This page will feature quotes, news, and policy positions of Democratic nominee for President Hillary Clinton, focusing on those made after she became her Party’s presumptive nominee. For full coverage of the primary, please visit our Democratic Primary page. Please follow our links below for full speech transcripts, policy positions, quotes about national security and other issues.
Clinton announced her campaign in a YouTube video on April 12, 2015. She clinched the Democratic nomination with 2,383 delegates on June 6, 2016.
Hillary Clinton was born in Chicago, Ill, on October 26, 1947. She is the former First Lady of Arkansas and the United States, a former Senator from New York (2001-2009), and former Secretary of State (2009-2013). She is married to former President Bill Clinton and the couple has one child – Chelsea.
On July 22, Clinton selected Virginia Senator Tim Kaine to be her Vice Presidential running mate. For a look at his foreign policy views, see below.
Above is a selection of Hillary Clinton quotes regarding the role of America in the world, the economy, immigration, and the fight against ISIS. For more information, please visit Hillary Clinton’s campaign website, specifically her Issues page. For national security issues, please click here.
Below are several other quotes on key issues impacting national security.
“I believe in strong alliances; clarity in dealing with our rivals; and a rock-solid commitment to the values that have always made America great. And I believe with all my heart that America is an exceptional country – that we’re still, in Lincoln’s words, the last, best hope of earth. We are not a country that cowers behind walls. We lead with purpose, and we prevail. And if America doesn’t lead, we leave a vacuum – and that will either cause chaos, or other countries will rush in to fill the void. Then they’ll be the ones making the decisions about your lives and jobs and safety – and trust me, the choices they make will not be to our benefit. That is not an outcome we can live with.” (San Diego Speech, June 2, 2016)
“Well, let me — let me start by saying, words matter. Words matter when you run for president. And they really matter when you are president. And I want to reassure our allies in Japan and South Korea and elsewhere that we have mutual defense treaties and we will honor them. It is essential that America’s word be good. And so I know that this campaign has caused some questioning and worries on the part of many leaders across the globe. I’ve talked with a number of them. But I want to — on behalf of myself, and I think on behalf of a majority of the American people, say that, you know, our word is good.” (First Presidential Debate, September 26, 2016)
“The United States has kept the peace — the United States has kept the peace through our alliances. Donald wants to tear up our alliances. I think it makes the world safer and, frankly, it makes the United States safer. I would work with our allies in Asia, in Europe, in the Middle East, and elsewhere. That’s the only way we’re going to be able to keep the peace.” (Third Presidential Debate, October 19, 2016)
Iran Nuclear Deal
“We need to embrace all the tools of American power, especially diplomacy and development, to be on the frontlines solving problems before they threaten us at home. Diplomacy is often the only way to avoid a conflict that could end up exacting a much greater cost. It takes patience, persistence and an eye on the long game – but it’s worth it. Take the nuclear agreement with Iran. When President Obama took office, Iran was racing toward a nuclear bomb. Some called for military action. But that could have ignited a broader war that could have mired our troops in another Middle Eastern conflict. President Obama chose a different path. And I got to work leading the effort to impose crippling global sanctions. We brought Iran to the table. We began talks. And eventually, we reached an agreement that should block every path for Iran to get a nuclear weapon. Now we must enforce that deal vigorously. And as I’ve said many times before, our approach must be “distrust and verify.” The world must understand that the United States will act decisively if necessary, including with military action, to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. In particular, Israel’s security is non-negotiable. They’re our closest ally in the region, and we have a moral obligation to defend them. But there is no question that the world and the United States, we are safer now than we were before this agreement. And we accomplished it without firing a single shot, dropping a single bomb or putting a single American soldier in harm’s way.” (San Diego Speech, June 2, 2016)
“With respect to Iran, when I became secretary of state, Iran was weeks away from having enough nuclear material to form a bomb. They had mastered the nuclear fuel cycle under the Bush administration. They had built covert facilities. They had stocked them with centrifuges that were whirling away. And we did drive them to the negotiating table. And my successor, John Kerry, and President Obama got a deal that put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program without firing a single shot. That’s diplomacy.And we had sanctioned them. I voted for every sanction against Iran when I was in the Senate, but it wasn’t enough.” (First Presidential Debate, September 26, 2016)
