By Justin Wier
Republican Party Presidential Nominee Donald Trump laid out his plan for stopping ISIS at Youngstown State University on Monday.
He began by listing several terrorist attacks and said the foreign policy decisions of President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State, and Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton “unleashed ISIS.” Trump continued criticism of the Obama administration for refusing to say radical Islamic terrorism.
“Anyone who cannot name our enemy is not fit to lead our country,” Trump said.
He said Hillary Clinton lacks the “mental and physical stamina” to take on ISIS.
Trump railed against Clinton’s decisions to intervene in Iraq and Libya, interventions Trump supported. He claimed in his speech that he was against the Iraq War “from the beginning,” citing an article published in Esquire in 2004, but Trump told Howard Stern he supported the invasion in 2002.
Trump said he would end nation-building and pursue relationships with allies to help defeat ISIS, including looking to NATO for help, reversing an earlier position.
“I had previously said that NATO was obsolete because it failed to deal adequately with terrorism,” Trump said. “Since my comments they have changed their policy and now have a new division focused on terror threats.”
Trump also said he would like to find common ground with Russia, so they could work with the United States to defeat ISIS. And that we must shut down ISIS’s access to the Internet.
He also detailed stricter immigration standards, providing clarity to a talking point that originated as a call to ban Muslims from entering the United States — a policy which was then deemed unconstitutional by party leaders on both sides of the aisle.
“We should only admit into our country those who share our values and respect our people,” Trump said.
He advocated for an “ideological screening test” that would screen out members and sympathizers of terrorist groups as well as those who do not believe in our Constitution or support bigotry or hatred.
He said this will require temporarily suspending immigration from dangerous regions, which he will identify when he takes office.
The third plank of his plan to defeat ISIS involves “restoring common sense to our security procedures.” He said political correctness has replaced common sense, which has allowed terrorists to slip through.
He closed by saying he will fight to ensure all Americans are treated, protected and honored equally.
“We will reject bigotry and oppression in all its forms,” Trump said. “And seek a new future built on our common culture and values as one American people.”
Trump was introduced by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, his vice presidential nominee, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose appearance was unannounced.
Giuliani received applause claiming that Hillary Clinton will go down as the worst Secretary of State in our lifetimes, but he also inspired laughter when he referred to Pence as “the governor of your state.”
“We’re going there next!” Giuliani laughed.
Paul Sracic, chair of the department of politics and international relations at YSU, said this was an important speech because Trump filled in some of the details about his plans. But he said the candidate lacks enthusiasm when he reads off a teleprompter.
“It was actually a little bit low energy,” Sracic said. “That kind of surprised me.”
The speech was invite-only and tickets were distributed by local Republican Party officials.
Debbie Caldwell, a Trump supporter who came in from Ashtabula County, Ohio, said she was impressed with the speech. She said her biggest fear is that ISIS will infiltrate the United States, and she liked hearing Trump’s plan to defeat them.
“I feel completely relaxed knowing [Trump will] take care of it,” Caldwell said. “I do not with Hillary.”
She said she has concerns with some of the more controversial things Trump has said in the past, but this speech “hit it right on the head.”