, which is among the states voting Tuesday.

Sanders also dug into Trump's views on climate change during a rally in Fairfield, where temperatures soared past 95 degrees in a state dealing with drought. "When he was not going bankrupt, he was spending his time studying climate change," Sanders said, adding that Trump "concluded climate change is a hoax."

Hoping for an upset in California, the Vermont senator pointed to a litany of differences with Clinton over his support for a tax on carbon to curb climate change, her use of super PACs and their conflicting votes on the Iraq war.

Sanders has promoted raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour, while Clinton has supported a Senate bill to raise it to $12 an hour while encouraging cities and other communities to go higher. "Hillary Clinton thinks 12 bucks is enough. I don't," Sanders said on the campus of Solano Community College.

Campaigning in Culver City on Friday at an organizing event geared for women, Clinton told about 500 cheering supporters that "if all goes well, I will have the great honor as of Tuesday to be the Democratic nominee for president."

Flanked by female celebrities and elected officials, including actresses Sally Field, Elizabeth Banks and Debra Messing, Clinton embraced the historic nature of her candidacy.

"Starting next Tuesday we're on our way to breaking the highest and hardest glass ceiling," she said.

Clinton's star supporters rallied the crowd by talking up her record of experience and questioning Trump's ability to serve. Field drew applause as she questioned why "likability" is considered a problem for Clinton.

"What is this, a high school popularity contest? She's not running to be anybody's friend. She's running to be the president of the United States," Field said.

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Associated Press writer Ken Thomas in Fairfield, California, contributed to this report.