Debate: Clinton Stumbles Badly on ISIS and Trump

The 63 people who watched the Democratic debate on Saturday night must choked on their gluten-free popsicles when frontrunner Hillary Clinton said that the U.S. was on the right track when it came to defeating the Islamic State.

“We now finally are where we need to be,” Clinton said. “We have a strategy and a commitment to go after ISIS which is a danger to us as well as the region, and we finally have a U.N. Security Council resolution bringing the world together to go after a political transition in Syria.”

Ah yes, because we’ve seen how powerful U.N. resolutions have been when it comes to effecting real change in the world.

The liberal media, as usual, was entranced with Clinton’s performance in the debate. Livebloggers from The Atlantic were effusive in their praise:

Clinton simply ran circles around her opponents, offering far more detail and demonstrating how much more she knows about foreign policy—both in general and in the specific case of Syria.

That would be awesome if we were getting ready to elect a National Professor of Middle Eastern Studies. Unfortunately, we’re trying to elect a new president. Part of the problem with these debates is that the candidates are rewarded not for having the right answers but rather for the kind of eloquence that makes it sound like they know what they’re talking about. We could find thousands of Middle Eastern policy experts who would make Clinton sound like a child on stage; it wouldn’t make them better presidential candidates.

Attacking Trump

If Clinton tripped on ISIS, though, she went careening off a cliff with her attacks on Donald Trump.

“Mr. Trump has a great capacity to use bluster and bigotry to inflame people,” Clinton said. “He is becoming ISIS’ best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists.”

But while this sentiment is common among Democrats (and not a few Republicans), Clinton went a step too far in claiming that there were actual Trump videos being used to recruit ISIS followers. ABC News reached out to both the White House and the National Security Council; no officials would support this assertion.

Sunday, Clinton’s campaign spokesman Jen Palmieri tried to muddy the waters. “She’s not referring to a specific video, but he is being used in social media by ISIS as propaganda,” said Palmieri.

Oh right. So in the Clinton world, you can claim something factual and then wave it away.

But when Trump says that he saw Muslims in New Jersey cheering the World Trade Center attacks, the entire media stops the presses in a search for evidence. When Carly Fiorina (slightly) misstates what she saw on a Planned Parenthood video, she’s crushed under the weight of it for the next seven days straight. When CNN can’t find Ben Carson’s childhood friends, he’s branded a liar.

But Clinton can just use the Ferguson defense…well, it’s not about this specific thing…but it’s still the truth.



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