CLEVELAND — Hillary Clinton dismissed the criticism that she and President Obama have been hesitant to use the phrase “radial Islamic terrorism” to describe the ideology that might have inspired the attack in Orlando.
Donald Trump in particular faulted Clinton for refusing to use the phrase in the wake of the Orlando massacre, which left 50 people dead. In several interviews on Monday morning, Clinton said that Orlando was clearly a terror attack inspired by the Islamic State, but that she is far less concerned about putting a label on it.
“Trump as usual is obsessed with name calling, and from my perspective it matters what we do, not what we say,” Clinton said on NBC News’s “Today” show. “It matters that we got [Osama] bin Laden, not what name we called him.”
Clinton said that she refuses to “demonize” and “demagogue” an entire religion, which, she added, only plays into the hands of terrorists.
“To me, radical jihadism, radical islamism, I think they mean the same thing,” Clinton said. “I’m happy to say either. But that’s not the point.”
“All this talk and demagoguery and rhetoric is not going to solve the problem,” she added.
Clinton also focused heavily on inadequate gun-control laws, which, she said, is allowing dangerous individuals and terrorists to use “weapons of war” to kill Americans.
“We know the gunman used a weapon of war to shoot down at least 50 innocent Americans, and we won’t even be able to get Congress to prevent terrorists or people from the no-fly list from buying guns,” Clinton said on CNN’s “New Day.” “This is just totally incomprehensible.”
She faulted Florida’s gun laws, which she outlined as too lax, but did not say specifically which new regulations would have prevented the gunman in Orlando from buying his weapon.
“We’ve got to get back to common sense gun safety reform, and we can’t fall into the trap that is set up by the gun lobby that says if you con’t stop every shooting and every incident you should not try to stop any,” Clinton said. “I’m going to be as firm and strong and single-minded as going after ISIS as anyone could be.”