Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright blasted Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as a “danger” to U.S. relations with the world and declared Hillary Clinton the most qualified candidate in history to become president.
Speaking on Monday to about 70 people, mostly college students, inside the University of Dayton’s McGinnis Center, Albright touted Clinton’s experience as a former first lady, prior secretary of state and one-time U.S. senator in her bid for the White House.
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“That makes her … the most prepared person ever to run for president of the United States and the fact that she is a woman is a bonus,” Albright said, who served as secretary of state in President Bill Clinton’s second term.
Polls show Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has faced a tight race to win Ohio in a match-up with Trump. A CNN poll conducted Oct. 10-15, showed Trump leading with 48 percent of those surveyed in Ohio compared to 44 percent for Clinton.
Seth Unger, a Trump campaign spokesman, criticized Albright’s campaign stop in Dayton.
“If Madeleine Albright had run a pay for play Secretary of State’s office like Hillary Clinton did, personally made millions of dollars selling access to foreign governments for speaking fees to her husband, and routinely compromised confidential information, she would have faced criminal charges,” Unger said in a statement. “She loses all credibility when she stays silent about the rigged system in Washington that turns a blind eye to Hillary Clinton’s abuse of the State Department, and her tone deaf criticism of Mr. Trump’s plans to secure our borders and level the playing field on trade are completely out of touch with working Ohioans.”
A Clinton spokeswoman said Monday in an email the campaign would not respond directly to the Trump campaign statement.
Albright told the UD audience it was “stunning” Trump’s comments about the United States relationship with NATO allies led to questions about the U.S. commitment to the alliance if Trump wins. On the campaign trail, Trump has raised questions about the U.S. commitment to NATO members based on their contribution to their own defense.
“Trump … would certainly be a danger if he was president but he’s also a danger as he runs for president in terms of our relationship with other countries,” she said. “…I get calls from friends in Central and Eastern Europe who basically say, ‘Are we going to be OK? What is going to happen? Don’t we have some responsibility to each other?’”
The former diplomat also faulted Trump for appearing on a Russian-state sponsored TV program and criticizing U.S. foreign policy in the midst of the presidential campaign.
“I am very troubled by the fact that he has become what is known in communist bloc terminology as a useful idiot, which is to be used by the Russians in their propaganda fight,” she said.
Albright, who noted she arrived to the U.S. as a Czechoslovakian refugee at age 11 when her family fled communism, chided Trump for vowing as president to build a wall along the United States border with Mexico.
“We can’t decide that certain people cannot come in or that we’re going to build walls or isolate ourselves from the rest of the world,” she said.
Roy Lawrence, 20, a University of Dayton junior from Warren, Mich., said he voted for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, but would vote for Clinton this time.
“I don’t think it’s debatable at this point that she’s one of the most qualified people to ever run for the office,” said Lawrence, who is majoring in finance and economics.
UD freshman Claire Strobach, 18, will be voting in her first election for Clinton.
The college student from New Hudson said she backs Clinton because she will be “investing in the middle class.” Strobach also criticized Trump’s “immaturity” during the campaign.