CINCINNATI — Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump today told veterans from across country that he would require patriotism to be taught in schools and allow veterans to seek help from private doctors to avoid long government lines.
The New York real estate mogul received a stronger response from the national convention of the American Legion in Cincinnati than his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, did a day earlier.
“We will have an honest government, and that includes an honest State Department, not pay for play,” Mr. Trump said in his 16-minute speech, much shorter than Mrs. Clinton's. “She probably did not mention that to you yesterday.
“Government access and favors will no longer be for sale, and important email records will no longer be deleted and digitally altered ...,” he said.
Picking up where he left off the day before in a rally in Arizona, he again called for a stop of Syrian refugees into the United States and called for a screening of inmates.
“Incredibly, my opponent, Hillary Clinton, wants a 550 percent increase in refugees from that region,” Mr. Trump said. “Hard to believe. I, on the other hand, want to build a safe zone overseas and use the money we save to invest in America. We do not want to let anyone in our country who does not support our values and is not capable of loving our people.”
While he was critical of Mrs. Clinton's tenure at the State Department, his speech was void of the name-calling that routinely sprinkles rally speeches like the one he was headed for today in Wilmington nearly an hour away. He largely stuck to script in Cincinnati.
“I will be uncompromising in the defense of the United States, and our friends, and our good allies,” he said. “We are gong to end the era of nation building and create a new foreign policy, joined by our partners in the Middle East that is focused on destroying ISIS and radical Islamic terrorists.”
In addition to teaching patriotism in schools, he called for students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
“We will stop apologizing for America, and we will start celebrating America,” he said. “We will be united by our common cultures, values, and principles, becoming one American nation, one country under the one constitution, saluting one American flag—always saluting.”
The appearance followed Mr. Trump's quick trip to Mexico on Wednesday to meet with President Enrique Pena Nieto and his follow-up speech in Arizona where he further tightened his policies on illegal immigration and deportation policy.
While Mrs. Clinton on Wednesday outlined her proposals, she repeatedly returned to her assertion that Mr. Trump's judgment and temperament made him unfit to serve as commander-in-chief. But with a few exceptions, Mr. Trump avoided doing the same.
The billionaire has been criticized for his tough stances on Mexican and Muslim immigration and comments about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that led to questions about how committed he would be to protecting some European countries.
He also faced backlash for comments about the parents of a Muslim-American soldier killed while fighting for America and U.S. Sen. John McCain's time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
The Clinton campaign released a joint statement from two four-star generals who announced they would vote for the former New York senator and first lady.
“"Having each served over 34 years and retired as an Army four-star general, we each have worked closely with America’s strongest allies, both in NATO and throughout Asia,” they wrote. “Our votes have always been private, and neither of us has ever previously lent his name or voice to a presidential candidate.
“Having studied what is at stake for this country and the alternatives we have now, we see only one viable leader, and will be voting this November for Secretary Hillary Clinton,” they wrote.
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