The Cable

Battleground ’16: Clinton and Trump Look to Assuage National Insecurity

Why the sudden national security onslaught? The candidates are tuning up for the first debate on Sept. 26, and while the issue isn't typically the decider for American voters, it represents one of the starkest contrasts in style and substance between Trump and Clinton.

Donald Trump Holds Campaign Rally In Virginia Beach
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - SEPTEMBER 06: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump arrives at a campaign event September 6, 2016 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Trump participated in a discussion with retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

It’s national security week here on the 2016 campaign trail.

Republican nominee Donald Trump gave a defense-focused interview on Tuesday to, of all people, his own national security advisor, retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, who is formerly President Barack Obama’s top military spy. Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Tim Kaine gave his own national security Trump takedown just afterward in North Carolina near Camp Lejeune, where his Marine son is based when not deployed. He once again argued that the New York real estate magnate is “dangerously unfit” to be commander in chief.

And on Wednesday, an audience of military veterans will give both Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton a chance to showcase their creds in a forum hosted by NBC and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Why the sudden national security onslaught? The candidates are tuning up for the first debate on Sept. 26, and while the issue isn’t typically the decider for American voters, it represents one of the starkest contrasts in style and substance between Trump and Clinton. A new NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll out Wednesday shows Trump leading Clinton 55 percent to 36 percent among current or former members of the military. With Election Day nearly 60 days away, national security could reap big rewards — but it’s a minefield for both.

Sign up for FP’s Editors’ Picks newsletter here to receive Battleground ’16, our take on the presidential race, each Wednesday through November.


 

Clinton’s General Calls for Lasting Footprint in Afghanistan

The next president of the United States should stop the the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and consider expanding the capabilities of the American personnel there — or even add more troops to the mix, said John Allen, a retired four-star Marine general with close ties to presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

 


 

“Every time I think about Trump, I get allergic.”

— Hillary Clinton quipped on Monday in response to questions about her recent coughing fit during a speech.

 


 

Trump’s Bid for National Security Credibility: Q&A With His Own Surrogate

A forum hosted by his own national security advisor comes after Trump unveils endorsements by 88 military veterans — many of them little-known or long-retired.

 


 

Trump Eyed a Rebranding in Mexico — but Returned Defiant on Immigration

Conciliation, contradiction, reality checks, and why they matter — or don’t — for 2016.

Donald Trump jetted to Mexico this week for a meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto that aides hoped would make the unabashed New York TV personality-turned-Republican nominee appear presidential, and prompt the shrinking number of undecided American voters to give him a fresh look.

Instead, he came back for an immigration-themed speech later Wednesday in Arizona and fell back on the raw instincts that won him unexpected success in the GOP primary — but have kept him from expanding his base in the general election against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

 


 

+1

The Tuesday Sept. 6 CNN/ORC poll showing Trump having cut into Clinton’s post-convention lead and now overtaking her nationwide.

 


 

FBI: An Account on Clinton’s Private Email Server Was Hacked

An unidentified hacker compromised the email of a Bill Clinton staffer.

Sign up for FP’s Editors’ Picks newsletter here to receive Battleground ’16, our take on the presidential race, each Wednesday through November.

Photo credit: Alex Wong / Staff

Molly O’Toole is a senior reporter at Foreign Policy, covering immigration, refugees, and national security. She was FP’s sole 2016 presidential campaign reporter, on the trail from New Hampshire to Nevada. Previously, she covered the politics of national security for Atlantic Media’s Defense One, where she reported from Congress, the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department. Before that, she was a news editor at the Huffington Post. Molly has also reported on national and international politics for Reuters, the Nation, The Associated Press, and Newsweek International, among others, from Washington, New York, Mexico City, and London. She received her dual master’s degree in journalism and international relations from New York University and her bachelor’s from Cornell University and in 2016 was a grant recipient of the International Women’s Media Foundation. She will always be a Californian. @mollymotoole

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