Donald Trump is running the most “reckless and dangerous” presidential campaign in modern history, former US secretary of state Madeline Albright said as she joined others in slamming the controversial Republican front-runner for his “incoherent” foreign policy.
“I have gotten to listen to a lot of foreign policy speeches over the years but I have got to tell you, I have never seen such a combination of simplistic slogans, contradictions and misstatements in one speech,” Albright said on Wednesday.
“What Donald Trump’s goal today may have been was to convince us that he can be presidential, but instead of doing that he just underscored the fact that he is running the most reckless and dangerous presidential campaign in modern history,” she said in a conference.
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Albright said that several things in Trump’s foreign policy speech was troubling.
“First, there were no details in the speech, and instead, we heard a lot tough talk and simplistic slogans and empty promises. Second, it was incoherent and riddled with contradictions. I can not list every example, but there were a few which stand out. He talked about regaining the trust of our allies while in effect promising to blackmail them in terms of supporting us.
“If you do not help us, we do not help you kind of talk. He then talked about the importance of Western values but questioned why we would think about supporting democracy in other countries. Then, I think the one that really made the least sense of all,” Albright said.
Trump said he would work with Muslims to fight terrorism but he has already alienated them with proposals to block them from coming into the country, she said.
“What I think was most troubling in this speech was the flat out dangerous ideas that he continues to embrace. His foreign policy slogan of America first is so clearly, maybe he has never read history, or he does not understand it,” said the former secretary of state.
“But he clearly did not understand what the America Firsters used to talk about was that there was not any Nazi threat to American interests. If he keeps talking about American interests, but still recalling America Firsters, that is a mega contradiction,” Albright said.
Republican presidential hopeful Senator Ted Cruz alleged that Trump is the candidate of the Washington Lobby, part of the culture of foreign policy for personal gain.
“This speech is the most dramatic evidence thus far that Donald Trump fails the presidential test. With this address he is now the foreign policy candidate of the Washington lobbyists, even as he proclaims ‘America first’, he puts K Street lobbyists first. He is never going to fight the system, he is the system.
“He and Hillary Clinton are two sides of the same coin. She has made her millions from inside and Donald Trump has made his billions buying people like Hillary Clinton. Both are part of the culture of foreign policy for personal gain,” Cruz said.
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine said, “I guess I was not surprised by the speech. It seems consistent with what a guy would think who is going out and advancing dangerous notions like we should block Muslims from entering the US or we should kill the family members of people that we do not like, or we should bring torture back as an instrument of American foreign policy”.
“This speech today – the ‘blame America first’ speech that advances as its cardinal proposition that we should be more unpredictable – demonstrates the great gulf between the candidacies of these two individuals,” Kaine said.
However, Republican Senator Bob Corker praised Trump for his foreign policy vision.
“Trump delivered a very good foreign policy speech in which he laid out his vision for American engagement in the world. I look forward to hearing more details, but in a year where angry rhetoric has defined the presidential race on both sides of the aisle, it is my hope that candidates in both parties will begin focusing not only on the problems we face but on solutions. I believe today’s speech could be an important step in that direction,” Corker added.