WASHINGTON: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has accused Donald Trump of fostering ugliness and bigotry by refusing to acknowledge President Barack Obama was born in the US and asked Americans to reject the bluster and bigotry of her Republican rival in November's election.
"This man wants to be our next president? When will he stop this ugliness, this bigotry?" Clinton asked in her address to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Gala here last night.
She was referring to a latest interview of Trump in which he was unwilling to say that Obama was born in the US.
The Trump Campaign in a late night statement said that "he believes Obama was born in the US."
In her remarks, Clinton alleged that Trump is running the most divisive campaigns of the lifetimes.
"His message is you should be afraid – afraid of people whose race or ethnicity is different, or whose religious faith is different, or who were born in a different country. There's no innuendo or dog whistles anymore. It's all right out there in the open now. So we've got to come back twice as strong and twice as clear," she said.
She also said that Muslims and Latinos remain targets of Trump's divisive campaign as he promises to deport 16 million people living and working in the US.
Clinton said she has a different vision: she will introduce comprehensive immigration reform in her first 100 days and work to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.
She paid tribute to the Latino community's contributions to Amercia and said, "You're not intruders. You're our neighbors, our colleagues, our friends, our families. You make our nation stronger, smarter, more creative. And I want you to know that I see you and I am with you, and time and again."
Clinton said she intends to close her campaign the way she began her career - fighting for kids and families.
"That's been the cause of my life. It will be the passion of my presidency. So tonight I want to mention two things I’ll do in the first 100 days of my administration to help families in every corner of America," she said.
Clinton said a comprehensive immigration reform will not only be the right thing to do, but it will add USD 700 billion to US economy and enable America to be what it’s always been a place where people from around the world can come to reunite with family, start new businesses, pursue their dreams, apply their talents to American growth and innovation.
Trump has tried to reset himself and his campaign many times, she alleged.
"This is the best he can do. This is who he is. And so we need to decide who we are. If we just sigh and shake our heads and accept this, then what does that tell our kids about who we are? We need to stand up and repudiate this divisive rhetoric. We need to stop him conclusively in November in an election that sends a message that even he can hear," she said.
"Parents and teachers are already worried about what they're calling the 'Trump Effect'. Bullying and harassment are on the rise in our schools, especially targeting students of colour, Muslims and immigrants," she alleged.