While campaigning in Ohio Thursday, Hillary Clinton seemed to compare Republican presidential candidates’ “extreme views” on women to those held by “terrorists groups.”
Clinton has long attacked Republicans on women’s issues, but her language Thursday is already coming under fire from Republicans.
Speaking to supporters in Cleveland about GOP efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, Clinton said she wished Republicans would listen to women who have been helped by the health care organization.
“Extreme views about women – we expect that from some of the terrorist groups. We expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world. But it’s a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States. Yet they espouse out of date and out of touch policies,” Clinton said to cheers.
Republicans were quick to fire back and demand an apology.
“For Hillary Clinton to equate her political opponents to terrorists is a new low for her flailing campaign. She should apologize immediately for her inflammatory rhetoric,” said Republican National Committee Press Secretary Allison Moore.
In a tweet, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush accused Clinton of comparing “pro-life Americans to terrorists” and said, “Her priorities are totally wrong.”
But Clinton’s campaign made it clear the former secretary of state has no plans to apologize and accused the GOP of “twisting” Clinton’s words. “Instead of trying to manufacture outrage by twisting Hillary Clinton’s words, Republican presidential candidates should stop pushing extreme policies that would limit women’s reproductive health care choices,” said spokesperson Christina Reynolds.
Clinton’s comments in Ohio were also briefly interrupted by activists with the Black Lives Matter movement and the LGBT rights group GetEqual. The activists carried a sign calling on Clinton to “Divest from Private Prisons, Invest in Black Trans Women.” Organizers said in an email to reporters that “Hillary Clinton is part of the system of violence that criminalizes and kills Black trans people.”
The interruption didn’t last long. “I will certainly be happy to meet with you later, but I’m going to keep talking,” Clinton told the protesters. Black Lives Matters protesters tried to disrupt a Clinton event earlier this month, but arrived late. She met with them afterwards.
Meanwhile, Clinton reiterated that she would not be running for a third Obama term – a statement that takes on additional significance as Vice President Biden considers a 2016 bid. “I’m not running for my husband’s third term and I’m not running for President Obama’s third term, I’m running for my first term,” she said.
BIden has said if he runs, he would run on a continuation of Obama’s legacy. “Some say that would amount to a third term of the president. I call it sticking with what works,” he said in Iowa in February.
Biden has also called on Democrats to embrace the Obama-Biden legacy, and told interviewers that he would be more likely to run for president if he felt that legacy was engaged.
Clinton, who was herself part of the administration, has sought to add a bit of distance between herself and the current president. “Obviously I was proud to be a member of President Obama’s Cabinet,” she told reporters Wednesday after an event in Iowa. ”But I also have ideas where I want to go, not just build on what was done, but go beyond.”
This post has been updated