WASHINGTON, United States, June 13 – White House hopeful Donald Trump appeared bent on exploiting Sunday’s massacre in Orlando to boost the argument that he can be trusted to tackle terrorism over rival Hillary Clinton.
With many victims of the carnage yet to be identified, and police still probing the suspected Islamist ties of the slain gunman, Trump wasted no time in harnessing the assault to his political advantage.
The presumptive Republican nominee unleashed a broadside accusing President Barack Obama and his would-be Democratic successor Clinton of failing to tackle what Trump calls “radical Islam.”
“Because our leaders are weak, I said this was going to happen — and it is only going to get worse,” he said in a statement. “I am trying to save lives and prevent the next terrorist attack. We can’t afford to be politically correct anymore.”
Trump is set to deliver more of the same tough talk at a campaign appearance in Manchester, New Hampshire on Monday. The speech was originally to be about Clinton, but he is shifting the focus to national security.
His other Monday event, in Portsmouth, has been scrapped, his campaign said.
As the country reeled from what is being treated as the deadliest attack on US soil since September 11, 2001, Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll, said the threat of terrorism was likely to dominate the US campaign debate.
“It will be at the forefront until election day,” he told AFP.