“I think that we have to look at ISIS as the leading threat of an international terror network. It cannot be contained, it must be defeated. There is no question in my mind that if we summon our resources, both our leadership resources and all of the tools at our disposal, not just military force, which should be used as a last resort, but our diplomacy, our development aid, law enforcement, sharing of intelligence in a much more open and cooperative way — that we can bring people together. But it cannot be an American fight. And I think what the president has consistently said– which I agree with– is that we will support those who take the fight to ISIS. That is why we have troops in Iraq that are helping to train and build back up the Iraqi military, why we have special operators in Syria working with the Kurds and Arabs, so that we can be supportive. But this cannot be an American fight, although American leadership is essential.” (CBS News Debate November 14, 2015)
“I have put forth a plan to defeat ISIS. It does involve going after them online. I think we need to do much more with our tech companies to prevent ISIS and their operatives from being able to use the Internet to radicalize, even direct people in our country and Europe and elsewhere. But we also have to intensify our air strikes against ISIS and eventually support our Arab and Kurdish partners to be able to actually take out ISIS in Raqqa, end their claim of being a Caliphate.” (First Presidential Debate, September 26, 2016)
“I do think that there is a good chance that we can take Mosul….I would go after Baghdadi. I would specifically target Baghdadi, because I think our targeting of Al Qaeda leaders – and I was involved in a lot of those operations, highly classified ones – made a difference… I would also consider arming the Kurds. The Kurds have been our best partner in Syria, as well as Iraq.” (Second Presidential Debate, October 9, 2016)
“Well, I am encouraged that there is an effort led by the Iraqi army, supported by Kurdish forces, and also given the help and advice from the number of special forces and other Americans on the ground.But I will not support putting American soldiers into Iraq as an occupying force…The goal here is to take back Mosul. It’s going to be a hard fight. I’ve got no illusions about that. And then continue to press into Syria to begin to take back and move on Raqqa, which is the ISIS headquarters. And I’m going to continue to push for a no-fly zone and safe havens within Syria not only to help protect the Syrians and prevent the constant outflow of refugees, but to, frankly, gain some leverage on both the Syrian government and the Russians so that perhaps we can have the kind of serious negotiation necessary to bring the conflict to an end and go forward on a political track.“ (Third Presidential Debate, October 19, 2016)
“I was among the most skeptical of Putin during the time that I was there, in part because I thought he had never given up on his vision of bringing ‘Mother Russia’ back to the forefront. I think that what may have happened is that both the United States and Europe were really hoping for the best from Putin as a returned president, and I think we’ve been quickly, unfortunately, disabused of those hopes.” (CBS, July 27, 2014)
“But increasingly, we are seeing cyber attacks coming from states, organs of states. The most recent and troubling of these has been Russia. There’s no doubt now that Russia has used cyber attacks against all kinds of organizations in our country, and I am deeply concerned about this. I know Donald’s very praiseworthy of Vladimir Putin, but Putin is playing a really…tough, long game here. And one of the things he’s done is to let loose cyber attackers to hack into government files, to hack into personal files, hack into the Democratic National Committee…And we are not going to sit idly by and permit state actors to go after our information, our private-sector information or our public-sector information.” (First Presidential Debate, September 26, 2016)
“I think wherever we can cooperate with Russia, that’s fine. And I did as secretary of state. That’s how we got a treaty reducing nuclear weapons [referencing coarsest New START treaty]. It’s how we got the sanctions on Iran that put a lid on the Iranian nuclear program without firing a single shot.” (Second Presidential Debate, October 9, 2016)
“It’s pretty clear you won’t admit…that the Russians have engaged in cyberattacks against the United States of America, that you encouraged espionage against our people, that you are willing to spout the Putin line, sign up for his wish list, break up NATO, do whatever he wants to do, and that you continue to get help from him, because he has a very clear favorite in this race…We have 17 — 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin and they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing.” (Third Presidential Debate, October 19, 2016)
“We know we’re not going to deport 11 or 12 million people. We shouldn’t be breaking up families. We shouldn’t be stopping people from having the opportunity to be fully integrated legally within our country. It’s good for us, it’s good economically, it’s good for the taxes that will be legally collected. It’s good for the children so that they can go as far as their hard work and talent will take them.” (CNN, July 7, 2015)
