INDIANAPOLIS — Hillary Clinton took aim Sunday at Washington politicians, telling a meeting of the country’s mayors that they could never stay in good stead with their constituents amid the same kind of inaction and paralysis that has become commonplace in the nation’s capital.
Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, cited an inability to pass gun control legislation in the wake of the Orlando mass shootings and the Senate’s refusal to take a vote on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland.
“They could vote down Judge Garland, but instead they refuse to act,” Clinton said during a address at annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors here.”I think that is part of what is driving the frustration on the part of so many Americans.”
“Instead of solving problems, Washington is too often making them worse,” she said, adding that mayors couldn’t get away with responding to their constituents “with a snarky tweet. You have to deliver results.”
Her comments come as new polls show Clinton leading presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump but also at a time when many Americans are fed up with Washington and don’t see Clinton — a former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state — as a credible change agent.
In the wake of Britain’s historic vote to exit the European Union, some political commentators have argued that the restive mood of that electorate mirrors anxieties and frustration in the United States that could play to Trump’s advantage in November.
During her remarks here, Clinton sought to turn make the episode a liability for Trump, arguing that his reaction was driven more by his personal and business interests than what’s good for the United States.
Last week, Trump told reporters in Scotland that a drop in the value of the British pound could help him make money at his Trump Turnberry golf resort. Meanwhile, Americans took big hits in their 401Ks amid the global financial uncertainty that followed the vote, Clinton said.
“Our priority now must be to protect American families and businesses from the negative effects of this kind of tumult and uncertainty,” Clinton told the mayors. “And that’s why steady, experienced leadership is so important at times like these.”
Referring to Trump, Clinton said “bombastic comments in turbulent times can actually cause more turbulence.”
Her campaign makes a similar argument in a new television ad that it said is set to debut this week on cable stations nationally.
Earlier Sunday afternoon, Clinton walked the final four blocks in New York’s Pride parade, in a symbolic show of her support for same-sex marriage and other LGBT rights.
Clinton was joined by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and the Rev. Al Sharpton. Also on hand were actress Cynthia Nixon, best known for her “Sex in the City” role, as well as her partner, Christine Marinoni, and celebrity chef and Cuomo girlfriend Sandra Lee.
Clinton joined the route near the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village where rioting in 1969 was instrumental to launching the gay rights movement and that was recently named a National Historic Landmark.
Coming in the wake of the mass shootings at a gay nightclub in Orlando, spectators and participants at the parade held up orange “We Are Orlando” signs.
Clinton’s unannounced appearance stunned people in the crowd who lined Seventh Avenue.
“Oh, my goodness, that is Secretary Clinton, the next president of the United States of America!” exclaimed one man along the route as she walked by.
Clinton shook hands along the way with onlookers craning their necks over the metal barriers, and chants of “Hillary! Hillary!” followed her.
Clinton first marched in the New York Pride parade in 2000, when she was running to represent New York in the U.S. Senate. She participated again in 2006 during her re-election bid.
Clinton did not march in the parade last year but was represented by her daughter, Chelsea.