Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump applauds during a rally, Thursday, June 2, 2016.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump applauds during a rally, Thursday, June 2, 2016.

Presumptive Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump reacted strongly Thursday night to the blistering foreign policy speech Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton delivered earlier in the day in which she attacked Trump, saying he "is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility."

"My temperament is so much tougher, so much better than hers," Trump countered in his evening address in San Jose, California. He said "Lyin', Crooked Hillary" had "made up" his foreign policy.

Hours before Trump's speech, Clinton emphasized her own experience as first lady, senator and secretary of state, saying she would provide the steady diplomacy the country needs. She said, "It's not hard to imagine Donald Trump leading us into a war just because somebody got under his very thin skin." 

In response, the billionaire mogul said of Clinton's speech it was "hard to stay awake" during her address, adding Clinton could make a lot of money if she delivered speeches to insomniacs.

With public opinion polls showing terrorism as a major concern among Americans, Clinton targeted Trump's positions on the issue.

Trump vs. Clinton

Trump has promised to temporarily block Muslims from crossing U.S. borders. "The struggle against radical Islam also takes place in our homeland. There are scores of recent migrants inside our borders charged with terrorism. For every case known to the public, there are dozens more. We must stop importing extremism through senseless immigration policies," Trump said in a foreign policy speech in April.

Trump's other anti-terrorism proposals include a pledge to torture and murder the families of suspected terrorists and target Islamic State. "I have a simple message for them," Trump said. "Their days are numbered. I won't tell them where and I won't tell them how. But they will be gone. And soon."

But Clinton said Trump's presidency would have the opposite effect. “A Trump presidency would embolden ISIS,” she said referring to the group also known as Islamic State. 

Security concerns

"National security is the foundation of how we make sure our interests are pursued in the world,” said Louis Goodman, Emeritus Dean of International Relations at American University in an interview with VOA.

The two presidential candidates have presented very different approaches to terrorism, which experts like Goodman believe would likely produce different results.

“While Donald Trump is making statements that push people away from us and make it difficult for our allies to cooperate with us, Hillary Clinton is consistently reaching out to our allies and trying to get them to cooperate so we can work together … and stop this criminal behavior that’s called terrorism. And I fear that a practice or policies like those Trump is articulating will increase terrorism.”

“If Donald gets his way, they’ll be celebrating in the Kremlin,” Clinton said. “We cannot let that happen.”

Clinton's speech comes five days before California holds its Democratic primary, which is expected to give her the delegates she needs to capture her party's presidential nomination even though several polls show the race getting tighter in California. Democratic rival Bernie Sanders has been campaigning vigorously there.