“I don’t want to rip families apart. I don’t want to be sending parents away from children. I don’t want to see the deportation force that Donald has talked about in action in our country…I think that is an idea that is not in keeping with who we are as a nation. I think it’s an idea that would rip our country apart. I have been for border security for years. I voted for border security in the United States Senate. And my comprehensive immigration reform plan of course includes border security. But I want to put our resources where I think they’re most needed: Getting rid of any violent person. Anybody who should be deported, we should deport them….” (Third Presidential Debate, October 19, 2016)
“Well, first, let me say, number one, when I saw the final agreement for TPP, I said I was against it. It didn’t meet my test. I’ve had the same test. Does it create jobs, raise incomes, and further our national security? I’m against it now. I’ll be against it after the election. I’ll be against it when I’m president. There’s only one of us on this stage who’s actually shipped jobs to Mexico, because that’s Donald. He’s shipped jobs to 12 countries, including Mexico…In fact, the Trump Hotel right here in Las Vegas was made with Chinese steel. So he goes around with crocodile tears about how terrible it is, but he has given jobs to Chinese steelworkers, not American steelworkers….We’re going to have trade agreements that we enforce. That’s why I’m going to have a trade prosecutor for the first time in history. And we’re going to enforce those agreements, and we’re going to look for businesses to help us by buying American products.” (Third Presidential Debate, October 19, 2016)
Kaine was born on February 26, 1958, in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He began his political career in 1998 as Mayor of Richmond, a position he held until 2001. In 2002, he became the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, and was elected Governor in 2006. He served as the chair of the DNC from 2009 to 2011 and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2013. While in the Senate, Kaine has served on the Committee on Armed Services (Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, Subcommittee on Readiness and Management, and Subcommittee on Sea Power), the Committee on the Budget, and the Committee on Foreign Relations (Chairman of the Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism; Subcommittee on State Department and USAID Management, International Operations, and Bilateral International Development; Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation; and Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues.
The New York Times has a summary of several of Kaine’s key views. Below are some of his views on national security issues.
Kaine supports the Obama executive actions that were recently struck down by the Supreme Court. The actions would have protected up to five million undocumented immigrants from deportation. Kaine has advocated for comprehensive immigration reform that would allow undocumented immigrants to gain legal resident status if they pay taxes and a fine.
“Donald Trump believes in deportation nation. You have got to pick your choice. Hillary and I want a bipartisan reform that will keep families together, second, that will help focus enforcement efforts on those were violent, third, that will do more border control, and third, write a path to citizenship for those who play by the rules and take criminal background checks. That is our proposal…As opposed to violating the constitution by blocking people from coming in based on their nationality, we have different views on refugee issues and immigration. Hillary and I want to do enforcement based on “Our people dangerous?” These guys say “All Mexicans are bad.” With regard to refugees, we want to keep people out of they are dangerous. Donald Trump said “Keep them out if they are Muslim.” An appellate court with three public and judges struck down a pence plan and said it was this majority. It was discriminatory.” (Vice Presidential Debate, October 4, 2016)
Kaine supported the Iran Nuclear Deal and the normalization of relations with Cuba. He has also pushed for Congressional authorization for airstrikes against ISIS and has advocated for the establishment of “safe zones” in Syria.
“On the foreign relations committee we just did an extensive sanctions package against North Korea and interestingly enough, the UN did virtually the same package. Often China will use their veto on the security council for that. They are starting to get worried about North Korea as well. So, they supported the sanctions’ passage, even when many of the sanctions are against Chinese financial institutions. So, we are working together with China and we need to. It is competitive and also challenging and we have to be able to cooperate against North Korea. Hillary understands that. She went famously to China and stood up at a human rights meeting and said, against North Korea. “Women’s rights are human rights.” She worked on many important diplomatic deals with China and that is what it will take.” (Vice Presidential Debate, October 4, 2016)