hillary clinton terrorism knows no boundaries sot_00010723.jpg
Hillary Clinton: Terrorism 'knows no boundaries'
02:18 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Clinton used a 30-minute speech at Stanford University to outline how she would try to defeat ISIS

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, blasted Clinton's address

Palo Alto, California CNN  — 

Hillary Clinton sharply criticized the foreign policy proposals of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump and competitor Ted Cruz on Wednesday, arguing that the world would be more dangerous should they win the White House.

Clinton used a 30-minute speech at Stanford University to outline how she, as president, would try to defeat ISIS and protect the United States against terrorism. The former secretary of state, pulling at length from her four years as America’s top diplomat, urged tighter cooperation with allies while also pushing those countries to do more to combat terror.

While aides maintained that the address was purely focused on policy – “It’s not a politics speech,” said one – much of Clinton’s remarks were framed by Trump, a real estate mogul, and Texas Sen. Cruz. The speech gave Clinton an opportunity to cast Republicans as a risky bet on foreign policy.

“If Mr. Trump gets his way, it will be like Christmas in the Kremlin,” she told experts and students at the prestigious university a day after terror attacks in Brussels killed more than 30 people.

RELATED: Ted Cruz: Police need to ‘patrol and secure’ Muslim neighborhoods

Clinton specifically attacked Trump for his calls Monday, including on CNN, to reconsider U.S. involvement in and expenditures to NATO, which is headquartered in Brussels.

“On 9/11, NATO treated an attack against one as an attack against all,” Clinton said. “Now it is our turn to stand with Europe. We cherish the same values and face the same adversaries so we much share the same determination.”

And Clinton also contrasted herself with Trump by pledging to not to use torture if she becomes president, a practice the GOP front-runner said could be employed.

Clinton also labeled Cruz’s call for police to patrol Muslim neighborhoods in America “wrong, it is counterproductive, it is dangerous.” She compared it to “treating American Muslims like criminals” and “racially profiling.”

“It would also be a serious mistake to begin carpet-bombing populated areas into oblivion,” Clinton said, referring to a comment Cruz made in 2015. “Proposing that doesn’t make you sound tough. It makes you sound like you are in over your head. Slogans aren’t a strategy. Loose cannons tend to misfire.”

This is the third terrorism-focused speech Clinton has delivered as a candidate. In November, after terrorist attacks in Paris, the former secretary of state called for more allied planes, more airstrikes and a “broader target set” in the fight against ISIS during a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

In December, after a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, Clinton argued in Minneapolis that the U.S. can stop homegrown terrorism.

RELATED: Obama criticizes Cruz proposals

Clinton, noting that she has spoke at length about terrorism in this campaign, said it was “understandable that Americans here at home are worried.”

“The threat we face from terrorism is real, it is urgent and it knows no boundaries,” she said.

Clinton heralded European cooperation on terrorism even as suggested allies there could do more to “share the burden” on fighting terrorism. She pushed the European Union to “make good on the proposal to establish a new unified European border and coast guard” and invest more in defense.

But in a counter to Trump, Clinton said NATO is “one of the best investments America has ever made.”

“We need our allies as much as ever,” Clinton said, noting that adversarial countries like Russia and China know that alliances provides the United States and Europe with strategic advantages that they can’t match.

Trump quickly responded to Clinton’s speech on Twitter.

“Just watched Hillary deliver a prepackaged speech on terror. She’s been in office fighting terror for 20 years- and look where we are,” he tweeted.

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, also blasted Clinton, arguing that she and Obama “have been wrong about ISIS at every turn, which has resulted in more attacks and a more dangerous world.”