Politics

Hillary Clinton Breaks From President Obama on Unofficial Policy

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Monday declared that she wasn't averse to using the phrase "radical Islamism," marking a symbolic break with how President Barack Obama has responded to terrorist attacks in the United States and abroad.

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President Obama has made a point of avoiding the phrase in the wake terrorist attacks by groups that associate themselves with Islam, NBC News reports. Donald Trump has repeatedly chided Clinton and President Obama over the semantic debate.

As recently as last March, Trump claimed Clinton wouldn't use the term "radical Islam" because she was "petrified of the president."

In November of 2015, Trump suggested that America's fight against terrorism would not be won until President Obama used the term.

Clinton told CNN she was not, in fact, afraid to use the phrase.

"Look, I think Trump, as usual is obsessed with name calling and from my perspective, it matters what we do, not what we say," Clinton told CNN. "It mattered that we got bin Laden, not the name we called him."

Clinton continued:

"But if [Trump] is somehow suggesting I don't call this for what it is, he hasn't been listening. I have clearly said that we face terrorist enemies who use Islam to justify slaughtering innocent people. And, to me, radical jihadism, radical Islamism, I think they mean the same thing. I'm happy to say either, but that's not the point."

Both Clinton and Obama have cautioned against using generalizations when talking about terrorism. Clinton emphasized this point on Monday, the day after the U.S. experienced its deadliest mass shooting committed by a single person in history.

Trump, for his part, took credit for Clinton's use of the phrase.

But as far as Clinton is concerned, Trump's focus on rhetoric is beside the point.

"All this talk and demagoguery and … rhetoric is not going to solve the problem," Clinton said. "I'm not going to demonize and demagogue and declare war on an entire religion. That's just plain dangerous and it plays into ISIS' hands."

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